Kids Night Out: Panel Discussion and Book Signing

Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 6:00pm

The Drama Book Shop is pleased to welcome renowned child acting expert Denise Simon (Parenting in the Spotlight) to host a panel of playwrights and directors to speak to teens and their parents on Thursday, November 30th, 2017 at 6:00pm. The event is free and open to the public. Simon will be joined by playwright Jonathan Marc Sherman, (Women and Wallace) and directors and educators: Matt Lenz (Bway Charlie and Choc Factory, A Christmas Story), Travis Greisler ( Bway Cher, Fully Committed) and Marc Tumminelli (Broadway Workshop). The panel will help introduce kids and their parents to the plethora of plays geared towards young audiences and teach them how to search for suitable content in new plays and productions. Students  will also learn what makes a good audition piece and how to choose material for local or school auditions. The event is suitable for kids ages 11 and up and the evening will include raffles and prizes as well.

A veteran of the industry as an actress, teacher, director, casting director, and personal talent manager, Denise Simon has expertise in coaching performers in the craft not only through private lessons but also through weekly classes, group workshops, summer productions, industry showcases, and college teleseminars. Denise provides private consulting to guide young actors and their parents through the challenges inherent in show business. She works with high school students on their college auditions and guides them through the performing-arts college admission process. As a certified life coach, Denise works with clients of all ages to help them find balance and satisfaction in their lives. Her life- coaching skills give her insight into clients’ needs. For parents of young performers, this means guiding them to be more effective in their roles as advocates for their children. Denise’s training helps her understand that in the process of pursuing an acting career, children can develop their character and abilities in ways that impact them positively throughout their lives. With her assistance, children learn meaningful life lessons that they take with them to whatever careers they choose later on.

Denise is she author of Parenting in the Spotlight: How to raise a child star without screwing them up and is an expert columnist at She is a member of the New York SAG-AFTRA Young Performers Committee, and has led seminars for Actors’ Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA. She has also worked with corporate firms leading acting and improvisational training for their employees. For ten years Denise was an associate with Fox Albert Management, one of the leading talent management companies in New York, where she worked with clients such as Scarlett Johansson, Academy Award winner Mira Sorvino, Lacey Chabert, and Judy Reyes. A graduate of Florida State University with a BFA Degree in Acting, Denise studied acting with renowned teachers including Wynn Handman, Burt Reynolds, and Charles Nelson Reilly.

JONATHAN MARC SHERMAN is a playwright & actor. He was born & raised in New Jersey, graduated from Bennington College, and lives in New York City. His plays include: Clive; Things We Want; Knickerbocker; Evolution; Wonderful Time; Sons & Fathers; Sophistry; Veins & Thumbtacks (the basis for Frank Whaley’s movie The Jimmy Show); Jesus on the Oil Tank; Serendipity & Serenity; and Women & Wallace (which he adapted for PBS-TV's American Playhouse). They have been performed at Malaparte (which he co-founded), The Public Theater, The New Group, Playwrights Horizons, Williamstown Theatre Festival, WPA Theater, Los Angeles Theatre Center, and the Young Playwrights Festival, as well as in England, Australia, Israel, Istanbul, and Japan. Acting: Ivanov (CSC); Clive (The New Group); Sophistry (Playwrights Horizons); Israel Horovitz’s Unexpected Tenderness(WPA) and The Chopin Playoffs (American Jewish Theatre); Marc Spitz’s I Wanna Be Adored, Retail Sluts, and Up For Anything; Oliver! (Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera); and A Joke, Wild Dogs, and The Great Unwashed with Malaparte. Film: Blaze; The Baxter; Quiz Show; The Limbo Room; The Hottest State; Death and the Red Dress; When The Nines Roll Over; Escape Artists; Pigeonholed. TV: Broadway: The American Musical (as E.Y. "Yip" Harburg); My First Swedish Bombshell. He is a member of LAByrinth Theater Company. His hobby is writing about himself in the third person.

MATT LENZ (Director). Broadway: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Hairspray, Catch Me If You Can, The Velocity of Autumn (Associate Director on original productions), Disney's Beauty and the Beast (Resident Director). Off-Broadway: Pageant: The Musical (Drama Desk nomination), The Irish Curse (Soho Playhouse), Idaho! (NYMF), The Great Daisy Theory, Fingers and Toes (NYMF), and Alan Ball’s TheAmazing Adventures of Tense Guy. National Tours: The Sound of Music, A Christmas Story: The Musical, Cheers Live Onstage, Catch Me If you Can, and Hairspray. Lenz also directed productions of Hairspray in South Africa; U.K.; Toronto; Las Vegas; and Germany. Regional: numerous plays and musicals at Paper Mill Playhouse, George Street Playhouse, St. Louis MUNY, Ogunquit Playhouse, Cape Playhouse, North Carolina Theatre, Maltz Jupiter Theater, Zach Theatre, Gulfshore Playhouse, Casa Manana, Gateway Playhouse, Short North Stage, Forestburgh Playhouse, and Stamford Center for the Arts. Lenz is a member of SDC and a teaching artist with the Broadway Dreams Foundation.

MARC TUMMINELLI - In 2007, Marc founded New York’s top training program for young actors - Broadway Workshop – ( as well as the non profit - Project Broadway ( providing scholarship funds and outreach programs for youth performers. Marc adapted the book, music & lyrics as well as directed the developmental workshop productions of the school editions of Zombie Prom for the Samuel French Inc. Flight of the Lawnchair Man, Curtains, All Shook Up Spamalot, The Addams Family and We Will Rock You for Theatrical Rights World Wide and EMMA! for Broadway Licensing/PlayScripts. Directing credits include; The Marvelous Wonderettes, Bring It On, Over the Tavern, I Love My Wife, Pippin, Carrie, Legally Blonde, Xanadu, Once on This Island, A Year with Frog and Toad, Bat Boy, Cabaret, Rent, 13: The Musical, Annie, and Disney Theatricals pilot production of The Little Mermaid Jr. and the pilot production of The Secret Garden: Spring Version.  Marc is considered one of the top youth acting coaches in New York. Over 60 of his students have appeared on Broadway in shows including: Dear Evan Hansen, School of Rock,Anastasia, Fun Home, Annie, Matilda, Kinky Boots, Newsies, and Billy Elliot.

As an actor, Marc has appeared as “Eugene” in Brighton Beach Memoirs, Biloxi Bluesand Broadway Bound at theaters across the US. Other regional and New York credits include; GYPSY staring Patti LuPone, directed by Lonny Price, Santaland Dairies, The House of Nunzio, Spelling Bee, The Drowsy Chaperone, Dames at Sea, Lost In Yonkers, Into The Woods, Torch Song Trilogy, Oklahoma!, Oliver!, Shenandoah, The Dresser, Big River, and Bring Back Birdie. Film/TV credits include: The Sopranos and A Beautiful Mind directed by Ron Howard.  Marc is a member of Actors Equity Association and the Stage Directors & Choreographers Society

TRAVIS GREISLER (Director) began his career at the age of nine appearing on Broadway in The Who’s Tommy, Radio City’s Xmas Spectacular and the National Tours of Les Miz and Big. He recently directed the Broadway concert of Tales of the City (score by the Scissor Sisters) and was the assistant director, alongside Pitch Perfect’s Jason Moore, on last season’s Broadway production of Fully Committed starring Jesse Tyler Ferguson. As an associate/assistant director: the Broadway bound The Cher Show, Tales of the City (ACT), The Book of Mormon (original workshop), Yeast Nation (NYFringe). Other directing credits: writer, director and creator of The Orion Experience (XLNightclub), The Rocky Horror Show (Yale), Cabaret (Fordham), The Travels (NYMF), TheatreWorks USA tours of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and Charlotte’s Web, Into the Woods (Northwestern). He is the co-creator of the teaching organization Other Side of the Table and has taught at NYFA, Cap21, Northwestern, Princeton, ACT, and Yale. Proud Northwestern grad. Visit for more info. 

Event date: 

Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Event address: 

The Drama Book Shop
250 W 40th St
New York, NY 10018
Parenting in the Spotlight: How to Raise a Child Star Without Screwing Them Up Cover Image
ISBN: 9781945586033
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Thomas Noble Books - June 7th, 2017