The 1st Annual Hoboken Family Arts Fest


A memorable Back-to-School Event for the whole family!

Saturday, September 11th from 11am to 3pm

Mile Square Theatre, in residence at the Monroe Center for the Arts, announces an exciting back-to-school event, The Hoboken Family Arts Fest.

Celebrating the arts and the joy of reading, this festival will have a full schedule of interactive presentations by well-known children’s book author/illustrators, plus musical acts and theatrical events, all on the Monroe Theatrespace stage.

In addition to the events onstage, MST will have a full schedule of workshops for kids; dance, yoga, and drama. The MST Drama School faculty will be on hand to conduct fun workshops in acting for kids of all ages.

In the lobby of the theatre and out in halls will be informational tables from family-friendly organizations.

Tickets cost $5 (at the door) – and the event is located at The Monroe Theatrespace, 720 Monroe Street, 2nd Floor (Free Parking).

Mainstage Schedule:

  • 11:00am: Music Together with Dave Lambert
  • 11:35am: MST Summer Drama Campers present a scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • 12:00pm: Bob Shea
  • 12:45pm: Miss Nina
  • 1:30pm: Darren Farrell
  • 2:00pm: Big Jeff
  • 2:30pm: Ro Roa

See more after the jump, including performer bios and workshop schedules too!

Featured Authors and illustrators and Performers:

Darren Farrell, author/illustrator of Doug Dennis and the Flying Fib

Darren Farrell is a freelance writer, illustrator and creative director. He has appeared inside a giant tongue costume in Teen People Magazine. He has tried to ignite the mustobeard craze (small beard, big mustache). He has fallen in love. Doug-Dennis and the Flyaway Fib is Darren Farrell’s first picture book. He used to live on the moon with his pet dinosaur, but now he lives in Hoboken, New Jersey with his family. True story.

Ro Rao, illustrator and co-creator of Herbert’s Wormhole

Rohitash Rao was born in an exotic, faraway land called Hyderabad, India. He then grew up in another exotic, faraway land called Rancho Cucamonga, California. He now lives in a magical city on an island called Manhattan, where he works as an animator and director. He makes films with stuffed animals, puppets, dolls, toys, and, when forced to, human beings. Herbert’s Wormhole is Rao’s first children’s book, much of which he illustrated while sitting on a broken stool in his apartment. Every day he’d draw until the leg broke off, then reglue it back on, go to bed, get up the next morning, and start again.

Bob Shea, illustrator and writer of Dinosaur vs. Bedtime

You know that PBS Kids spot where the pig runs around and eats things that begin with the letter “p”? Bob made that! He made a bunch of other animations and graphics for PBS Kids and helped them develop a national literacy campaign. He met Al Roker. Yes, THAT Al Roker. His stories, artwork and characters have also appeared on Nick Jr. and Noggin. In fact, he just finished writing a story for Nick Jr. magazine! Bob enjoys speaking in the third person. Bob has written New Socks, Big Plans, illustrated by Lane Smith, and Dinosaur vs. Bedtime. So this one time, Bob “found” a gigantic apple pie that no one was watching. He brought it home and his wife was like, “You can’t eat that pie, it’s gigantic!” So Bob’s like, “Oh yeah, do you dare me?” His wife is all like, “No, I don’t dare you, you will be so sick!” Well, long story short, she was half right. Mostly about the sick part. But she will never doubt Bob’s pie-eating prowess again. So I guess Bob wins. Bob lives in Connecticut with his pie-doubter wife Colleen and their son, Ryan. He and Colleen own Perfectly Nice, a graphic design studio. They both agree that Ryan is the boss. And one of them has a hard time admitting they were wrong, I’m not saying who, but it’s Colleen.

Big Jeff, singer/songwriter

“Big Jeff” DeSmedt is the hardest-working six-foot-six-inch singer-songwriter in family music. His blend of humor, learning and “super-interactive” audience participation has been captivating young audiences across the New York Metropolitan area for the past ten years. Along the way, he’s toured up and down New England and California, sold over 10,000 CDs and DVDs, and has grown a large and loyal family fan base.

Jeff began writing songs for his own young daughters 13 years ago, and started playing them for the children at the New Jersey daycare center where he worked as an aide and bus driver. He developed his material by testing it with various groups of two- to eight- year-olds as he quickly transitioned into a full-time traveling troubadour.

Dozens of daycare classics (“Big Pterodactyl in the Sky,” “The Orange Song,” “Dance on One Leg”) were developed as part of this ongoing dialog with thousands of youngsters at preschools, libraries, parties and concerts.

It all comes together on Big Jeff’s newest CD, “Warm for the Winter.” Jeff’s writing and singing hit new levels of sophistication and accessibility here, and the production is almost unparalleled in family music. “Warm for the Winter” was recorded and mixed by Grammy Award-winning engineer John Seymour (U2, Dave Matthews, Santana), and features the Chops Horns section, who’ve played with everyone from The Police to Alicia Keys. This snowy celebration is poised to become a major part of the holiday season for years to come.

Big Jeff’s first CD won a Children’s Web Award for Classic Children’s Recording, and his songs have appeared on compilations alongside favorite kids’ acts like Trout Fishing in America, Sharon, Lois and Bram, Jack Grunsky and Parachute Express. His high-profile shows include Bethlehem Musikfest, Six Flags Great Adventure, Make Music New York at Bleecker Park in Manhattan, Pete Seeger’s Clearwater Festival, and an ongoing series with the New York Public Library system.

Music Together with Dave Lambert and Friends

Hoboken musical legend and Fuzzy Lemon David Lambert plays a rockin’ set that will surely keep your heart a-jumpin’ with Music Together.

Miss Nina, music and fun for toddlers and preschoolers

Nina Stone is a recipient of a 2010 Parents’ Choice Award for her debut CD “Singing & Dancing Together.” She holds an B.S. in Dance Management from Oklahoma City University and an M.A. in Educational Theatre from New York University. She is a former Gymboree Teacher and Manager, a registered Music Together teacher, and currently teaches the Small Wonder Program at Woodside Preschool (part of the Dwight School) on the Upper Westside of Manhattan. Originally from Wilmington, Delaware, Nina now lives in Brooklyn with her husband.

The MST Summer Drama Camp Cast of A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Directed by MST Teaching Artist Lauren Singerman, this group of talented 9th graders will present the hilarious play-within-a-play from Shakespeare’s beloved comedy.

Workshops Schedule:

  • 11:30-12:30 Yogi Beans
  • 12:30-1 Mile Square Theatre Drama School (ages 9-14)
  • 1-1:30 Hudson Dance and Movement
  • 1:45-2:15 Hudson Dance and Movement
  • 2:30-3 Mile Square Theatre drama School (ages 3+-8)

Workshops Participants:

Blaire Brooks, Lilly of Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse

Mile Square Theatre Drama School
MST Drama School will offer workshops so your child can experience what our classes offer.

Hudson Dance and Movement
Hudson Dance & Movement teaches a comprehensive dance and performance curriculum throughout the year. Each and every student who walks through our door receives exceptional training, freedom of expression and the inspiration to continue their dance education. We provide not only a supportive atmosphere where each student is valued as an individual, but also a formal training center where students build strong dance and performance technique. We take seriously the technical level of each student and ensure each student receives the instruction that is appropriate to their level. Our staff at Hudson Dance & Movement is producing well-rounded dancers whom are focused on improving their technique, developing personal long-term goals and consistently working to reach their maximum potential. After graduating from our school our students have the knowledge and skills to pursue a career in dance. Learn more at

Hoboken School of Music

Yogi Beans
Yogi Beans’ unique, age-specific curriculum translates the practice of yoga into a language kids can understand and enjoy. Sprinkled with picture books, music and other age-appropriate props, Yogi Beans’ classes incorporate free-flowing, creative movements with traditional yoga postures that help children develop better body awareness, coordination, flexibility and self-confidence. At Yogi Beans, children are fully immersed in a nurturing, non-competitive environment.

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!