Rocked by fire at its mall home, theater group rebounds

The Gabrielle Horvitz Voice Studio Players have found a new home at the Burlington County Institute of Technology in Westampton, where their performances of “Into the Woods” begin next Wednesday.

A fire last month at the Voorhees Town Center left residents stunned and mall businesses closed.

Among those affected was the Gabrielle Horvitz Voice Studio Players (GHVS), a South Jersey theater troupe known for its dedication to nurturing young talent at its space in the mall.

- Advertisement -

Horvitz, owner and director of GHVS, reflected on the fire and its effects on her group.

“The fire at the Voorhees Town Center has impacted us profoundly,” she acknowledged. “This space was our home, where we held all our rehearsals and brought our productions to life. Faced with this challenge, we had to swiftly pivot to ensure our production remained on track.”

Most of the Town Center was condemned after the April 19 fire and remains closed except for a small number of businesses. The GHVS secured a temporary home at the Burlington County Institute of Technology (BCIT) in Westampton, where it will begin performances of “Into the Woods” next Wednesday.

But the transition was not without problems.

“Relocating our production was an immense challenge,” Horvitz explained. “We found ourselves with everything crammed into my house, garages, and cars. Yet I maintained a positive outlook to keep our 50 youth cast calm and focused.”

She succeeded at that and found herself impressed by the the way her theater group endured the transition.

“What has impressed me most about the resilience of our cast is their ability to go with the flow,” Horvitz noted. “They placed their trust in the process and in themselves, embodying true teamwork and unity.”

“Learning that there was a fire at the Voorhees Town Center was very eye opening, and it has made me realize to be ready for any crazy situation,” said GHVS member Idleanna Torres, who praised the commitment and focus of the group and Horvitz.

“Miss Gabby went above and beyond to get us a new location,” Torres said, also noting the support of GHVS parents. “Even after having to overcome the fire and relocate, not knowing if the show was going to go on, everyone came together like a family.”

For troupe member Emma Margolis, a difficult experience has also been transformative.

“I quite honestly expected stage managing to be an easy feat,” she observed. “But it is exceedingly common for the work that goes on off stage to be unnoticed.”

Horvitz also praised the way the community supported her troupe after the fire.

“The community’s support during these strange and uncertain times has been nothing short of incredible,” she remarked. “The outpouring of generosity has been overwhelming.”

Even though the fire destroyed their space for practicing and performing, Margolis and other troupe members faced their challenges and have remained committed to the group. And the GHVS remains focused on its mission of nurturing young talent and producing exceptional performances.

“As we look forward to our next production,” Horvitz maintained, “we remain hopeful that the town center will reopen. “But this experience has taught us a valuable lesson: No matter where we are, we have the power to create beautiful stories, art, music, dance, and performances.”

The GHVS production of “Into the Woods” will continue through Sunday, June 2, at the BCIT theater. Tickets are available at

- Advertisment -