Aspire Performing Arts Company's mission is to provide educational workshops and production opportunities for children and teens, offering a professional arts experience in a friendly atmosphere.
dream. create. aspire.
dream. create. aspire.
Who's Who at Aspire Performing Arts Company
Lisa Beth Vettoso (Founder/Artistic Director)
Aspire Performing Arts Company represents the culmination of Lisa’s 20+ years of experience in the arts and fulfills her dream of working with children in her own theatre company. Previously, Lisa was Artistic Director of the BG Theatre Club for five years, directing, choreographing, and producing 15 productions. Lisa holds a B.A. in Communication and Theatre from Villanova University and a Master’s Degree in Educational Theatre from New York University. She is currently the Executive Director of Literature to Life, a non-profit arts organization dedicated to bringing books to the stage. Previously, she was the Executive Director of The Art School at Old Church, and has also worked with prestigious organizations such as The New York Pops, American Repertory Ballet, the New York City Arts in Education Roundtable, Carnegie Hall, and the State Theatre. Over the course of her career, she has produced, directed, and choreographed more than 50 youth theatre productions. In 2021, she was named Arts Educator of the Decade in the Broadway World Regional Awards.
Michelle Anderson (Costume Designer)
Michelle Anderson has been working in the costume field for more than five years. She previously was Costume Designer at Porch Light Productions in Glen Rock. For Aspire PAC, Michelle has designed costumes for The Drowsy Chaperone JR., Disney's Moana JR., Perfect Harmony, Les Misérables, Disney's The Lion King JR., Big Fish, Disney’s Descendants the Musical, Disney’s Finding Nemo JR., All Shook Up, and Spring Awakening. Michelle lives in Ridgewood with her husband and two kids.
Scott Baird (Instructor/Director)
NJ Directing Credits: Something Rotten, Grease, Les Miserables School Edition, Bright Star: Concert Version, CLUE, The Addams Family, The Importance of Being Earnest, Anything Goes, James and the Giant Peach, 25th Annual...Spelling Bee, Shrek The Musical, Death By Chocolate,The Drowsy Chaperone, Peter Pan & Wendy, Pippin, Legally Blonde, All In The Timing, The Wizard of Oz, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Catch Me If You Can & Oliver. NJ Acting Credits: Falsettos (Mendel), Parade (Leo Frank), Shrek The Musical (Lord Farquaad), Mothers & Sons (Will Ogden), It Shoulda Been You (Marty), Young Frankenstein (Fredrick), Legally Blonde (Emmett), Mary Poppins (Mr. Banks), H2$ (Bud Frump), Little Shop of Horrors (Seymour), August Osage County (Little Charles), Spamalot (Sir Robin), Company (Bobby), Les Miserables (Thenardier, 2014 NJ Perry Award Winner), Damn Yankees (Joe Hardy), Godspell (Judas) & The Producers (Leo Bloom). B.A. in Theatre Studies from Montclair State University.
Brooke Garfinkel (Instructor/Director)
Brooke Garfinkel works as a teaching artist, director, and actress, and has taught, directed, and performed on both the east and west coasts. She attended Montclair State University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with an honors Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Acting with a minor in Musical Theatre. She currently is pursuing her Master of Arts in Arts Administration at Rowan University. As an actress she has been seen at the Marin Shakespeare Company, across the tri-state area touring with Equalogy, and in New York City performing with a variety of Shakespeare companies. As a director, she has worked with students throughout New Jersey to perform traditional musical theatre and plays, as well as to devise and perform their own original plays. As a teacher, she has taught with Montclair State University, the Marin Shakespeare Company and Riverside Theatre Arts previously, and is very proud to currently be teaching for and working with George Street Playhouse, McCarter Theatre Center, Noteworthy Academy of Music, and now Aspire Performing Arts. brookegarfinkel.com
Casey Gorab (Instructor)
Casey Gorab is a composer and performer. Her original works have premiered at venues such as New York City's 54 Below and The Triad Theater, Hackensack PAC, and Montclair State University. With individual pieces, group numbers, and an entire musical in the making, her repertoire is constantly expanding. In addition to composing, she is a vocalist who can accompany both herself and others on piano, guitar, and ukulele. She also continues to practice violin and drums. She is currently a member of the Montclair State University Chorale, and the Montclair State University Singers, who have collaborated with organizations such as the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and Music for Life International.
Charles Linnell (Music Director)
Charles Linnell has directed and musically directed numerous school and community shows, including The 25th Annual...Spelling Bee, The Wedding Singer, Legally Blonde, Shrek, The Addams Family, Grease, South Pacific, Once Upon A Mattress, Beauty & the Beast, Oklahoma, Footloose, Evita, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Wiz, Crazy For You, High School Musical, West Side Story, The Fantasticks, Once On This Island Jr., Schoolhouse Rock Jr., Bells Are Ringing, and Into the Woods. He is the Choral Director at Kinnelon HS, where his choirs and students have won acclaim with numerous superior ratings and acceptances to state, all-eastern, and national honor choirs. A graduate of Mason Gross School of the Arts, he studied voice with Frederick Urrey and Taina Kataja, as well as conducting with Patrick Gardner. Mr. Linnell also serves as the Director of Music at St. Cecilia Church in Rockaway, and performs regularly in the NJ/NYC area. He recently received his master's degree in Educational Leadership through the University of Texas.
Rich Lovallo (Instructor/Music Director)
Rich Lovallo is a graduate of Ramapo College with a B.A. in theatre. He has worked professionally as a music director at the scholastic, college, community and professional level for many years. Rich was part of the voice faculty for NJPAC Summer Youth Performance Workshop. He was also resident musical director for 14 years at the Worth-Tyrrell School of Performing Arts in Morristown, NJ. He has been the Musical Theatre teacher and private vocal coach at the Rhino Theatre since 2006. Aside from his theatrical endeavors, he is the Director of Music Ministries at Butler United Methodist Church in Butler NJ. He is also a co-founder and current President of the Triad Arts Ensemble, and sings with the Triad Vocal Ensemble. With Triad he performs in an annual benefit concert for NJ AIDS related charities (www.canticlesforlife.org). In whatever time is left, he is husband to his wonderful wife, Jennifer, father to four amazing children, Sophie, Anna, Marcus and Michael, and grandfather to Julian. Rich gives all glory and praise to God for the gift of music.
Blake Spence (Instructor/Director)
Blake Spence is a New Jersey-based teacher and stage director. He is a proud graduate of Northwestern University holding a degree in theatre and history with additional coursework in musical theatre and performance studies. Blake also holds two master’s degrees: one in educational leadership from St. Peter’s University and another in special education from New Jersey City University. Blake began performing at the age of five when his parents enrolled him in his first tap dancing class. Attending the Montclair Kimberly Academy, he developed an interest in directing. He continued to both perform and direct throughout college learning from such theatrical luminaries as Mary Zimmerman, Frank Gulati, Anna D. Shapiro, and Tina Landau. Following a brief sojourn in law school, became a middle school History teacher in the Lyndhurst School District. As a teacher, Blake was asked by his administrator to develop a middle school theatre program. Blake ran this middle school program for five years, and directed shows including Bye, Bye Birdie, The Mystery…Drood, and Smile. His shows regularly contained over 100 students in the cast and crew. Blake began directing high school plays musicals in 2013 when the Millburn School District hired him to direct Pal Joey. Since 2013, Blake has directed over twenty productions, plays and musicals, for the Millburn School District, the Ramapo/Indian Hills School District, and the Madison School District. His 2019 production of Bright Star earn him the converted Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star for Outstanding Direction by a Teacher. The production also earned the Rising Star for Outstanding Overall Production. His work demonstrates his passion for inclusive theatre and immersive theatre. In addition to directing, Blake loves to spend time with his four rescue dogs. He is an Olympic fanatic and can’t get enough of lounging on the beach at the Jersey Shore.