Meet Our Faculty

Ashley B. Mondragon
ashley mondragon

rockstarAshley, founder and teacher of Rockstar! Studios, has been playing and performing music for over 25 years. She earned her BA in Music from the Conservatory of Music from Kean University focusing on classical voice. Her primary instrument, in the beginning of her career, was saxophone, specializing in Jazz Improvisation.

Ashley has been teaching voice for over 12 years creating a niche with Musical Theater performers and singers as well as all vocal styles! She has been teaching at JP Stevens HS in Edison, NJ for their award winning Theatre Department as Musical Director and Pit Conductor. She has a unique and out-of-the-box way of teaching her students, regardless of their experience level.

Ashley specializes in Vocal Coaching and all of her vocal students are taught with the same classical technique focusing on posture, breathing, articulation, vowel placement and diaphragmatic support. Her students not only become well trained singers, they also build confidence, social and public speaking skills, as well as decreasing performance anxiety and nervousness.

Ashley brings a new edge to all of her lessons and individualizes each one to help bring out the Rockstar! in all of them!

David Mondragon
David Mondragon

David has been playing music since he was 9 years old. He originally started on the clarinet and piano, then fell in love with the guitar at age 11. Since his teen years, David has been a member of the hard rock/heavy metal band E. Town Concrete, touring the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Japan. The band's music videos were featured on MTV2's Headbanger's Ball, several Playstation video games, and on a Budweiser commercial for the 2004 U.S. Olympic team.

David is also the newest member of long time friends and veteran rockers, 40 Below Summer, taking the country by storm with continuing tour dates. Additionally David performs with The Justin Lerner Band and The Rebel Noise Group as well as corporate and private events.

David received his bachelor's degree from Kean University in Classical Guitar Performance. He has been teaching Guitar, Bass, Piano and Music Theory/Composition for over 15 years.

Darlene Rich

Darlene Rich is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, NYC, Thomas Edison State College, and The College of New Jersey. She began her yoga practice as a part of the acting training (movement for the performer) while attending AADA; continuing both yoga and acting studies through formal degrees and certification programs. Her philosophy follows the age old adage- when you teach something you then, and only then, begin to master it.

Darlene holds degrees in Literature, Theatre, and Masters in the Art: Teaching Secondary English as well as a Teaching Certification for K-8, Theatre and Speech and Communication. Darlene also holds three certifications in yoga including her extensive study with (locally) Bobbie Ellis and (internationally) with Shiva Rae and Angela Farmer. She has been teaching yoga for eleven years.

Darlene’s acting/performing credits - gratefully too many to list- includes Off-Broadway world premiere’s including Visions of Kerouac at the Lion Theatre, NYC, and The Hunting Scenes of Lower Bavaria at the Vandam Theatre NYC. Darlene was a resident member of the Shelter West Company under the Artistic Director and mentor, Judith Joseph.

While working as a professional actress Darlene continued her studies at HB Studios with Frances Chaney, Aaron Frankel. Austin Pendelton and William (Bill) Hickey. She studied voice with James Gassett and continues her vocal training with Ashley Mondragon. She also studied dialects with David Christopher.

Darlene is thrilled to be leading the Acting Program at Rockstar! Music and Performing Arts Studios, bringing to the private sector her teaching and directing skills of theatre, musical theatre, improvisational theatre and yoga for the performer that she has honed at JP Stevens High School for the past 20 years.

Amanda Dunsdon
amanda dunsdon

Amanda Dunsdon is a 2016 graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University majoring in Musical Theater with a Dance minor. She recently made her New York debut at the Flea Theater in "Inferno" with Breaking Though the Box theater company. She has been dancing for over 15 years and has been teaching dance for 4 years.

Amanda moved to the New Jersey area from Maryland after graduation and is excited to branch out and build a successful career in New Jersey.

Katrina Wittenbauer
katrina wittenbauer

Katrina Wittenbauer is a senior at JP Stevens High School. She has taken dance classes for 8 years and has helped teach dance classes for 3 years in all different styles of dance. She was a competitive gymnast for 6 years, giving her an extensive background in acrobatic technique.

Through performing in her high school theater productions, Katrina has continued to train and develop her technique and skill set in dance and performance, and she hopes to pass on all that she has learned and is continuing to learn to her students.

Emily Jeanne Phillips
emily jeanne phillips

Emily Jeanne Phillips graduated Cum Laude from Muhlenberg College with a Bachelor of Arts in Theater and Arts Administration. She has been dancing for over 20 years and is currently a professional singer, dancer, and actor. She recently toured the country on the Broadway National Tour of Elf, The Musical. She was featured on Season 9 of So You Think You Can Dance, where she advanced through to Vegas Week.

Emily has performed in dozens of professional equity regional shows at theaters such as The Fulton Opera House, North Shore Music Theatre, Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, and The Harbor Lights Theatre Company. She is an award winning tap choreographer at national dance competitions such as Starpower, Revolutions, Showstoppers, Kids Artistic Review and more.

Emily has a passion for developing the talents of young, aspiring dance students by offering them challenging and award winning choreography.

dance music acting new jersey

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ROCKSTAR! STUDIOS  |  350 Mountain Avenue  |  Suites 1 & 2  |  Middlesex, New Jersey 08846  |  (732) 667-5636  |
Second Location: 131 N. Washington Ave | Dunellen, NJ 08812