NORTHVALE, N.J. -- Acting Up Performing Arts Center has been open for just a smidge over a year, and its owners want to share their celebration with the community, with an Emoji Ice Cream Social on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 26.
The emoji aspect refers to the studio's logo, which uses the sad and smiley emojis in a modern take on the traditional symbol of the theater, the tragedy/comedy masks.
The ice cream anniversary party is free, and it will include ice cream sundaes, emoji painting and giveaways. Families can also sign up for the center's "summerstage" session. Early-bird pricing is available until April 1.
Studio co-owner Joe Bundrick told Daily Voice that the past year has gone well. "We are actually doing phenomenal," he said. "We just finished our winter recital and our 'Beauty Is A Beast' show: the cast did amazing."
His wife, Layla Francesca Bundrick, is the studio's director and co-owner.
"In the past year, Acting Up has truly developed into something more spectacular than I could have ever have dreamt of," she said.
"I am so proud of the fact that in one short year, we have put on two recitals and three mainstage productions. Our students just completed 'Beauty Is A Beast,' and did an absolutely phenomenal job."
The center offers ongoing classes to youngsters, in addition to its periodic productions. But its other major service is hosting birthday parties. Its unique "glow parties" come in four themes: slumber parties, dance parties, painting parties and fashion parties.
Joe said they're also doing phenomenally well with the parties.
"We take the party from A to Z," he explained. The studio provides activities, goodie bags, food and decorations. Parents literally just bring the cake -- and the kid.
With each party, kids are greeted with glow-in-the-dark popcorn and tribal face painting. From there, the activities depend on the type of party, but they all feature a "spotlight birthday song," where the birthday kids gets to sit in the director's chair, aglow in the theater's spotlight, while family and friends sing to them.
"It's just the ambiance that they experience," Joe added.
It's "unlike any other party in Bergen County," Layla said. "They are a huge component of Acting Up, as we continue to make kids' wishes come true by giving them a birthday to remember."
Layla also described her hopes for the studio's next year:
I would love to continue putting smiles on the faces of our Acting Up kids, by giving them a performance space where they can feel comfortable and confident in all they accomplish. Acting Up has become a home for them, where they can experiment theatrically through our classes and mainstage productions. I love that we have a facility where creativity is boundless and the children learn so much about the performing arts.
While RSVPs aren't required for the ice cream social, they're preferred, so the studio can have a general headcount and have enough goodies and staff on hand. Call 201-660-7414.