MEET OUR FACULTY
Christopher“Diva”Riva, is a multi-talented individual born and raised in the City of New York. He's been a performer since the age of six and feel very honored to be a part of the Rising Stars Faculty. As well as being the Office / Stage Manager, He is an esteemed Actor and Dancer having credits in various shows such as'West Side Story', 'Once on This Island', 'Sweet Charity' and many more including works with the AMAS Musical Theatre Company, Enact, Roundabout Theatre’s SPW and Various Shows with Gramercy Arts, where he was Editor-In-Chief of the yearbook committee and event coordinator for student affairs at Gramercy Arts High School and Page-to-Stage Producer at BMCC-CUNY. Chris has also been in an independent film that screen at the NYCMIX Festival in partner with Tribeca Film Festival and various flashmobs. Chris is the Dance captain / Choreographer of his own award winning dance team and now HipHop instructor at Rising Stars.
Laura A. Rizzo M.A.
Ms Rizzo is a graduate of Bard College, with a degree in drama/dance, and a master's degree in Educational Theater and Dance from New York University. She is a
certified NJ Speech and Dramatics Teacher, and NJ certified Vocational Dance Teacher who has taught in the public schools for over 9 years and the private sector for more then 20 years. Ms. Rizzo has
performed both on and off-Broadway, and has been directing and choreographing shows for children for the past 25 years. She is an award-winning choreographer for dance competition teams and award
winning director for children's theater companies throughout the United States. She is currently the Founder/Artistic Director of Rising Stars PAC in Yonkers, New York. In addition she is currently
studying ESL as a Doctoral Candidate at Northcentral University. She is also a Speech and English Professor in New York City .She most recently Directed and Choreographed Sweet Charity
off-Broadway at the Roy Arius Theater in New York with Quest Theatre Company, in which she recently won best youth theater Muscial Production of the year . Ms Rizzo has also won teacher of the
year award numerous times. To date Ms Rizzo has directed over 160 shows for children. Some of her Favorites include: Newsies, Once on This Island, Arsenic and Old Lace, Rent,Godspell and 13 &
Fiddler.She is also the award winning choreographer for the Rising Stars Dance Competition Team, and The Director of the RSPAC Youth Theatre Company.
Dance & Drama Instructor
Miss Hannan started dancing at age five studying ballet, jazz and modern at Westchester Ballet Center. She studied Shakespearean acting
in high school and throughout college, where she was a member of their award-winning choir and Vice President of the Drama Club. MaryRose trained at HB Studios, NYC, and has appeared in multiple
regional and dinner theater productions. Credits include: Lost In
Yonkers (Bella), Romeo and Juliet (Juliet), Little Something For Ducks (Irma), Rock 'Till You Drop (Kiki) and Hello Dolly (Ensemble). She is a graduate of St. Joseph's College, West Hartford, CT.
Miss Hannan was also seen this past spring as Joanne in Vanities, a three woman show that toured throughout the tri-state area and was a huge success. She was
also more recently seen on the dance/drama faculty at Arts Caravan for the past three years, in Katonah NY, and was on the Board of Directors for the Quest Theatre Company in Passaic, NJ.
for over four years.
Youth Theatre Company Musical Director
Ms DeAngelis is a accomplished pianist, singer and songwriter. She is a graduate of the conservatory of music at SUNY Purchase with a B.A in Studio Composition. Michelle has preformed at many clubs such as The Bitter End, CBGB's, The Triad Theater, Downtime, Tribecca Blues and Don't Tell Mamma's. Michelle also has had the opportunity to perform all over Europe. Her original music has been featured on local radio, internet radio, and television stations. Her song, "With The Angels" written for 9/11, was featured on two documentary DVD's. She was honored with a plaque and a letter of gratitude from the NYC Fire Commissioner. One of Michelle's works, entitled "Lady" was preformed by artist Anthony Rodriguez( former Madonna Dancer and choreographer for major pop artists) for the president of Turkey. A Few of Michelle's past credits as a Musical Director/Pianist/Conductor include Les Miz,Into the Woods, Peter Pan, Suessical( Westchester Broadway Theater) Songs for a New World,Oliver, Bye Bye Birdie, Heart and Music, Children of Eden, West Side Story, Big River, Something Funny Happened on the Way to the Forum, Spitfire Grill, and 13. In addition, Michelle is an accompanist for choirs and solo artists as well as being a church organist. You can hear Michelle sing and play every week at Croton Creek in Croton Falls, NY.
Dance & Drama Instructor
Miss Miller is a professional choreographer and director, whose work is regularly produced throughout New York City. Her training began on Long Island, where she grew up, and most notably studied under Norma Hoffman at The Ballet Center. As a teenager, Patrice regularly attended classes at Broadway Dance Center where she studied under Dorit Koppel (ballet), Natalya Stavro (ballet), Richard Pierlon (jazz/theater), and Diana Laurenson (theater), as well many other gifted teachers. Through her studies at BDC she was introduced to modern dance, specifically Graham technique. It was at this time that Patrice fell in love with the art of choreography and passionately pursued it alongside her technique and academic studies. Upon graduating high school, Patrice booked her first Equity show and was awarded a full scholarship to CUNY Hunter College, where she studied Dance and English for four years. During this time, Patrice continued to work professionally, pursuing a number of exciting collaborations, leading her further into a professional career that has included dancing for Martha Bowers/Dance Theater Etc. (Angels and Accordions), the Urban Bush Women (Place Matters: A Look at Displacement, one of the best dance performances of 2006, according to the NYTimes) and having her work presented throughout NYC including as part of NYCFashion Week (2008 and 2009).