How We Started
It’s all about a dream, a vision, and the opportunity.
Louie Perez had the talent and the dream to become a performer; all he needed was the opportunity. While working at Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio in Los Angeles, CA, he found his opportunity to pursue his career in the performing arts and even meet his wife, Francine. Together, they opened VP Dance Academy in Fishkill, NY. Louie began working with local High Schools and Colleges as a choreographer for musicals, which sparked his passion for the performing arts once more. After realizing he had a passion to create and produce productions, and with the help of his good friend and fellow dreamer, Emilio Giordano, he created his own theater company, West Side Theatrix.
West Side Theatrix was created to give young performers their opportunity to hone their skills, find their passions and chase their dreams. We are a self funded organization, striving to provide our students with an affordable preparation for their futures. We do what we love and love what we do here, and hope to inspire everyone around us to chase their dreams, work their hardest, and NEVER GIVE UP!
Louie Perez is our founder and producer. His passion in life has always been to inspire and motivate those around them to chase their dreams and NEVER GIVE UP. Louie was born in Havana, Cuba and at age 10, he came to the U.S. where he fell in love with musical theatre. While living in Los Angeles, he performed in West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, The Music Man, Damn Yankees, Eleanor, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Guys and Dolls, and The Sound of Music. He now owns VP Dance Academy with his wife, Francine Perez, where he teaches jazz, tap, and musical theatre. As a choreographer for local high schools and colleges, he has had the opportunity to choreograph Peter Pan, West Side Story, Beauty and the Beast, Hairspray, Legally Blonde, Shrek, The Addams Family, A Chorus Line, Cabaret, and Anything Goes. Louie would like to thank all of the students he has had the pleasure of working with, as the have inspired him to be the best he can be. He would also like to remind everyone to "Never Give Up!"
Emilio is thrilled to be part of this new and unique theatre company. Emilio has been working with Louie Perez for over 10 years. Louie would say Emilio has been his "color guy" on his production numbers for years now. He has added depth to his creative choreography turning a dance number into a mini show. Emilio has written a play that was an inspiration for one of Louie's production numbers. That number included a mix of student dancers and male adult dancers, which Emilio was featured in. Emilio has also been on stage dancing, and in numerous character roles including Edna from Hairspray. Emilio's true talent is his ability to help young performers relate to their roles and to help them find their source. Emilio is a huge advocate for promoting self-esteem and encourages young adults to be themselves and be proud of who they are. He feels blessed to have the opportunity to work with young adults and help them grow not only as a performer, but most importantly as a human being.
Aimee Brainard has been teaching choral and vocal music for 25 years. A choral director at George Fischer Middle School in Carmel, NY, she also prepares middle school and high school vocalists for NYSSMA performances and All-State auditions. In addition to her choirs, she teaches ukulele and guitar, as well as directing the Jazz Band at George Fischer. A classically-trained pianist, Aimee is a busy, in-demand piano accompanist who works with vocal and instrumental students for NYSSMA performances, accompanies several local school choirs, and has been the accompanist for various All-County and Area All-State choirs. Aimee is also on staff as a piano accompanist at Marist College. Aimee has a Bachelors degree in Music Ed from the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford. She lives in Staatsburg, NY with her husband, Jason, and daughters Kira and Catrina. Aimee looks forward to working on West Side's upcoming productions!
Lori has been working with West Side Theatrix since its inception. She designs all of their show programs and posters, takes rehearsal and show photos/videos/cast headshots and assists with just about everything else. She was co-creator of the West Side Theatrix website, which she maintains along with the West Side YouTube channel, Facebook page and other social media sites. Lori is a graduate of SUNY Potsdam/Crane School of Music with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Production and Marketing. She is currently the Production Stage Crew Advisor for Proscenium, the John Jay High School drama club and also helps with the Fishkill Plains elementary school drama club. Lori loves working with all of these talented young people and hopes to help give them the opportunity to reach for the stars and fulfill their dreams. She lives in Hopewell Junction, NY with her husband, Eric and 3 daughters, Lindsey, Carly and Hailey. Lori is looking forward to working with West Side Theatrix on future productions!
Cynthia, originally from Dutchess County, NY has been dancing for over 20 years. A 2013 graduate from Manhattanville College, Cynthia received her Bachelor's degree in Dance & Theatre. In 2016 she was accepted into, and completed Broadway Dance Center's prestigious Professional Semester. Cynthia has trained with some of the best in the business and has performed at such venues as Madison Square Garden, New York City Center, Walt Disney World, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. Her choreography has been featured during pre-game and half-time for the New York Knicks, New York Liberty and the Brooklyn Nets. Cynthia is grateful for the opportunity to continue growing as an artist, and to share her knowledge and experiences with all of her students.
Assistant Director/Production Manager
Lindsey is a proud West Side Theatrix alumni and is thrilled to now be a part of the production team! She would not be where she is today without having the experiences from her time in the West Side productions of Grease (Rizzo), Hairspray (Tracy), and Legally Blonde (Vivienne). Her love for theatre led her to the roles of assistant director and stage manager for West Side Theatrix's 2022 musical, 42nd Street. Lindsey graduated from John Jay High School in 2021 and now attends Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY in their 5 year BA/MAT English-Theatre Adolescent Education/Special Education (Grades 7-12) program. Outside of school she dances at VP Dance Academy, takes voice lessons, and participates in other theatre groups. She can't wait to see what the future holds for West Side Theatrix and is excited to make more memories!