Founder/Artistic DirectorMainstage Shows, Standing Ovation Studio Productions, Acting Classes, Private Acting Instruction
John J. Fanelli holds a degree in Theatre Arts from the University of California, San Diego. Mr. Fanelli has been directing, teaching and creating programs for thousands of young people in theatre arts for more than two decades. In 1995 he began working for The Metropolitan Educational Theatre Network (MET2) as an assistant director. Under the tutelage of acclaimed international children’s theatre director Alex H. Urban, John helped to establish a network of theatre programs for young people that spanned the coast of California from San Diego to San Francisco. For nearly 10 years John worked for MET2 and developed his own unique teaching methodology.
John returned to New York in 2004 and developed Westchester Broadway Theater’s Young Artists of the WBT. At WBT John quickly established himself as one of the foremost theatre educators in the area. He expanded his reach and scope of programming by taking over as Artistic Director for the Times Square Group, NYC, where he developed and implemented educational theatre programs for the public schools of New York City.In 2006, Mr. Fanelli and his wife Nannette Fanelli founded their own non-profit educational theatre company called Lighthouse Youth Theatre and Education, Inc. LYT quickly became the benchmark for educational theatre winning both regional and national acclaim.
John once again teamed up with Westchester Broadway Theatre in 2011 to create The Family Theatre Company. To date, The Family Theatre Company under John’s direction has produced seven musicals at WBT including two completely sold-out runs of In The Heights (9 weeks) and Ragtime (10 weeks).
In 2013 John and Nannette built a State-of-the-art musical theatre complex called Standing Ovation Studios. The result is a 6000 square foot studio that hundreds of local kids call their second home.
Always one to push the educational envelope John has now taken on pre-school theatre education. The inspiration is to prove that educational theatre is the lynch pin to a child’s early development as a student and as a person. The program has been so well received that DramaBee has partnered with Music Theatre International (The world’s largest dramatic licensing agency, specializing in Broadway Musicals) and is in the process of rolling out a national pre-school educational theatre campaign.
John has taught more than 15,000 students and has created programs that have reached more than 30,000. What John is most proud of is that he has had students in almost every major musical theatre university in the United States and beyond and that he is able to share his life’s work with his amazing wife and three beautiful children. His goal is to inspire the next generation of theatre educators, actors, musicians and most importantly lovers of the arts.