Newton Youth Players Staff

Melissa Bernstein Melissa Bernstein
Executive Director
Melissa Bernstein holds a BA in Theatre from SUNY-Binghamton, an MFA in Playwriting/Theatre Education from Emerson College and a Ph.D. in Theatre from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She founded the Newton Youth Players in 2006 and since then has directed over forty productions involving close to one thousand youth actors. She is the Artistic Director of The Newton Theatre Company (NTC), a new Boston area theatre company housed at the Cultural Center in Newton City Hall. Melissa directs the Tuesday and Thursday NYP shows, as well as the summer production. Her favorite part of NYP is hearing her young casts sing the scores to all the musicals she loved as a child.

Judi Pava Judi Pava
Director - Wednesday Shows
Judi Pava has directed over 35 theatre and musical theatre productions in both private and public school settings, including Brown Middle School and Newton South High School. She has held teaching and directing positions in New York City and in the greater Boston area. As an actor, she has worked for over 35 years in theatre, television and film and is proud to be a long-time member of Screen Actors Guild/American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Actors' Equity Association.

Margaret Remensnyder Margaret Remensnyder
Scenery Designer
Margaret Remensnyder earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Master of Fine Arts degree in graphic design from Boston University School for the Arts. She has many years of experience teaching art to children in a variety of settings from after school programs, to art centers, schools and museums. She loves working with Newton Youth Players as set designer because it's so much fun to make two and three dimensional set pieces for the plays with the kids! In addition to working with Newton Youth Players she also currently teaches in the family programs at The Institute of Contemporary Art. She is a painter who works in watercolor and gouache.

Neil Miller Neil Miller
Music Director
Neil Miller received a Bachelor of Science degree from MIT, where he followed a double major in music and electrical engineering. After college, he spent the next twelve years recording with several bands, touring the Eastern US and Canada. He now has a dual career as musician and electrical engineer. He has performed with numerous national artists including the band Boston, Lesley Gore, Tiny Tim, Bo Diddley and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He currently appears regularly at local venues. For the last seven years, he has provided the live musical accompaniment for Newton Youth Players productions. His greatest pleasure there is seeing young performers learn how much fun it is to entertain an audience.

Anne Zasloff Anne Zasloff
Rehearsal Accompanist
Anne Zasloff has worked with children in public and private elementary schools for 16 years as a literacy specialist and speech-language pathologist. She studied classical piano through twelfth grade and performed in musicals through 8th grade, including You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown as Lucy and Oliver! as Nancy. She currently satisfies her need for musical expression by singing alto with the Metropolitan Chorale and playing and teaching the lyrical melodies to the budding performers in the Newton Youth Players. She enjoys the catchy melodies that continually play in her head each season, and she gets a vicarious thrill watching the shows come together, as the players inhabit their roles and become a magical ensemble.

Synthia Sanger Cynthia Sanger
Accompanist – Wednesday Shows
Cynthia Sanger is thrilled to be involved with the Newton Youth Players. She has taught music and worked as a collaborative pianist in the Boston area and in her native Midwest. Cynthia received her B.S. in Speech-Language Pathology from Northwestern University and her M.M. in Piano Performance from the Longy School of Music. Cynthia is currently on the early childhood and piano faculties at the Brookline Music School. She enjoys helping the young actors and actresses involved in the Newton Youth Players learn their musical parts and find their voices!