Meet Our Teachers!rockstar

Ashley Bowen Mondragon
STUDIO OWNER | VOICE | PIANO | MUSICAL THEATRE | WOODWINDS
 
 ashley mondragon

Ashley, founder of and vocal coach/instructor at Rockstar! Studios, has been playing and performing music for over 30 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 19 years creating a niche with Musical Theater performers as well as Rock, Pop and Classical Singers both on a professional and recreational level!

Ashley was previously the Musical Director for the JP Stevens Theatre Company for 19 years, as well as the MD for the Academy of Performing Arts in Scotch Plains and numerous studio and community theatre productions. Ashley specializes in Vocal Coaching, Instruction and Health 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 and performers, they also build confidence, social and public speaking skills, as well as decreasing performance anxiety and nervousness for all levels of skill and interest for the precollege, college and professional singer! She has a unique and out-of-the-box way of teaching her students, regardless of their experience level. 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
GUITAR | BASS | PIANO | MUSIC THEORY | COMPOSITION | ROCK BAND | COLLEGE PREP
David

David received his bachelor's degree from Kean University in Classical Guitar Performance and has been teaching Guitar, Bass, Piano and Music Theory/Composition for over 20 years. He has been playing music since he was 9 years old and 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 numerous other bands as well as experience playing acoustic, & electric guitar, ukulele, banjo and mandolin in Musical Theatre Productions. 

Mariana Santiago-Jimenez
VOICE | PIANO 

Mariana
 
 
Mariana is a mezzo-soprano and is a graduate of Kean University, with a B.A. in Music with a concentration in Vocal Studies. Furthering her education Mariana has been studying Music Therapy for 2 years at Montclair University. Music has always been a part of her life and she has been singing for over 20 years. Mariana has been teaching Voice, Piano, and Music Theory for over 10 years. During Mariana’s time at Kean University she participated in the Opera Workshop program as well was a featured soloist for Kean University’s Concert Choir and Choral which performed Mozart’s Requiem in 2010, and 2012. In 2010 Mariana studied abroad with the “Italian Operatic Experience” in Montecatini Terme, Italy. In 2015 she was a featured as a Young Artist for the choral group Ars Musica.  Mariana has been in several competitions such as NATS in 2008 (National Association of Teacher of Singing) placing in 2nd and in the National Classical Singer Competition making it to the quarter finals in 2013.

Mariana was the lead singer of a symphonic heavy metal band called “Infinitus Mortus” for over 5 years. Now she continues to sing and grow her singing career with concerts as well as working currently as an alto section leader and soloist at Calvary Episcopal Church in Summit, N.J.  Mariana has incorporated what she has learned and continues to learn as a Vocalist and Musician and has culminated it into her style of teaching.

Amanda Senatore
DRUMS | PERCUSSION 

Amanda Senatore is a motivated musician who  has had a passion for playing the drums for 7 years. She loves spending her time on stage and has performed in big cities such as Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Cleveland, Wildwood, and stages such as The Exit/In, The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, The Spyglass Ridge Winery, and many others. She has also played alongside artists such as Bumblefoot, Billy Sheehan, Angus Clark, and has opened for Winger, Trixter, and Eric Martin. Amanda also has performed in several jazz concerts, as well as musical theatre shows in the pit ensemble. She also has a background in marching band, as she has been the drum captain at her high school for 2 consecutive years. Not only that, but she is the star drummer in her all girl rock band, Radium, where they put on amazing performances and actively participate in a variety of charitable events. Amanda is very excited to join the Rockstar! Family and is looking forward to teaching students of all ages how to rock!

 

Erin Rooney
PIANO | FLUTE | UKULELE

Photo Coming Soon!

Bio Coming Soon!!

 

Aiden Horne
GUITAR | BASS | REPAIRS   

Bio Coming Soon!!

Darlene Rich
ACTING | YOGA | COLLEGE PREP

Darlene

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’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 was introduced to yoga in 1974 in Manhattan while attending the Academy of Dramatic Arts. Yoga has continued to be a integral part of her life moving from be a student of yoga to a teacher in 2004 with her 200 hour YTT. She has continued to become certified in many styles and practices including, Yin Yoga, Masala Restorative Yoga, Yoga for Trauma and Addiction and is currently completing her Kundalini Certfication. She has studied with Shiva Rae, Angela Farmer and Emily Conrad as well as many other wonderful instructors throughout the years. Darlene is thrilled to be leading the Acting Program at Rockstar! Studios, bringing to the private sector her teaching and directing skills of theatre, musical theatre, improvisational theatre, Shakespeare studies and yoga for the performer that she honed for the past 25 years at JP Stevens High School.

 

Samantha Tirone
DANCE 
|  CHOREOGRAPHY

Samantha

Sam is an MSU Theatre Studies and Dance graduate. Sam has retired from 12 years of Competitive Dance and 20 years of performing on stage. She has choreographed over a dozen shows for multiple community theatre companies throughout the state including Westfield Players, EVP, Main Street, JP Stevens High School and most recently Rockstar! Studios. She has choreographed for 8 years at WHS. Sam has also choreographed award winning routines in the world of Competitive Dance. Additionally she has worked with MAMS in Matawan and choreographed for their middle school productions as well as their summer theatre workshop program.

Theresa Orth
DANCE | YOGA

Theresa

Theresa began dancing at the age of 2 and was invited to join a competition team at age 4. She trained in all genres of dance from Central Jersey Dance & Gymnastics including being on the Central Jersey Dance Company from age 2 to 18. She was also a member of the All Star Team, Jersey Girls Dance Team from age 11-18 and was co-captain for the 2012-2013 season. In 2013, Theresa won first place and overall high score for her ballet solo. She also trained in ballet at New Jersey Ballet throughout most of her college years. Theresa loves teaching ballet to her students because it is the foundation of dance and it especially helps with their technique in other genres of dance. It is a joy to see the smiles on their faces after accomplishing something they have worked toward on the dance floor. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Deaf Studies from The College of New Jersey. She hopes of going to graduate school for her Doctorate of Audiology Degree in 2019.

 

Phillip Soloman
DANCE | MUSICAL THEATRE | CHOREOGRAPHY

Born in Brooklyn, NY, Phillip Solomon has had dancing and performing ingrained in him from a very young age. The son of two musicians, Phillip has utilized his natural talent and ability to devote himself to his craft and the art of performance, choreographing for studios and colleges throughout the tri-state area. As a singer, dancer, and actor, Phil has performed in productions of RENT, In the Heights, The Wild Party, and Altar Boyz, in addition to being featured on the TODAY show and National campaigns on MTV.  Dedicated to helping young performers reach their full potential, he has been recognized on both the regional and national level for his choreography in the genres of hip hop, street jazz, and musical theatre.

 

Janine Weekely
DANCE 

Janine

Janine has been dancing since the age of three and has trained in tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, and hip hop.

She is a former teacher and student of Kathleen Academy of Dance in Hillsborough, NJ.She spent 6 years choreographing routines for annual dance recitals, developed summer workshops, mentored students in pre-professional tap classes and initiated the hip-hop program.

She is a “Kids on Tap” company alumna and has performed in many shows and venues throughout New York City, New Jersey, Chicago, Pennsylvania, Washington DC and as far as Switzerland.  She has studied with tap masters such as Jason Samuels Smith, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Gregory Hines, The Nicholas Brothers, & Savion Glover.  She attended Monmouth University and studied Criminal Justice and Spanish.

In Janine’s life other than dancing, she owns her own DJ business! Janine enjoys discovering new music and creating fun and exciting routines for her students.  She is proud to be a teacher at Rockstar Studios and hopes her passion and creativity will inspire other dancers to pursue their dreams.

 

Sabrina Irvolino
DANCE | CHOREOGRAPHY

A New Jersey native, Sabrina, began dancing at the age of 2 and has been performing in various settings for the past 19 years. Whether it be at a recital, at a competition, or a workshop, she brings her joy in everything she does. Growing up, she has had the opportunity to attend numerous dance workshops and learn from artists such as Janelle Ginestra, Lane Napper, and Rosero McCoy, to name a few. Her favorite styles of dance are hip-hop and contemporary! Along with dance, she also has been a cheerleader for many years.

As a competitive varsity cheerleader, she has won overall first place solo awards in the dance categories. She was also a cheerleading coach for 7 years. Along with choreographing halftime dances, she helped her team focus on strength conditioning and helped to build their confidence. To her, it is very rewarding seeing her students' hard work pay off. Along with her bachelor’s degree in psychology, she also pursued her dance education at Stockton University and continued cheerleading at the college level. Sabrina is currently a student at Montclair State University pursuing her master’s degree in clinical psychology. She is taking her experience to Rockstar! Studios and loves bringing her own style to her students! 

 

Guest Teaching Artists

Laura Bell Bundy
ACTING | MUSICAL THEATRE
 

Laura Bell Bundy is an actress, a producer, a director and a mother. At the age of 9 years old, Laura Bell had her stage debut at Radio City Music Hall.  Since then she has originated the stage roles of Tina in Ruthless (Outer Critics/ Drama Desk Nominations), Amber in Broadway’s Hairspray, Elle Woods in Legally Blonde The Musical (Tony Nomination), played Glinda in Wicked and recently received an Ovation nomination for her role of Charity in Reprise 2.0’s ‘Sweet Charity.’  

She’s appeared in over 100 hundred episodes of Television including roles on Perfect Harmony, Good Behavior, American Gods, How I Met Your Mother,  The Guest Book, Angie Tribeca, Idiotsitter, Hart of Dixie, Fuller House, Documentary Now, AJ & The Queen, and Anger Management, and over a dozen television pilots that were not picked up!  Films include Dream Girls, Jumanji, Life With Mikey, Adventures of Huck Finn, After The Reality, and the award winning Beauty Mark among others. 

"LBB” has toured in concert worldwide since 2010.  She's penned hundreds of songs as an EMI/Sony songwriter (2009-2016) including her Universal Records album, Achin’ & Shakin’ which debuted on Billboard’s Top 5 Country Music Chart, and has a gold record in Norway.  She was nominated for CMT Breakout Video for Giddy On Up. Her Big Machine album “Another Piece Of Me” received rave reviews in 2015 with all four music videos written, directed, & produced by Bundy.   Her music has been featured in several video games including Just Dance 3, Just Dance Now, and Guitar Hero. 

LBBTV is Bundy’s production company founded to forge her own creative path, launching successful sketch comedy web series Cooter County & Skits-O-Frenic with millions of views on Youtube including her comedy song “You Can’t Pray The Gay Away.”  She has directed over 30 sketches and music videos.   Laura Bell developed “Mashville” for Netflix as creator, composer and lyricist. She is currently developing ‘Girl Time’ — a women’s history sketch comedy show for Free Form as creator, writer and executive producer.

LBB is the founder of Double Standards, a non-profit that supports the equal treatment of women.  

 

Taylor Lauderman
ACTING | MUSICAL THEATRE

 

Taylor Louderman made her Broadway debut originating the role of Campbell Davis in BRING IT ON: The Musical by Lin Manuel Miranda, Tom Kitt, and Amanda Green. She went on to play Lauren in KINKY BOOTS on Broadway, and most recently originated the role of Regina George in Tina Fey's MEAN GIRLS on Broadway for which she received a 2018 Tony Nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. She currently plays 'Tami' on NBC's KENAN alongside Kenan Thompson. Other television credits: THE GOOD FIGHT (CBS), SUNNY DAY (NickJr), EVIL (CBS), PETER PAN LIVE (NBC), and HIGH MAINTENANCE (HBO). Taylor wrote a teen musical with pals Hannah Kloepfer and Nat Zegree which premiered in 2019 at Ozark Actors Theatre in Rolla, Missouri. She also founded WRITE OUT LOUD: a songwriting competition for young, new Musical Theatre writers. Taylor volunteers at Ozark Actors Theatre in Rolla, MO where she participated in her first professional show at the age of ten.

 

Emily Phillips
DANCE | MUSICAL THEATRE

 

Kirk Geritano
ACTING | IMPROV | MUSICAL THEATRE
 
 

Kirk Geritano is a professional actor and teaching artist. A NJ native, Kirk began performing on stages at the tender age of six years old, getting his start with Michael Taubenslag and Taubenslag productions. After continuing his theatrical and vocal studies under Ms. Rich and Ashley at JP Stevens High School and being a Rockstar Alumni, he chose to make theater his living and obtained his BFA in Musical Theatre from Montclair State University. Since graduating college and entering the professional arena, he has been part of several National and regional touring shows for young audiences with George Street Playhouse and ArtsPower. He then established a working relationship with the National Yiddish Theater in NYC. This led to him being an original cast member in their Drama desk-winning Off-Broadway Yiddish version of Fiddler on the Roof, directed by Joel Grey, as well as many live and virtual cabarets and staged readings. As a teaching artist, Kirk has worked across NJ with children of all ages at places such as Taubenslag Theater Camp, AMARD&V, and various virtual workshops for schools. Kirk believes fiercely in the power of theater to change lives, and relishes every opportunity to bring the magic of theater into the lives of kids and adults everywhere!

 

Matthew Petrucelli
ACTING | IMPROV
Matthew

Matthew Petrucelli is a New Jersey native actor and educator. He received his BFA in acting from Montclair State University, and is currently working towards his MFA in acting at Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts.He holds his New Jersey Teaching Certification as a Teacher of Theater for grades K- 12. He taught and helped build the drama curriculum at BRICK Peshine Academy in Newark, NJ. Matthew also spent a year training at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London where he received extensive classical training.

As an actor, Matthew has performed in various productions in the US and Europe ranging from musicals, plays, and devised original works. Matthew was seen in J.M. Meyer’s Bride of the Gulf at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure both in London on the Globe Stage, and in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Matthew has been in various musicals such as Jesus Christ Superstar, and Annie.

 

Matthew is a graduate of JP Stevens High School, and a former student of Rockstar! Studios, where he was taught and mentored under Darlene Rich and Ashley Bowen. He is excited to work alongside such talented faculty, and to be part of the Rockstar! team.