Missy Bonaguide is the owner and Artistic Director of The Performing Arts Project NJ, LLC. She has over 30 years experience in the Performing Arts including a degree in Theater and Dance from Skidmore College, training and performing in London and NYC theaters, and creating a successful Theater Company in Manhattan. Over the past 9 years, she has produced/directed the Lester C Noecker 4-6 grade musical, North Caldwell’s Gould School Musical, as well as directed classes, camps, and numerous fully staged TPAPnj production including "You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown," "Mary Poppins Jr," "High School Musical Jr," "The Little Mermaid Jr," "Aladdin Jr,""The Lion King Jr," "Frozen Jr.,” “Into the Woods,” “Descendants,” “Matilda Jr,,” and more. She teaches music and ballet locally, as well as giving private lessons in voice, acting, and dance. Her vision is for the West Essex, NJ area to have a top-notch, quality arts school that embraces beginners and advanced students alike, and provides our area with essential skills all kids need: confidence, the ability to speak in public, to think on their feet, to accept and include all others, to think critically, to question and examine, to be creative and to feel safe doing so.
Gianna is a certified teacher with New Jersey certifications as Teacher of the Handicapped and Elementary Education and has achieved the designation as Highly Qualified in Reading, Language Arts and Mathematics. As well as Deaf Studies and Applied Behavioral Analysis. She taught for 8 years in both public and private schools.
Gianna was encouraged from an early age to develop an appreciation for the arts. To that end she studied dance, theater arts and graphic arts and also piano and guitar. She frequently used these skills during her tenure as a Special Education Teacher.
Since being with TPAPNJ Gianna has directed shows for schools throughout New Jersey both public, private, and those for children with special needs.
She has directed many zoom productions for the company as well.
Gianna brings her love of the arts and teaching experience to TPAPNJ and looks forward to working with the talented students in this program.
Nancy has been involved in the arts her entire life. Most recently, she has been the Costume designer, Props master, and Assistant Director for the Lester C. Noecker 4-6 grade Musical and North Caldwell’s Gould School Musical, as well as Lead Teacher/Assistant Director for classes, camps, and TPAPNJ’s production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. She is passionate about the positive affects of the Arts on young minds, particularly how experiencing theater together bonds kids of all different ethnicities, backgrounds, and social status. Theater class contributes incredibly toward not just academic success, but also social and emotional maturity and success.
Allegra Simon is thrilled to be a musical director for TPAPNJ. She went to school at Brandeis University in Boston where she majored in child psychiatry and minored in musical theater. (Which really means she spent all her time doing musical theater!) While there, she musically directed and produced Oliver; Bye,Bye, Birdie; Fiddler on The Roof; Grease and The Pajama Game as well as several independent musicals. After school, she took a hiatus to go into business, and then returned to TPAPNJ in 2017/2018 when she musically directed Willy Wonka and Annie in North Caldwell. She is thrilled to be part of the TPAPNJ team and this year worked on shows in many local schools and towns. Allegra shares in our philosophy that all kids should get to participate in theater. Whether it be on stage or backstage in any capacity the want. She loves working with kids and is looking forward to spending many years working with the company. Allegra also gives private vocal coaching, as well as vocal lessons at her home and is an accomplished pianist.
A summa cum laude graduate from USC's music business program, Lara began singing, and playing piano and violin from an early age. Favorite stage credits include Jasmine in “Aladdin the Musical” (Disney’s Hyperion Theatre/CA), Elphaba in “Wicked" (Japan), understudying the leads in "Rock of Ages" (NYC), “ Vices: A Love Story” (world premiere), and "Happy Embalmer" (NYMF). She has been in numerous national commercials and print campaigns including Applebees, Metro PCS, and MAM baby products. Her voiceover work has landed her roles in "Yu Gi Oh!” cartoons and singing commercials for Mattel, as well as the singing voice of the Princess Anneliese Barbie Doll and A Perfect Christmas Barbie Doll, and singing voice of Melody in the film "Barbie and the Diamond Castle". She spent a couple years jamming on the electric violin every Friday night in Les Poisson Rouge’s “GO 90s with The Fresh Kids of Bel-Air” show (NYC). She is also a "Victory Belle", having performed from Guam to the Ellis Island Medals of Honor Gala and regularly performs with "Song Division", unifying corporate culture with music and songwriting. She has released numerous albums, having worked with award winning songwriters and producers such as Dean Sams of the Grammy award winning group Lonestar. Her songs have been featured in countless films, tv, and compilations, including the 20th Century Fox movie "Diary of A Wimpy Kid 3: Dog Days.” She has been a guest lecturer for USC’s Songwriting class, a Music Teacher for Kidville’s music program targeting 0-5 year olds, and also gives private piano and voice lessons. Proud mommy of two and wife of an amazing husband www.larajanine.com
Dan Burg is thrilled to be joining the TPAPNJ team! Theater, both onstage and off has been a very special creative outlet in her life for as long as she can remember. Dan currently works at Caldwell University as the Media Services Coordinator, and got their Bachelor of Arts in Theater (Stage Management Concentration) and Media and Communication from Muhlenberg College in 2020. Over the last year, they co-founded a virtual a capella group, Garden State Sound, where they participate as a singer and vocal percussionist. Dan only hopes that she can make a difference in the world of theater and education, and cannot wait to bring their creative and technical attributes to TPAPNJ's productions in the future.
Ali Zanders is a Verona native. She served as Vice President of the International Thespian Society Troupe, Vice President of the Tri-M Music Honors Society Troupe, and captain of the Marching Maroon and White Colorguard during her senior year. Her favorite stage roles she's had include Luciana in Shakespear's "The Comedy of Errors," and Princess Puffer in the Rupert Holmes musical "The Mystery of Edwin Drood." Originally majoring in musical theater in college, Ali chose a different route and instead writes and performs her own music. Ali is excited to return to TPAPNJ from student to teacher, and helping kids grow their creativity and passion for performing.