Gateway to the Arts Instructors
Originally from Bordentown, NJ, Kelly received the Gwen Verdon Scholarship to attend the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) where he graduated in 1978. Kelly performed on Broadway in the original productions of Les Miserables and CATS. He also toured extensively with both productions. Regionally, Kelly has appeared in over 70 musicals and plays at such theaters as Surflight Theatre, The Media Theatre, Cohoes Music Hall and Bucks County Playhouse to name a few. He is also a concert/cabaret performer receiving awards for his musical performances. Kelly has taught musical theatre workshops for many regional theatres as well as a program at Cygnus Creative Arts Centre in Egg Harbor Township. He also runs an independent casting company. Kelly is on the Board of Directors of the Theatre Collaborative of South Jersey and a producer along with Keith Cooper at KCKB Productions, LLC.
Claire Newell Collins:
Claire has been an Arts Education Instructor and Music teacher since 1985. She has taught as Musical Director for no less than six highs schools of the Camden Diocese, and currently is the Music Department Chair at Holy Spirit High School in Absecon, NJ. Claire is also Owner and manager of Celebrations; a wedding planning and services company. While at Holy Spirit Claire has been responsible for Budget Preparation and initiated and administered the Spirit of Music Fund, raising over $125,000 for the Holy Spirit Music dept. She specializes in music theory and college preparation as well as advanced and honors programs for both band and choir.
Michele Newell Hill:
A music educator for over 17 years, Michele Hill is an accomplished, award winning music teacher for ages 0 to 7 years old. Children learned to read and write music by the time they finish the program, all the while learning about music through process, not performance.
This Somers Point native teaches fifth and sixth grade English at Jordan Road School in Somers Point, where he has directed their annual school musical for the past fourteen years. Additionally, he is an adjunct at Atlantic Cape Community College and Stockton University. As an advocate for arts in education, Phil has participated in and facilitated teacher professional development sessions across the state on arts-infused instructional strategies. Getting bitten by the theater bug after starring as the dog in an elementary school production Peter Pan, Phil has directed, designed, starred in, and held just about every technical position in many educational, regional and community productions. BS: Arts Administration/Technical Theater/MSED: Education - Wagner College (Staten Island, NY)
Chelsey Jean Smith:
Chelsey Jean Smith is a Cape May County native and graduated from Shenandoah Conservatory with her BFA in Musical Theatre in 2013. She has since performed professionally, primarily in the Greater Philly area, on stages such as the Walnut Street Theatre, Bristol Riverside Theatre, the Eagle Theatre, and here at the Gateway Playhouse. Chelsey has an affinity for performing for and working with children; in 2014, she originated the role of ‘Cinderella’ in the world-premiere of Cinderella: The Fairy Godmother’s Tale, presented at the New York Children’s Theatre Festival in NYC. She is a proud member of the Shaken Not Stirred Players and currently lives just outside of Philly in Haddon Township, NJ, where she teaches Pilates and is pursuing a career in sustainability in education.