Franklin Theatre Works
Ensemble Theatre of New Jersey

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Our  Directors

     Maeve Pambianchi                   Dr. Jay A. Kawarsky

Franklin Theatre Works - Ensemble Theatre of New Jersey

Classic  Theatre
Franklin Theatre Works is a non-profit program open to the public inviting all children; ages 8 through high school students in  greater Hunterdon County areas including areas of  Pennsylvania.  Executive Director Maeve Pambianchi says that one of her goals is to  help children develop an ease of performance both on and off the stage, improving personal skills, self-confidence and obtaining a deeper understanding of others. She explains, I find a joy in watching children develop and expand. Opening night is magical. Begin with children if you want to make an impact on the world.

 In 2009 The Ensemble Theatre of New Jersey, a performance arm of FTW was formed as the student population aged and adult community members and profesional actors sought to participate in the performance opportunities.  This arm performs more mature and demanding material.  The Ensemble is made up of  actors of all ages.

Maeve Pambianchi - Executive Director

Ms. Pambianchi has won awards for her contributions to the youth of Hunterdon County and performing arts in general.  She worked professionally as an actor, singer and dancer, and was a long-time student of  Obie Award and Drama Desk winning director and acting teacher Gene Frankel, who was one of the earliest members of the Actors' Studio. She lived and worked in Paris for six years, and upon returning to America founded the Lambertville Cultural Center. After working off-Broadway and touring with regional theatre companies she settled in Hunterdon County and founded Franklin Theatre Works.

 Since founding the group in 2004, Ms. Pambianchi has directed hundreds of students
 in  over 45 full-scale dramas, comedies and musicals. Past productions have included Peter Pan, Little Women, Treasure Island, Oliver!, Hamlet, Scrooge, the Musical!, The Emperor's New Clothes, Homer's Odyssey and Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, and most recently Sweeney Todd , Cinderella,  Wizard of Oz and The Secret Garden.

Dr. Jay A. Kawarsky - Music Director

Dr. Jay A. Kawarsky is Professor of Music Theory and Composition and Chair of the Musical Theater Program at Westminster Choir College of Rider University. He is one of the founders of its Bachelor's Degree of Music in Musical Theater.  Dr. Kawarsky has won 12 American  Society of Composers, Authors and Publisher (ASCAP) awards, in addition to receiving over 150 commissions for arrangements and original works. His professional experience includes serving as the Musical Director at Stagedoor Manor, New Jersey Opera Theater and Odette's Cabaret. He has been Guest Conductor for Voices Chorale, the Lehigh Valley Gay Men's Chorus and the Brunswick Symphony, and he has been a vocal coach at the New School and the New Jersey Opera Theater.