JDP (formerly known as de Perla Theatre) is a professionally operating company that works with young adult and youth actors to produce high quality dramas and musicals for audiences of all ages.
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JDP Theatre Co. is a community theatre business that is co-owned/operated by Jillian Gesualdi, Jessica Mayette, and the woman who brought the trio together in theatre: Judy dePerla.
The company's journey started in 1996 when Judy founded an extracurricular middle school theatre program in East Providence (MTC). For twelve years, Judy put all of her passion for the performing arts into teaching acting to middle-school-aged children after school and producing one drama per year that was open to the public.
In 2009, Jess Mayette joined the MTC team. She brought with her a significant level of polish, as well as a keen eye for staging and character development, that strengthened our actors’ abilities more and more each show. Together, Judy and Jess were able to expand by producing two dramas each year, one of which now combined middle school students with high school students in performances.
In 2015, directorship shifted once more as Judy stepped aside to serve as the company’s manager while she started her own side project: de Perla Theatre, a community program that provided summer theatre camps and acting intensives. Jillian Gesualdi stepped into co-directorship with Jess at MTC in Judy's stead. Jillian brought with her a professional background in musical theater and dance, which spearheaded the creation of “big bang” dramas and - for the first time in MTC history - musicals. The duo became unstoppable and began operating MTC on professional levels that no one imagined it could. They set the community on fire - producing three of the highest-quality shows ever created under the moniker MTC - before deciding to dissolve MTC, and merge with Judy's private company.
Judy, Jess, and Jillian rebranded and reconstructed dePerla Theatre to give life to a bigger, shared vision - JDP Theatre Co. - in June of 2018.
JDP Theatre Co. strives to be inclusive, accessible, and professional, as it is one of the most affordable programs in the state of RI. We specialize in working with performers ages 11-25 and provide our members with a sense of freedom, family, and home.
Over the years, countless JDP alumni have moved on to work as professional actors throughout RI and NY. As a result of Judy, Jess, and Jillian’s groundwork and unparalleled dedication, hundreds of lives have been changed by our company. Every day, we are proud to build upon the legacy Judy dePerla has built…one show at a time.