We are ecstatic to be offering this amazing workshop here at STRIVE taught by award winning director, choreographer and musical theater master teacher, Joe Deer!  This is an opportunity of a life time for your child to experience working with, learning and getting feedback from a master musical theater professor!  His credentials, experience and expertise are like no other.  In Session A, Students will participate in group acting and vocal warm-ups and analyze the process of acting through song.  In Session B, students will have the privilege of working on a song that they have prepared one on one with Mr. Deer! *An accompanist will be provided. Parents will be invited in for a showcase followed by a talkback where you will learn more about the performance industry, college and professional opportunities and how you can be involved

July 21st~ Session A 10am-12pm Session B 1-4pm ~

Ages 12 and up $150 a session (special offers available)

Joe Deer is the award-winning director or choreographer of over a hundred-seventy productions in theatres from Off-Broadway to regional, summer stock and university stages. Among his notable productions is the university premiere of PARADE (coached by composer Jason Robert Brown), the regional premiere of ONLY HEAVEN (by Ricky Ian Gordon and Langston Hughes), and critically acclaimed productions for the Human Race Theatre Co. (with whom he is a resident artist) including AVENUE Q, LEND ME A TENOR, BIG RIVER, SEUSSICAL, THE UNDERPANTS and many others. For four seasons Joe was Artistic Director of Struthers Library Theatre, a summer theatre in Warren, PA devoted to mounting new productions of classic musicals and plays. He was also a resident director/choreographer at Mountain Playhouse in Jennerstown, PA for ten seasons, staging almost thirty plays and musicals. He continues to work actively as a freelance director and choreographer at theatres throughout the US, including West Virginia Public Theatre, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma and New Stage Collective in Cincinnati, OH and Muse Machine, in his hometown of Dayton, OH. 

As a performer, Joe began his career as a street busker in New York’s Shubert Alley and eventually appeared in the Broadway productions of ANYTHING GOES, THE AMERICAN DANCEMACHINE, NYC

Opera’s productions of BRIGADOON (requested by Agnes De Mille) and THE MUSIC MAN.  He also appeared in the Equity national tours of SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN, ANYTHING GOES and THE AMERICAN DANCEMACHINE.  Off-Broadway shows include RAINBOW, SUBWAY SERIES (with NYC Tapworks), and MUSIC, RHYTHM AND TAP (at Brooklyn Academy of Music). He also appeared in performances at Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center. 

Joe’s stage managing credits include the Broadway revival of GUYS AND DOLLS, regional productions of LEND ME A TENOR, productions for New York’s Playwrights’ Horizons, and as production assistant on the first workshop of Stephen Sondheim’s ASSASSINS.  

Joe has been a musical theatre master teacher for nearly twenty years, as well, teaching in New York City at Steps Studio, Dance Theatre of Harlem, The American Dancemachine Training Facility and many regional studios. Joe holds an MFA in Directing from Carnegie Mellon University and is Distinguished Professor of Musical Theatre at Wright State University (Dayton, OH), where he was Head of the BFA Musical Theatre program for 21 years and is currently Chair of the Department of Theatre, Dance and Motion Pictures and Director of The Musical Theatre Initiative. He has taught workshops and master classes internationally and was founding President of the Musical Theatre Educators Alliance. He is a frequent guest artist and master teacher around the world, including the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (London, England), Danish Academy of Musical Theatre, Stage School (Hamburg, GE), Royal Welsh School of Music and Drama (Wales) and many of the top training programs in the US, including Carnegie

Mellon University, North Carolina School of the Arts, University of Cincinnati – College Conservatory of Music, Shenandoah University, and many others. 

Joe is author of dozens of articles on Musical Theatre, Acting and teaching. Also, the recent DIRECTING IN MUSICAL THEATRE: AN ESSENTIAL GUIDE, andthe definitive textbook on its subject, ACTING IN MUSICAL THEATRE: A COMPREHENSIVE COURSE (with Rocco Dal Vera), which has been translated into four languages, and counting! Both are available from Routledge. 

Jazz &

Ballet Workshop

Jon and Ria, a husband and wife team, will be joining forces to bring you a day of performance training. In Jon’s room, you will strengthen your technique, discover choreography concepts, and explore your strength as a storyteller through movement. Session A in the morning will be jazz based, and Session B in the afternoon, ballet based. In Ria’s room, you will build and strengthen your foundation as an actor in the morning by learning the essential concepts to find truth and clear character through the Stanislavski Technique. Then in the afternoon, you will have a chance to perform a piece and get individual feedback. Customize your day - take both dance sessions, both acting sessions, or one of each – and in the evening we invite the parents to observe a culminating showcase followed by a talkback with Jon and Ria, where you can learn more about the performance industry and how you can be involved!

July 14th~ Session A 9am-12pm Session B 1pm-4pm ~

Ages 12 and up $150 a session (special offers available)

Jon Caspian and Ria Villaver Collins are a husband and wife team based in Cincinnati, OH. Jon, originally from Atlanta, began training at nine years old, studying ballet, jazz, tap, and musical theatre styles. He went on to study Dance at Birmingham Southern College before performing several contracts for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Ria, a Cincinnati native, trained with the CCM Preparatory Program before studying Musical Theatre at Wright State University. Shortly after signing with an agent in NYC, she too, booked a contract with Royal Caribbean Productions on their luxury line, the Azamara Quest, where she met Jon. Since then, they have built their careers performing and teaching with several schools and companies in New York, Atlanta, and now Cincinnati. They have also started a media business that specializes in headshots, dance portraits, and marketing videos for businesses, where they bring their training andindustry knowledge to those starting their own careers. Jon is currently focusing on building the media business, while Ria is a Resident Artist with The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, a coach at the Academy of the Arts, and working with high school programs in the Cincinnati area. Some of Ria’s featured credits include: Les Miserables, RENT, Spring Awakening, Little Women: The Musical, 25thAnnual…Spelling Bee, Anything Goes.

All Boys Hip-Hop Master Class:

Instructed by the amazingly talented and well-renowned Gino Vacarro, this high-impact class is structured to give the working dancer continued training in the world of commercial dance.  Class will begin with a traditional warm up, followed by combination-based learning.  Emphasis will be placed on correct execution, stylization, proper weight distribution, and overall performance value.  This class will sometimes encompass elements of jazz-funk/street jazz as well as house for better depth of movement and well roundedness within the street styles genre. All are welcome to attend; however, this class is geared towards the experienced dancer or an individual that is comfortable with a high-intensity and fast-paced learning environment.  Class will end with a cool down, parent showcase and questions. July 20th~ 1:00pm-2:15pm ~ Ages 12 and up $55

* Please note if enrollment is low, this class will open to younger ages 

Gino Vaccaro has been a teaching-choreographer for the last thirteen years.  Over the course of his career he has had the opportunity to solidify a spot in the semi-final audition round of “So You Think You Can Dance” season 1, audition for Sean Combs and his creative team consisting of choreographer, Laurie Ann Gibson, and vocal coach, Ankh Ra, on “Making the Band 4,” and open for the Black Eyed Peas at the 84 Lumber Classic at Nemacolin Woodlands.  In addition, he hasauditioned for such agenciessuch as Bloc Los Angeles, Clear Talent New York, and McDonald Selznick Associates (which was by invitation only).  Gino is also a recipient of the prestigious pulse scholarship, which he received during the dance convention’s 2007/2008 season. Currently, Gino is teaching at numerous universities and performing arts high schools within the Pittsburgh area and his open drop-in class is currently featured at Pittsburgh Ballet Theater. For dance inquiries, please contact Gino at gino.vaccaro@gmail.comor @gino.vaccaro via Instagram social media. 


Musical Theater 



We are excited to announce that Miss Stephanie Masullo will be joining our summer Academy staff this year! Her experience, expertise, energy and choreography will improve your child’s technique, ability and artistry.  Miss Masullo is an expert in creating an atmosphere to students to thrive in and push their limits.  Her classes will start with a dynamic warm-up, across the floor progressions and choreography.  This is an amazing opportunity for students to experience a professional lyrical and musical theater master class! 

July 13th~ 10am-10:45am (lyrical) 11am-11:45am (musical theater) Ages 8-11  $50 a session (special offers available)

1pm-2:15pm (lyrical) 2:15pm-3:15pm (musical theater) Ages 12 and up $55 a session (special offers available)

For Stephanie Masullo, dance has been her love, joy, and passion since the early age of 2.  She has trained throughout Pennsylvania and New York at acclaimed schools such as the Academy of Dance by Lori, Pittsburgh Youth Ballet, Chautauqua Institute for the Arts, Pittsburgh CLO Academy, Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts, Point Park University, and Steps on Broadway.  Stephanie started teaching more than ten years ago and ever since has been highly successful in improving technique, enhancing a dancer’s ability, giving meaning to the dance, and sharing her passion of art. She is highly sought after for not only teaching but also for master classes and choreographing for special events.  Most recently, Stephanie choreographed for two projects that she holds near to her heart.  The first was the Bravery and Beauty Fashion Show benefitting the Greater Pittsburgh Women’s Shelter and Crisis Center North supporting victims of domestic violence.  Additionally, she choreographed a piece for Happy Heart Day, a day educating children on taking care of themselves and others.  Stephanie looks forward to continuing to share her passion of dance and art with her students and the world.

Physical Comedy Workshop 

Have you secretly wished you could learn how to juggle, do stage combat or even just make people laugh?  Maybe you already have a hidden talent and just don’t know it yet! Well this workshop is just for you! We are so excited to be bringing such a well-rounded variety of opportunities to our community this year at STRIVE.  We will be welcoming the infamous Mr. Howard Mincone as his workshop will touch on the disciplines of physical comedy, juggling, vaudeville, fencing. Martial arts and more!  You will be ready to join the circus in no time!  

July 20th~ 10:00-10:45 Ages 8-11 $50 ~ 11:00-11:45 Ages 12 and up $55

Howard Mincone was Strongly influenced by comic legends 

Harpo Marx, Art Carney, Red Skelton and Dick Van Dyke.  


He has as performed three times in 

The Palace of Wonder at 

The World Famous Magic Castle in Hollywood


Three times performed at 

Abbott’s Magic Get Together


Headlined aboard 

Carnival Cruise Lines and Costa Cruise Lines  


Internationally renowned throughout, 

North America, the Caribbean, Central America, and has just returned from a 30 city performance tour of China.