SOMA students to perform with Broadway professionals

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — South Orange and Maplewood students will perform in Vanguard Theater Company’s Broadway Buddy Mentorship Cabaret on Sunday, May 22, at South Orange Middle School at 7:30 p.m.

The cabaret will also showcase Broadway professionals from shows including “Hamilton,” “Aladdin,” “School of Rock” and “The Color Purple,” among others, who, through Vanguard’s Broadway Buddy Program, have served as mentors to the aspiring young musical theater artists. The professionals have met with students to provide show business advice, personal stories and one-on-one performance coaching.

This year’s Broadway Buddy Mentorship program includes 20 Broadway professionals and 23 students. Local participants and performers include: Maplewood Middle School student Ally Salort mentored by Eva Agathis of Far Hills; SOMS student Claire Sullivan mentored by Elizabeth Ward Lane of Maplewood; Columbia High School student Jacob Tall of Maplewood mentored by Robert Dusold of Maplewood; and mentors Stephanie Kurtzuba of Maplewood, Dwayne Clark of South Orange, Suzanne Hevner of South Orange, Michele Pawk of South Orange, Joanna Young of Maplewood and Mandy Gonzalez of South Orange.

“Through the Broadway Buddy Mentorship Program, the professionals have and will continue to serve as resources and advocates for the aspiring performers,” Vanguard co-founder Janeece Freeman-Clark of South Orange said in a press release.

“We are excited to see the culminating performances on a local stage,” co-founder Daryl Stewart added.

The proceeds from the cabaret will be used to fund scholarships for deserving students to attend Vanguard’s Kid’s Camp in August.

For tickets and information, visit