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Three West Orange Students Selected for Paper Mill Playhouse Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory


West Orange, NJ -- Back in early February 2020, before we were all introduced to things like PPE and droplets, 350+ young performers traveled to Montclair State University with the hopes of securing one of the distinguished spots in the highly competitive Paper Mill Playhouse Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory. For three West Orange students, their acceptance into the program would prove to provide an experience like no other.


In early March, West Orange High School Sophomores Riley Hahn and Madison Gough as well as Edison Middle School 6th grader Kyan Bashkoff were three of 68 students from across New Jersey and as far away as California, Colorado and Tennessee who received their acceptances to the program.


In mid March, COVID swept the globe shutting down schools, businesses, and the hopes of any in-person opportunity for these aspiring performers.


Paper Mill Playhouse quickly transitioned the Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory to an online platform enabling Riley, Madison, Kyan and the rest of the students to embark on a rigorous six-week program of online courses designed to enhance performance skills while instilling the technique, discipline, and professionalism needed to excel in the performing arts.


For Riley, Madison, and Kyan, participating in the conservatory puts them on the same stage as notable alumni including Academy Award & Golden Globe winner Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married, Les Misérables), Tony Award winners Laura Benanti (Gypsy) and Nikki M. James (The Book of Mormon), Tony nominee Rob McClure (Chaplin), and many more.


This unprecedented Summer experience culminates in the world premiere of the musical film montage, NEW VOICES 2020: PURE IMAGINATION on Tuesday, September 22 at 7PM on the Paper Mill Playhouse Facebook and YouTube channels. All are welcome to join in celebrating the talent, creativity, and perseverance of this Company!