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College Prep


College Prep2 

Paper Mill Prep prepares high school seniors and juniors for their college career through informational seminars, assessment workshops, and private audition coaching. We know that the college audition and application process can be a daunting prospect, so we hope to provide you with guidance and peace of mind about choosing the college, degree program, and audition material that will best fulfill your needs.

Commercial college audition coaching businesses exist in NYC with huge packaged price tags and costly commutes. They are often staffed by Broadway performers who have compelling acting credits, but do not have the depth of teaching experience that our faculty have. As a community non-profit arts organization, Paper Mill’s goal is to provide a New Jersey based option for serious students with our trusted faculty, and a pricing structure that allows you to opt in for only those events of interest to you. As a producing partner for Broadway and the birthplace of many notable performers' careers, the faculty at Paper Mill Playhouse knows the demands of the industry, and which colleges will best prepare you for a professional career.

College Prep Schedule

Below are the dates for our Seminars, and at the bottom of the page you will find registration forms available for download once seminar dates are posted:




September 17th & 24th

12:00 - 3:00 pm

College Discovery Seminar Black Box Theatre at Paper Mill Playhouse

College Discovery Seminar

Designed for both students and parents, our College Discovery Seminar is a series of informational sessions and open forum discussion with the Paper Mill Prep faculty. It is an opportunity to gather information about various college theatre programs, the types of degrees available and the ever changing and growing audition requirements and timeline.

Private Coaching

Following the group discovery seminar, students desiring individual attention may elect to continue to work with one of our Paper Mill Prep coaches to discuss your hopes for college, and to select and prepare the best audition material to showcase your unique gift. The Paper Mill Prep faculty – Stephen Agosto, John Armstrong and Sara Louise Lazarus – have taught for Paper Mill for many years, have extensive experience coaching young artists, and they possess a broad knowledge about the current college landscape. Outside of their scheduled coaching sessions, our faculty remain in regular contact with their students and parents serving as an on-call advisor thorughout the entire auditon season.

Coaching sessions are available to book as a single meeting or in discounted packages of 4 or 8 sessions. Additional services are also available such as custom music arrangments and sheet music, custom audio recordings of your accompaniment, custom video recordings (necessary to submit as a pre-audition requirement at top programs), and updated headshots and resume preparation.

College Alumni Open Forum

At these sessions graduates of a wide variety of notable college theater programs lead an open forum Q&A style discussion with high school students, sharing truthful and helpful insights about the programs they attended. Unlike college admissions reps who's job it is to sell a school to you and your family, at the College Alumni Open Forum you'll have the opportunity to ask your specific questons and get feedback that will enable you to compare programs across various criteria such as faculty, curriculum, performance opportunities, senior showcases, costs, career guidance, study abroad options and campus life.

Achieving Alumni!

Alumni of Paper Mill Prep have had outstanding outcomes and have great things to say about their coaching experience! Both students and their partents agree....Paper Mill Prep is worth the investment, and at rates much lower than commerical competators in NYC, enroliling in Paper MIll Prep is a no-brainer!

Paper Mill Prep Alumni have been admitted into top undergraduate college theater programs to study musical theater, acting and directing.

  • American University
  • Boston Conservatory of the Arts
  • Boston University
  • Coastal Carolina University
  • Elon University
  • Hartt School of Music
  • Indiana University
  • Ithaca College
  • Marymount College
  • Montclair State University
  • Muhlenburg College
  • NYU/Tisch School of the Arts
  • The New School
  • Rider University/Westminster College of the Arts
  • Syracuse University
  • Wagner College

Parents and students have great things to say about Paper Mill Prep!

"Just wanted you to know Emily was accepted to Tisch School of the Arts at NYU for the BFA in Theater with a concentration in directing. John Armstrong was her coach and we thank him for his wonderful help.....READ MORE

 College Prep Faculty

agosto headshot 80-120Stephen Agosto is a graduate of DePaul University (Acting, BFA) and The Neighborhood Playhouse, home of The Meisner Technique. He has directed, choreographed or provided musical staging for such shows as The Drowsy Chaperone (The Blue Hill Troupe), Triangle Logic (Crosshatch Theatre Co.), West Side Story (Westminster), Modotti (Off-Broadway), Methtacular (Cincinnati and NYC Runs), Assassins and The Wild Party (Fordham), Scene and Be Seen (The Neighborhood Playhouse), and more. In 2011, Stephen directed The New York Musical Theatre Festival “Best of Fest” winner, Crazy, Just Like Me. He has directed various concerts and cabarets around the city including three shows for Joe’s Pub at The Public Theatre and Separate: Battle Songs of Youth at Ars Nova.

8xJohn-Armstrong-031-RTJohn Armstong is an actor, director, producer, and instructor with over 10 years of experience in the industry. He began his training as a classical singer in the renowned Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. While at Indiana, John explored his interest in musical theatre and found a true passion for acting. John holds a bachelor's degree in musical theatre and an MFA in acting from Indiana and has worked in all genres of theatre in venues all across the country. His film company Pigasus Pictures, LLC has produced two festival bound short films and shooting for its first feature film, The Good Catholic, will begin in Summer 2015. Currently, John is on faculty at the New York Film Academy where he teaches in a variety performance disciplines, and has been a regular teaching artist at Paper Mill since 2008. John was instrumental in the development of curriculum for musical theatre at Indiana University and Ohio Northern University (where he served as professor of acting and musical theatre for five years).

531275 10151205094538946 1832541516 n80-120Sara Louise Lazarus is currently on the faculty of Circle in the Square Theatre School, where she teaches, directs, and developed their musical theatre curriculum. As one of NY and LA’s foremost musical performance teachers, Sara has coached actors appearing in the Broadway and National tours of ONCE, BOOK OF MORMON, WICKED,THE PRODUCERS, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS, LES MISERABLES, BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY and on TV’s SMASH and GLEE. She counts among her former students Stefani Germanotta (Lady Gaga!) Sara has a certificate in acting from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and is a graduate of Northwestern University. In her former life, Sara played leading roles on and off Broadway and in National tours of FOLLIES, NO, NO NANETTE, and FIDDLER…

Meg Web 80-120Meg Zervoulis(Accompanist) Off-Broadway: Chuckleball at the Snapple Theatre. Regional: Oliver at Paper Mill Playhouse, Rated P...for Parenthood at SOPAC (Midtown DirectRep). Workshops/Concerts: Kooman and Dimond’s Dani Girl in the ASCAP/Disney Workshop with Stephen Schwartz. Meg has provided Musical direction for many special events including collaboration with Ms. Lauryn Hill, Max Weinberg, Christiane Noll and more. Meg also arranges and accompanies many Paper Mill special events including Master Classes and Benefit Galas. As a Musical director/Pianist, ROCK THE AUDITION with Sheri Sanders. Film: New Brooklyn and Blaming George Romero. Current Residencies: Paper Mill Playhouse, Midtown Direct Repertory Company and the NJPAC. Previous: Pittsburgh CLO, Pittsburgh Ballet, Carnegie Mellon University, Wrecking Crew Music, and Mile Square Theatre. Meg is also a Musical Director and Adjunct Keyboard Professor at Montclair State University. Education: Carnegie Mellon University - B.F.A. University Honors in piano performance and conducting. Meg was selected internationally as one of 20 musical directors for the inaugural Goodspeed Opera House Musical Direction Intensive. She is a member of Local 802 AFM NYC.

If you have any questions about our program, don't hesitate to contact Jason Gillis, Education Program Manager, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or by calling 973.315.1668



 College Prep Staff

Jason Gillis, Program Coordinator
Lisa Cooney, Director of Education