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MUSICal theatre

John Zisa
Head of Musical Theatre Department

John Zisa is a teaching artist, musician, and stage director originally from Bergen County, NJ.  He has led award winning high school theatre programs throughout the state of New Jersey for the past fifteen years.


Before returning to HCST this past fall, John was associate director of a Broadway show, starring Sierra Boggess and Gavin Lee.  He also directed and assistant directed theater throughout the Tri-State area for regional and community theaters, most recently directing “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” for Star Royale Theater in New Jersey.


Still a working performer and musician, Mr. Zisa has headlined cabaret shows throughout NYC, at venues such as the Duplex, The Metropolitan Room, The Triad, and in the fall of 2021, made his Green Room 42 debut in "Being Alive", an evening that featured his original arrangements from the pop and Broadway songbooks.  John was also affiliated with the Miss America Organization for over a decade, where he co-hosted and performed, and eventually directed the Miss New Jersey Pageant Stage Production in Atlantic City.  His self-produced album of pop/jazz/gospel arrangements of pop songs throughout the decades, "You Gotta Be", was released in May 2021.  He also released a holiday album for Christmas 2021, and a new album of musical theatre covers titled, "Being Alive", was released this past spring.  In the fall of 2021, John was named a Top 10 Finalist in “Jim Brickman’s Big Break”, a national vocalist competition for singers over (a certain age). 


He holds a B.A. in Music Performance and an M.A. in Theatre Studies/Directing.  He’s a proud associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreography Society (SDC), and his teaching and directing has been recognized and awarded throughout the years by the Paper Mill Playhouse, Montclair State University, Sarah Lawrence University, and Penn State University.


Mr. Zisa is so excited to be starting a new chapter at HCST and to see what the future holds for the next generation of young musical theatre performers!

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