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About


At Bennett Academy Of The Performing Arts, We Are Building The Future's Best Performing Artists

What Makes Us So Different?

1. For twenty years Bennett Academy has instructed  the aspiring professional artist, actor, filmmaker, and musician & prepared them for real world experience.

2. We offer qualified students, agent representation for acting, singing and music.

3.Our students perform in original productions by some of the most talented playwrights, and filmmakers, and are given the opportunity to create their own plays, music and films.

4. Our Student, in partnership with Polyphonic Entertainment, get to perform for and with the top Broadway, film and music artist through our exclusive Master Classes, and gain lifelong mentors.

5. We maintain a positive, and collaborative family environment

Purchase tickets to our Off Broadway Play What She Deserves

 

 

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About


At Bennett Academy Of The Performing Arts, We Are Building The Future's Best Performing Artists

What Makes Us So Different?

1. For twenty years Bennett Academy has instructed  the aspiring professional artist, actor, filmmaker, and musician & prepared them for real world experience.

2. We offer qualified students, agent representation for acting, singing and music.

3.Our students perform in original productions by some of the most talented playwrights, and filmmakers, and are given the opportunity to create their own plays, music and films.

4. Our Student, in partnership with Polyphonic Entertainment, get to perform for and with the top Broadway, film and music artist through our exclusive Master Classes, and gain lifelong mentors.

5. We maintain a positive, and collaborative family environment

Purchase tickets to our Off Broadway Play What She Deserves

 

 

Who killed Duchess Hartley? Find out June 26th, at the Actors Temple Theater,  To purchase tickets Click Here!

Who killed Duchess Hartley? Find out June 26th, at the Actors Temple Theater,  To purchase tickets Click Here!

 In 2008 one of our students, Rikki Woodlin gets a once in a lifetime chance to play "A Thousand Miles" for the Grammy award singer Vanessa Carlton. Rikki couldn't have been happier, this is after only one year of lessons

Stevens commercial for Carmax

Bennett Academy Alum and Acting Coach book Nike Human Race commercial

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Our Story


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Our Story


Our Story

The Music

Bennett Academy Of The Performing Arts started in 1996. At that time, it was just  after-school lessons for three children who attended a  local parochial school, in which Ms. Bennett was the music teacher.  Early lessons took place in the living room on a small, worn piano donated by a church and  lovingly refurbished. Parents really loved their children's progress in piano lessons and began to tell others about this small after-school program.  As the student numbers increased, Ms. Bennett planned the first recital at Emelin Theater in Mamaroneck, NY.  In Winter 1998, Bennett Academy students presented the comedy, The Music Class, a musical written and directed by Andrea Bennett. The Music Class is a play that addressed the importance of music education, and was infused with the performances of the music group Jabulani, piano and voice students.  Bennett Academy recitals also invited accomplished musicians to our recitals to offer inspiration to our students.  In 1998 Our first award was received when 12 year old student Melissa Thompson won first place Advanced level in the Cultural Heritage Competition. This is after only two years of lessons.  Melissa played Israeli composer, Paul Ben Heim's dynamic piece, Toccata.  Ms. Bennett also won Teacher of The Year, from the same competition.  Three students, also received very great reviews from the judges. Bennett Academy students continue to excel due to innovative teaching styles of our instructors.

 

Theater

 As Bennett Academy continued to grow,  it opened the door  to other instruments such as  drums, guitar, and voice. The acting program however, proved to be the most exciting aspect of Bennett Academy.  The newly formed Young Thespians combined the talents of professional Broadway actors and Bennett Academy students.  In 2005 we launched our first large scale production at the Irvington Town Hall theater; the hilarious comedy, Hope Street.   Hope Street eventually became a successful Off Broadway play and web-series.  The acting group did three runs of the hilarious The Odella Williams Show, in 2007, 2009 and 2010. Students Rikki Woodlin, played the starring role, while piano student Adrian Harewood, and  drummer, Aaron Harewood, Kristine John were apart of the supporting cast.( Odella Williams Show.)

Steven Bennett, started as an actor in Bennett Academy plays, The Music Class, Shady Brook, Mr. Oakleys Detention. After  graduating from the New York Conservatory of Dramatic Arts,  Mr. Bennett  taught acting at Bennett Academy, and  starred in Broadway Shows, such as Platanos and Collard Greens, and became the main director of Bennett Academy's Off Broadway shows such as The Odella Williams Show, Detention With Mr. Oakley, Murder Mystery, and  Hope Street.  Today Steven, is an award winning director of the web series Parallels, and is in preproduction of the movie, The Truth Of Ms. Marshall. In August of 2015 his short film Emancipation was broadcast on AspireTV.

This coming June in 2016, Bennett Academy and its partner company, Polifonic Entertainment, are teaming up o produce the hilarious original comedy What She Deserves-A Murder Mystery

The Cast of the Odella William's Show striking a pose backstage.

The Cast of the Odella William's Show striking a pose backstage.

Our Singers

Our Vocal students  and Ms. Bennett, formed the group Jabulani, which means "Praise" in Swahili, and it consisted of Kevin Jackson, Chris Jackson, Carson Deen, Tiffany French, Katherine Spina, and Kareema Fernan. These young people who hailed from White Plains, New Rochelle, Valhalla and Mount Vernon, sang at many concerts, social events and their most notable performance was for the memorial service for civil rights leader Betty Shabazz. Today these vocalists are doing great things. Chris Jackson has written for Toni Braxton,  Enrique Iglesias, Mary J. Blige, Usher, David Archuleta and Chris Brown. He also performs all over the world with some of the most famous hip hop and pop artists.  Kevin Jackson, became a gospel singer and created the group Chosen By God. He has performed on The View, and with entertainers like Nick Jonas, and Kirk Franklin.  Katherine Spina, became a talented and prolific singer, songwriter. Her song Chasing Shadows is beautiful and her unique cover of U2's Pride In The Name Of Love, illustrates her amazing musical gifts. Today, our accomplished alumni such as up and coming music artist Rikki Woodllin, continue to make strides in the music, film and theater world.  Bennett Academy is currently  celebrating 20 years,  and the school's ultimate goal is to create more successful performers into the next generation.

                                                    

                                                                                                           

                                                                                                           

Andrea Bennett

Bachelors of Arts in Music, Bachelor of Arts in Communications (Broadcasting),  Minor in Art History-SUNY Oswego
 Started piano at the tender age of five years old with Jaqueline White. At age 8 continued piano
under the tutelage of Elfreida Brown. With Ms. Brown, Andrea won top honors in National Music Festivals
for Young Performers
, and The National Federation of Music Clubs, which offered the wonderful opportunity
to perform at Carnegie Hall from 1984-1990. Ms Bennett worked as the youngest church pianist in her
church’s history, and assistant pianist for their Senior Choir, and Male Chorus. In 1986 performed a solo concert at Carnegie Hall covering pieces from Bach, Clementi, Mozart, Macdowall, and Schumann. Later she received first place in the ACT-SO classical piano competition. 
As an avid visual artist Ms. Bennett received a scholarship to study visual arts for the NYSSA program at SUNY Fredonia.  At The State University of New York at Oswego, Ms. Bennett officially started her vocal studies under the guidance of the late soprano, Amanda Carnie, and continued her piano studies with Music Chairman, Dr. Jerry Exline.  In 1993 She Performed as the Sorceress in the Opera Dido And Aneus. 
 Ms. Bennett toured the with the Gospel Choir, in 1993-1994. Performed with the Festival Chorus and Syracuse Orchestra, great works of Verdi, Mozart, Racine to name a few.
After earning two degrees (Broadcast Communications and Music) at the SUNY of Oswego, Bennett studied Voice with Opera Ebony’s Musical Director, Gregory Sheppherd, and later earned membership in Opera Noire. Andrea continued to perform in recitals and events nationally. 
In 1996, Andrea Bennett started Bennett Academy of the Performing Arts, in her small living room, while continuing to teach at parochial schools in different areas of Westchester, Bennett Academy took off with a bang in 1998, having the first Afro-Caribbean (Melissa Thompson-Barbadoes)  to win first place in the Cultural Heritage Competition after only two years of study.  Students Tiffany French, and Leanna Jordan, also entered with excellent reviews from prominent judges. As a playwright Ms. Bennett has written several plays:

Westchester

  • The Music Class-1998-Emelin Theater
  • ShadyBrooke I-2000- Sommer Center of the Arts
  • ShadyBrooke II-2001- Sommer Center of the Arts
  • Murder Mystery- 2004-What She Deserves- Sommer Center of the Arts
  • 7284 Hope Street-2005-Irvington Town Hall Theater, (also on Film)
  • Odella Williams Show-, 2007- Sommer Center of the Arts
  •  

Off-Broadway:

  • Odella Williams Show had two successful Off-Broadway runs in NYC-2009, 2010
  • Hope Street later went to Off Broadway at the Bridge Theater in NYC, 2011-which great critic reviews from

Talent In Motion Magazine.

Film Director:

Currently Ms. Bennett is working on her first drama play Just Desserts and recording her album-The Little Match Girl and on June 26th, Bennett Academy will be back Off Broadway with the revival of What She Deserves-A Murder Mystery Musical

 

Meet Our Students


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Meet Our Students


Performance Gallery

Instructors


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Instructors


Andrea Bennett

Founder and director

(Piano, Opera,  Theater, Creative Writing)

 

roberto giaquinto

Percussions-Drums

 

Brittany Cussack

Piano, Voice, Theater

 

RYLAND KELLY

Guitar, Drums, Piano

 

David Cox

Improvisation Piano/Jazz Piano-Composition

 

Alexander Harrington

Acting, Speech,  (Group)

 

 

 

Nikita Morozov

Viola, Violin

 

Evy Ortiz

Musical Theater, Voice (Classical) (Group)

 

 

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