Did you know that children involved in drama performance coursework or experience often outscore non-arts students on the SAT tests in the verbal and math components? For many students, drama activities can help to improve reading comprehension, as well as verbal and non-verbal communication skills. Drama can also help to improve academic performance in children and youth with learning disabilities.

Acting-A-Part, LLC is a North Jersey company that specializes in teaching the world of musical theater, film, TV, improvisation, scene/monolog study and stage productions to children and adults. Acting-A-Part offers traditional plays, musicals, films and original screenplays that focus on a wide variety of social issues. Workshops for children include ages 4 - 8, (Little Actors) to tweens and teens.

According to Acting-A-Part founder and CEO, Erika Lupo, "Our philosophy at Acting-A-Part is to teach children and teens that anything is possible. Children learn to speak with confidence, how to improvise, and learn decision-making skills. All of our workshops build on character education while making it fun to improve reading and writing skills."

Each theater production at Acting-A-Part includes costumes and live music and are professionally directed, choreographed and produced for a live audience.

Acting-A-Part film workshops teach students all aspects of being in an actual movie. They then film the movie locally on location with a local student film crew from a school with a visual arts department and hold a professional movie premiere at a local movie theater for friends and family. Incredible!

According to Lupo, "Each student learns at a different pace. Our programs are designed to address the actor as an individual. Everyone gets a chance to shine.”

Workshops at Acting-A-Part provide a safe, welcoming environment that nurtures the "whole" student physically, mentally and emotionally. "Our acting classes teach students everything from reading skills, public speaking, self-esteem to self-confidence," Lupo says. "Students of all ages and all levels are welcome. We also offer opportunities for kids to work behind the scenes and camera."

Many students who have taken classes at Acting-A-Parts have gone on to careers in television, film and Broadway. And while this is true, Lupo underscores that that isn't necessarily the goal of the program.

Acting-A-Part also offers birthday parties and summer camp programs. At Acting-A-Part birthday parties and other special celebrations, the birthday child or teen works with Acting-A-Part party leaders to put together an  actual show, cast their guests in the production, and then end the party with a stellar performance featuring full costumes and music.