Aspire Performing Arts Company Youth Performer Receives NJACT Perry Award Nomination

By: Sep. 19, 2016

Aspire Performing Arts Company has been gaining a strong reputation in the Passaic County, NJ area for its work with local youth through Theater Productions and master classes. This summer, however, Aspire PAC received another impressive accolade: a Perry Awards nomination.

On July 30, one of Aspire PAC's longtime participants, Courtney Bulger of Pompton Plains, was nominated as "Outstanding Youth Actress in a Musical" by the New Jersey Association of Community Theaters (NJACT) for her performance as Janet in Aspire PAC's 2015 production of The Drowsy Chaperone.

NJACT's Perry Awards, now in their 43rd year, celebrate the best of Community Theater in the state of New Jersey. Aspire PAC joined NJACT in 2015 and The Drowsy Chaperone was the first production reviewed by the organization.

Miss Bulger, currently a junior at the Passaic County Technical Institute's School of the Performing Arts, has been working with Aspire PAC Artistic Director, Lisa Beth Vettoso, since 2009. At the age of eight, she was cast in Ms. Vettoso's production of Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr. She has since performed in 13 more shows with Ms. Vettoso, including lead roles as Julia in The Wedding Singer, Janet in The Drowsy Chaperone, and Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors.

On Sunday, September 18, Miss Bulger attended the NJACT Perry Awards Ceremony at the Doubletree in Somerset, NJ, accompanied by her parents and Ms. Vettoso. "I have had a love of theater since my first show with Aspire PAC at eight years old, but to receive this nomination was amazing because it was a tangible recognition from my peers of all the hard work I've put in over the years, "said Miss Bulger. "To be nominated in a category with so many amazing actors and to just be in the room with such esteemed and accomplished members of the theater community is such an honor."

Regarding her nomination, Courtney's father, Joseph Bulger, said, "Erica and I have always been very proud of Courtney's hard work and dedication to her craft, and the Perry award nomination only validates that the sky is the limit for her future. We are grateful to NJACT for recognizing her work. We also appreciate the role that Aspire Performing Arts Company has played in providing a professional, fun and creative environment which has nurtured Courtney's talent and fueled her passion for musical theater."

Ms. Vettoso added, "I am absolutely over the moon for Courtney and this incredible recognition of her time and talent. I have watched her grow into the amazing performer that she is, and know that this is only the beginning for her. I feel especially grateful that Aspire PAC has been and will continue to be a part of that journey."

Aspire PAC (Wayne, NJ) provides educational workshops and production opportunities for children and teens. If you are interested in learning more about Aspire PAC and its upcoming programs, visit or call/email at 201-220-4933 or


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