December 22, 2015

GOA’s Drama Queen

GOA’s Drama Queen
Faye Hochberg ‘18

Though you could never tell by looking at her, GOA Sophomore Rachel Berger was once a Muppet. At least, she pretended to be.
Berger, known for her talent in singing, dancing and acting, has been immersed in the world of the performing arts since she was a toddler. Her parents are both passionate about the arts - Berger’s mother toured with Sesame Street Live and performed as costumed characters at Great Adventure - and were eager to foster her budding interest in theater and music.
By the time she turned three, Berger was already taking dance classes and attending shows at the JCC. Her first moment in the spotlight came when she was five, as the aforementioned Muppet in the JCC’s production of ‘The Muppet Show.”
“I loved it, I was really happy,” Berger reminisced. “I loved being there and being on stage.”
“The Muppet Show” marked the beginning of Berger’s impressive early career. She continued to perform at the JCC, at the Mountain Lakes Community Theater, and later in GOA productions. Her biggest roles thus far include the title role in “Annie,” which she was excited for because of the show’s popularity and iconic songs; and Belle in “Beauty and the Beast,” a story that Berger has always loved.
“I prefer musicals,” said Berger, “because I love the singing and dancing aspects of the shows. You don’t get those in a play.”
In recent years, Berger has pursued professional training in the performing arts. She has twice attended the Paper Mill Playhouse Summer Conservatory, where students practice their singing, dancing and acting for several weeks. For her, the experience has been educational and a lot of fun.
“I loved performing on that stage,” Berger said. “I loved learning from professional directors.”
In addition to the Summer Conservatory, Berger performed in the Paper Mill Playhouse New Voices Concert, which featured songs from classic and modern musicals. She returns to the Paper Mill several times a year to see the main stage productions.
Outside of the theater, Berger takes voice lessons, which she enjoys because “gets to practice and feel comfortable in the songs.” She also sings in GOA’s choir, participates in the Dance Workshop elective and dances on the Dance Team.

After graduating GOA, Berger wants to audition for commercials in order to “associate herself with that part of the business.” Though she doesn’t plan to act professionally as an adult, she is looking forward to studying drama in college. For now, though, Berger is content starring in “Into the Woods” with all of her GOA friends.

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