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Posted: Saturday, February 05, 2011


Lupo's acting class business thrives for decade in spite of the economy By Laurie Gordon

SPARTA — Erika Lupo has had some decade. Despite a sour economy and doubts about small businesses making it, not only has Lupo succeeded, but she's taken center stage. What started as a whim and a prayer ten years ago is now a highly popular acting and movie studio with locations in Sparta and Ridgewood in NJ and Doylestown, PA.

Acting-a-Part has grown to now offer classes for ages four through adult and has presented hundreds of performances. Lupo has built a staff and children and adults return year after year to be part of her classes. Lupo's philosophy for Acting-A-Part is:"Bridging the gap from school play to Broadway."

"Whether the purpose of a student is to turn professional or simply the enjoyment of stage or film making, the exposure we aim to provide is to bring out self confidence an theatrical skills," she said. "It's been a great ten years, and I'm thrilled at how the business has grown."

Not only has Lupo's business grown, but so has her reputation. Starting in September, Acting-A-Part is partnering with Broadway producer Jed Bernstein and the Historic Bucks County Playhouse. Bernstein has produced such Tony Award hits as "Driving Miss Daisy" and "Hair and Passing Strange." The Bucks County Playhouse has played to such stars as Helen Hayes, Robert Redford, Grace Kelly and Dick Van Dyke.

Two Little Actor's Summer Camps ran last week. "The camp (which is for children age 4 to 8) has been so popular in years past that this year we decided to do two instead of one," Lupo said. Little Actor's productions of "Wizard of Oz" and "Little Mermaid" were filled to capacity. The camps were held for several hours each day and culminated with an actual show — complete with full costumes, songs, lines and choreography — at the end of the week. "It's really impressive how quickly they roll along and how much they teach the children in such a short time," said Karyn Carter who's daughter, Julia St. Clair, of Newton, has participated in two camps.

Lupo's Assistant Director and Acting Teacher, Kristin Jackson, was in charge of the Little Actor's Little Mermaid Class. With a BA in Theater and a CE in Early Education, her patience and encouragement brings out the best in her campers. "I am so proud of the work they did this week and of everyone's effort," she said at the close of the show.

"I was completely in awe the whole time," said Bambi Bosmann who traveled up from Rockaway to see her niece perform as Ariel, "I can't believe they learned all those dances, songs and lines in one week."

This fall, the Sparta location will feature classes leading up to the performance of Les Miserables for ages nine through adult and both Polar Express and Annie Junior for ages four to nine. There are also film making classes, improv classes and private lessons available. Visit for information and registration.