Theater has always been my happy place. From the first time I stepped onto a stage as a young child in a classroom play, to seeing my very first Broadway show- Peter Pan starring Sandy Duncan, I have been captivated. The sights, the sounds, the scents - whether on stage, back stage or in the audience- there is simply nothing like the magic of the theater. My goal is to bring that wonder and magic to our students.
Envision Theater was founded on the principle that all children are natural storytellers who have a voice which deserves to be heard. Their boundless imagination and creativity, coupled with the skills, confidence and discipline a theater program provides will help any child's success navigating this 21st century world.
At Envision Theater, we are committed to developing performing arts programming with a warm, professional staff of theater artists who are committed to the process as much (if not more than) the product.
Leya Adler holds an M.A. in Educational Theatre from NYU with a directing emphasis and an undergraduate degree in Theatre from Florida State University. In 2010, Leya co-created and produced an original Educational Theatre company, Phonics Fantasy Theatre, where she wrote and directed an educational musical and instructional film which received the “National Parenting Center Seal of Approval” as well as a favorable review in the School Library Journal. Leya was a teaching artist/actor for Living Voices, Inc.- Theatre Works on tour from 2007-2010 where she performed various one-woman historical plays and facilitated a learning/talk back session. Leya received the 2004 Elie Wiesel Award for Arts and Culture for producing and directing. Leya has directed numerous theatre arts productions. Credits include; I Never Saw Another Butterfly at the Provincetown Playhouse, The Would Be Gentlemen, Flowers for Algernon, The Pot Boiler, A Shayna Maidel, The Dining Room, Story Theatre, Romeo and Juliet, Luv N’ Light, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Aladdin, The Jungle Book, Annie, Frozen, Miss Nelson Is Missing, Miss Electricity as well multiple Musical Theatre Revues, Showcases and Original Works. (Off Broadway) Last Jew in Europe (Off-Off Broad.) History of Weather, The Homecoming Act II, Miss You the Most. Teaching credits include developing theatre curriculum, teaching for the 92Y and being a member of the full-time theatre faculty at BAK Middle School for the Arts in West Palm Beach, Florida. Currently, Leya runs an after school Theatre Arts program, Stage Explorers with multiple young performers in Bergen County, NJ where she teaches acting and directs productions. In 2019 Leya Adler Co-Founded the Educational Theatre intensive Journey To Broadway alongside Donna Vivino.
Beth Selter has been working in professional and regional theater for over 30 years. She graduated with a B.A. as a Theater Arts major from Queens College after performing in Israel while a student at Hebrew University, received a post-graduate degree from the New York Academy of Theatrical Arts and interned at the Williamstown Theater Festival.
Beth has been directing Youth Theater in New York/New Jersey schools since 1996 and served as Drama Director for the NJY CAMPS at Camp Nesher for 17 years.
Additionally, Beth writes and performs her own one-woman Cabaret shows in and around NYC accompanied by the famed Mr. Alex Rybeck. These most personal shows tend to explore the challenges of her dual passions for the Performing Arts and her dedication to living a traditional, Torah inspired life.
Beth has also performed with Black Box Studios’ Professional Ensemble group in Teaneck, NJ and the JCC Palisades Players. Additionally, she coaches voice, theater and public speaking from her home studio in Wesley Hills, NY.
Nathan Kruman has been the Musical Director of Envision Theatre since its inception, and has a rich background in music, stage and film. Nathan has performed as an actor, singer, dancer, pianist, choreographer, and music director in high school, with the University of Pennsylvania’s Mask & Wig and Penn Players ensembles, and more recently with Black Box Studios and Envision Theater. He’s directed, created and staged multiple shows and events at schools and colleges in Philadelphia, Boston, and Bergen County. His on-stage credits include, “Kazablan”, “Cabaret”, Circle Mirror Transformation”, “Working” and his one foray into Shakespeare, “Two Gentlemen of Verona.” Among his other credits are "Aladdin", “To Live Another Summer, To Pass Another Winter”, “Annie”, “Milk and Honey”, “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, and numerous original theatre workshops. His favorite Shakespeare play is “King Lear” and favorite character, the Fool.
Mackenzie Newbury is a professional actress, director, choreographer and dance teacher based in Philadelphia! Born and raised in Central PA, she headed to her first big city and earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Musical Theatre at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. She worked frequently in professional theatre before transitioning to New York City and eventually landing in Philadelphia. She teaches tap, jazz, and musical theatre dance at many studios and for competition teams and directs and choreographs at various schools and theatres, with experience working with students from age three through adulthood. Due to working frequently as a performer herself, she is able to guide students in auditions and in a pre-professional path, while also excelling at giving younger students material which challenges them just enough in rehearsals and boosts their confidence and skill level so that they appear confident onstage and visually appealing to an audience. She feels blessed to have so many opportunities in the world of Performing Arts!
Ryan is a proud graduate of North Carolina School of the Arts BFA Drama program and the Pig Iron School for Devised Performance MFA program. He grew up in North Carolina but has spent the past 10 years in New York City and Philadelphia. He is an actor, devisor, musician, and teaching artist. All of his work is inspired and led by his passion for clowning, humor, and creative spaces created through play. He has performed around the country on stages in theaters, schools, prisons, shelters, and streets around the world.
Julia VanderVeen is an actor, comedian, and educator who has traveled much of the world performing. She has performed from Alaska to the Mediterranean and many places in between! Most recently, pre-pandemic, she played Cassius in Julius Caesar on an Italian tour. Julia apprenticed with Master Clown teacher Christopher Bayes at Yale, Juilliard, and at his studio in Brooklyn, The Pandemonium Studio. With Chris, she learned the art of “le jeu” or “play," which is something she brings to all of her work and her teaching. In 2019, Julia co wrote, produced and starred in her one woman show, My Grandmother’s
Eyepatch, that she performed at The Tank NYC, and which was received with a rave review at the Hartford Fringe Festival in Hartford, Connecticut. She’s certain she would have gotten more reviews, if not rave, if only there had been more reviewers.
Leah Gottfried is an award-winning director, writer, producer and actor, and founder of the production company Dignity Entertainment. Leah graduated with a Film Studies degree from Yeshiva University where she studied drama, screenwriting and TV writing as well as cinematography at NYU. Leah also studied at The Actors Circle in Los Angeles and has taught acting for theater and film for over 10 years.
Elisheva Hirsch is a junior at Yeshiva University who has been involved in theater since she was young. Her experiences acting and directing in schools and performing arts camps such as Camp Maor, as well as working as a light and sound technician at Nutley Little Theatre, have made her passionate about theater’s power to build empathy and connect people. She currently serves as President of the Stern College Dramatics Society, where she produces their productions and runs theater events. Her most recent role was Mr. Roeder in SCDS’s production of Radium Girls. Elisheva also interns at New Perspectives Theatre Company, where she is Assistant to the Directors at the Women’s Work Full Length Play Lab and is a writer and editor for the On Her Shoulders Database of Women Playwrights. She previously interned at the Untitled Theater Company #61. On her podcast, “The Play’s the Thing”, Elisheva and her co-host explore Hamlet with various theater professionals. Elisheva credits her two years of co-directing her high school’s Envision Shakespeare team for inspiring her love of directing, so she is incredibly excited to join the Envision Theater staff to help create formative theatrical experiences for the next generation.
Driven by a passion to create, Shay studies Fine Art and English at Mason Gross School of the Arts. They implement narrative and symbolism in their work, anthropomorphize inanimate objects and landscapes, and are fascinated by the human condition. In high school, they participated in Envision Shakespeare, starring as Brutus in Julius Caesar and Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, and directing a rendition of A Midsummer Night's Dream. When they are not listening to metal, playing guitar, making cosplays or working out, they can be found sword fighting in the Rutgers Chabad House.