Find out what drives us to do what we do.



Twenty-three years ago when I first founded the Saddle River Youth Theatre, we had 15 students. Today, we offer a safe place for our students to learn and grow, with over 200 cast families involved throughout the year and serving an audience of over 6000, we offered 300 classes and 60 performances in 2018. Come see why the

Bergen County Division of Cultural Affairs

rates  the Saddle River Youth Theatre as an, "Outstanding Theatre Program  For Young People!"


Thank you for the support that’s made it all possible!"

SRYT, Inc. is a 501c3 not-for-profit arts



Mr. Christopher Barker

​Executive Director, 1996-today


APRYL HELDER, (Musical Director) is in high demand as a performer and voice teacher. She has graced many stages and venues including

Carnegie Hall, NY. She is an adjunct teacher at NJPAC and is a soloist at West Side Presbyterian Church in Ridgewood, NJ. Opera and musical theater credits include: The Witch in" Into The Woods", Queen Aggravain in "Once Upon A Mattress", Mother Abbess In "The Sound Of Music",  Cherubino and Marcellina in "La Nozze di Figaro", Tessa in "The Gondoliers" and Pitti-Ping in The Mikado. She is the winner of the Mid-South National Association of Teachers Of Singing.

GRACE ANN PISANI (Director-Choreographer) started her Broadway career playing both Tessie & Kate in the National Touring Company of "Annie". Some of her standout credit include: "A Christmas Carol"  (Theater at Madison Square Garden}, "Jane Eyre" Young Georgina Reed (Papermill Playhouse), Nancy in "Oliver!" (CCC Theater and Park Players) as well as countless musicals, commercials and voice-overs. 

ANNA LILIKAS (Choreographer) holds a BM in Music Education, a BS in Communication Sciences and a Masters in Music Education from Syracuse University, She has choreographed for Dance troupes at Syracuse University, community theatres, Northern Valley Regional High School, Saddle River Youth Theatre and Glen Rock High School's "Legally Blonde" and "Mamma Mia!".

CARL HELDER (Musical and Showchoir Director) graduated with honors from William Paterson's Music Education Program where he was also named Outstanding Senior in Music Education, He began his career teaching in nearby Ramsey's middle school where he was musical director and was also rehearsal accompanist and vocal director for Ramsey High School. He came to GRHS to direct the award winning GRHS Concert, Chamber and Women's Choirs. Musical Direction credits include: A Chorus Line, A Funny Thing Happened, Footloose, Fame, The Drowsy Chaperone, Disney's Beauty and The Beast, Little Shop of Horrors, The Addams Family, Legally Blonde and Mamma Mia!

CHRISTOPHER BARKER (Executive Director) Mr. Barker has been the Director of the Glen Rock High School musical since 2013 including such memorable productions as: "Drowsy Chaperone", “Beauty and The Beast”, “Little Shop of Horrors”, “The Addams Family", “Legally Blonde” and "Mamma Mia!".. After a long career in the NYC film industry, Mr. Barker founded the Award-Winning Saddle River Youth Theatre (1996), a Performing Arts School for students Grades 1st-12th now located in Allendale, N.J.  SRYT is celebrating their 23rd Anniversary Season with over 250 productions to date and boasts a competitive, traveling Show-Choir which has performed in Walt Disney World to rave reviews for many years. Mr. Barker is also the Artistic Director of Riverstage (2006), a North Jersey Community Theater Company for both adults and teens. His play “Poe’s Phantoms” (based on a play he performed through Riverstage) was published this past fall on Amazon.

Shows at Historic John Fell House garner broad local support!


It’s amazing what we can do when we come together.


May 2000 – SRYT Show-Choir's premiere show is at the Actor's Fund Retirement Home in Englewood, NJ,

where the Cast met with original cast members from

Broadway's "Oliver!"


July 2007 - The Park Players, our adult community theatre, debuts the vintage 50's era "Forever Plaid" at the Paramount Theater in Asbury Park, NJ. 


Christmas 2008 – SRYT performs their original

lantern-lit theatrical event, "A Christmas Carol", at the Historic John Fell House, Allendale, NJ and garners broader local support


April 2016 - SRYT Show-Choir is invited to perform at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida to rave reviews from Disney Youth Performance,

"The Best Show-Choir of Multiple Ages

We Have Ever Seen Nation-Wide!"

December 2018 - The Park Players is re-named RIVERSTAGE to incorporate both our adult community theatre and our youth theatre. Their first show is a Holiday concert named "Snow Ball".

Mission + Vision


​​Saddle River

Youth Theatre

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