Meet the Team
Our Season 17 team will be fully announced by September 1!
Coming Soon: Courtney, JB, Serena, and Amy!
Owner & Artistic Director since 2007
Samm is an award-winning teacher, producer, coach, entrepreneur, and proud mother of three boys ages 10, 7 and 3. She holds a B.A. in Theater Education from Wagner College and is the 2021 recipient of Businessperson of the Year through the Sudbury Chamber of Commerce. Samm established The Performing Arts Connection in 2007 as a way to bring theater and dance to the community and beyond.
Born and raised in Sudbury, MA, Samm has been coaching young performers for over twenty-two years. In 1998, as a freshman in high school, Samm founded The Friends of Broadway, a service-based traveling musical group that performs at venues all over the country. In addition to FOB, Samm founded Metrowest Family Theater at age 16 and has directed over 25 musicals and plays with MFT since 2000. Samm collaborated with Rounder Records ("Girl Authority", Executive Producer) and SteveSongs on various recording projects in the children's music industry. She is grateful to collaborate on many TPAC projects with her husband, John Bower, a vocal coach and music director at the studio and Head of the Middle School at the Rivers School in Weston, MA.
In her free time, Samm serves on the board of HOPEsudbury and is a proud Certified Coach with More Than Just Great Dancing and she enjoys participating in speaking engagements and coaching studio owners all around the globe in best business practices.
Samm's favorite part about theater education is building self-esteem and confidence in her students and watching them soar on stage. She is extremely grateful and honored to be a part of your performing arts journey!
Director of Theater since 2021
Originally from the Seattle area, Sarah has taught around the United States and in France. She holds an MFA in Acting from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, and has performed at a variety of regional venues including the Seattle Opera, Benaroya Hall, the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, and the Dr Phillips Center. She has taught at theaters, arts programs, community centers, daycares, schools, and preschools, with students as young as 2 and as old as 97. Sarah adores the incredible TPAC community, making great memories with students and staff, and collaborating on fantastic productions. TPAC is truly her second home and she can't wait to keep sharing this joy with everyone in Season 17!
Erica grew up in Tampa, FL beginning her dance training at the age of 10. After moving to Saugerties, New York at the age of 13, began to study under the direction of Scarlett Fiero at Saugerties Ballet Center. She joined Ulster Ballet Company and performed in the annual “Festival of Dance” and “A Christmas Carol” from 2013-2016. Throughout her pre-professional training she attended numerous summer programs including Saratoga Summer Dance Intensive, Next Generation Ballet, Boston Ballet, The Rock School for Dance Education, New York State Summer School of the Arts, and Kaatsbaan Extreme Ballet. She chose to further her dance studies in 2016 at The Hartt School in Hartford, CT, and graduated in 2020 with a BFA in Ballet Pedagogy. While in school, she performed and learned works by Jose Limon, Gabrielle Lamb, George Balanchine, Claudia Schreier, Debra Collins Ryder, and various classical works by Marius Petipa. In December of 2018, she was a guest artist in Ballet Hartford’s performance of Handel’s “Messiah”. In the summer of 2019, she attended the Henny Jurriëns Studio Summer Intensive in Amsterdam, Netherlands for two weeks, where she took workshop classes by renowned artists and teachers. She completed a Ballet Pedagogy internship in her junior and senior year with The Hartt School Community Division under the mentorship of director Sarkis Kaltaktchian. As a part of her senior capstone project, Erica choreographed a Contemporary work titled “Who You Once Were”, which was chosen to represent The Hartt School at the American College Dance Association. After graduating, she has taught in both recreational and competitive dance programs throughout New England. Erica is grateful to be able to spread her passion for dance and the arts through teaching, and seeing her students shine and blossom. She is looking forward to her second year at TPAC and is excited for what Season 17 holds!
Dance Coordinator since 2023
Bethany is from southern New Hampshire, where she grew up training, dancing, and competing all over New England. From 2015 to 2021, Bethany danced professionally for Saving Grace Dance Ensemble under the creative direction of Robyn Goulette. In 2020, Bethany graduated from Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi, with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Psychology. While at Belhaven, she studied under acclaimed instructors such as Mia Whitehead, Elizabeth Sweatt, Cynthia Newland, Laura Morton, Krista Bower, and Ravena
Tucker-Wagnon. Bethany was also a dancer in Belhaven’s Dance Ministry ensemble from 2018 to 2020, working with a variety of different choreographers while performing and touring across the south. Bethany has taught, choreographed, and competitively instructed students throughout the country. She also0 continues to train and perform in the New England area, and in 2022, was a part of the first Dance Heels Live performance, directed by Tara Brown in collaboration with Burju Shoes. She is super excited to be a part of the TPAC family and to grow in collaboration and creativity with the faculty and students!
Dance Department since 2021
Allie grew up in DeForest, Wisconsin, beginning her dance training at Storybook Ballet and A Step Above Dance & Music Academy. She quickly fell in love with the art form, training in as many genres as she could. After years of assistant teaching, performing competitively, and teaching for the DeForest Parks and Recreation Dance Program, she decided to expand her dance knowledge at the University of Minnesota: Twin Cities. Allie graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and a minor in Health and Wellness Promotion in May 2020. While in school, she fulfilled a teaching dance practicum with Ballare Teatro, curated a dance and visual art collaboration show, choreographed works for many composition showings, and completed an arts administration internship at Lundstrum Performing Arts. She was also selected to perform in pieces by renowned choreographers, Robert Moses, Pramila Vasudevan, Eko Supriyanto, and Chris Schlichting, among numerous student-choreographed works. She was a featured soloist in Robert Moses’ “Cause” in December 2019, and the piece was selected to compete at the American College Dance Association. Since graduating, Allie has danced professionally with Metamorphosis Dance Company, Forty Steps Dance, The Boston She Party, Onyxx Performance Group, Madison Contemporary Dance, and with freelance choreographers such as Sabrina Yachkouri. She has taught for both recreational and competitive programs in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, and she loves getting to share her passion for movement and fitness with the next generation. Allie is thrilled to be back at TPAC for her third season, and she looks forward to encouraging students to shine through their own unique voices and talents!
Theater & Voice Department since 2021
Michaela is overjoyed to be returning for her third year at TPAC! Michaela is a teaching artist, director, and music director currently based in Boston, MA. She is currently attending Emerson College to pursue a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Education and Applied Theatre. She is a graduate of Muhlenberg College, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Music, with concentrations in directing and choral conducting. Michaela currently teaches musical theatre classes, coaches private voice lessons, conducts a children’s choir, and works as an early childhood educator. Michaela believes that the arts can be used to help students build confidence by learning about themselves and the world around them. She can’t wait for another totally tubular year at TPAC!
Swing / Alumni
Darcy likes to think her official TPAC title would be a “Swing,” as she takes on many roles at TPAC including costume coordinator, substitute teaching, co-running birthday parties and school vacation workshops, directing youth musicals and summer shows! She recently graduated Boston University Wheelock with her Ed.M. in Special Education and previously received her B.A. in Elementary Education from Brandeis University. As a former TPAC student herself, she is honored to get to be a part of such a positive and powerful atmosphere. When she isn’t working at TPAC, she is a Special Education preschool teacher in Newton and enjoys baking, crafting, and playing with her pets.
Voice Department since 2017
A lifelong musician, Hannah is a versatile music educator, performer, and music director in the Greater Boston Area. She holds a B.A. in Voice Performance and Pedagogy from Plymouth State University (Plymouth, NH). In addition to music directing for TPAC's Summer Theater Workshops since 2018, Hannah has music directed various programs for the Create. Inspire. Change Theater Company (Boston, MA), Piano Monster Festivals (Plymouth, NH), The Flying Monkey Summer Theater Workshops (Plymouth, NH), the Circle Program (Plymouth, NH), and the Educational Theater Collaborative (Plymouth, NH). Hannah has been teaching and coaching voice, piano, and music appreciation to all ages and levels all over New England both in-person and virtually since 2013.
Along with teaching, Hannah has performed in various venues all over New England. Hannah is an active member at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross (Boston, MA), and she sings for the High Holy Days at Temple Beth Shalom (Needham, MA). She has also performed with Night Song (Cambridge, MA), the Community College of Rhode Island Chamber Singers (Warwick, RI), Peacham Congregational Church (Peacham, VT), Saint John the Evangelist Church (Cambridge, MA), Saint Joseph’s Cathedral (Manchester, NH), New Hampshire Master Chorale (Concord, NH), TIGER Theater (Plymouth, NH), Educational Theater Collaborative (Plymouth, NH), and St. Martins Theater (New Brunswick, Canada).
Dance Department since 2022
Originally from Tabor City, North Carolina, Rodney started his dance training at Amy’s Academy of Dance Arts in Chadbourn, North Carolina at the age of 12. Along with his extensive dance training, Rodney graduated with his BA in communications with a concentration in dance from Bridgewater State University. He was a national/international champion competitive cheerleader, dancer, and has performed with several dance groups, including Bridgewater State University’s Dance Company, Bridgewater State Dance Team, Joffrey Ballet, Impact Dance Company, and Bridgewater State Cheerleading and nonetheless commercial with Danity Kane. A phenomenal acrobatic, Rodney received his tumbling certification from The United States All Star Federation and Building Blocks certified. His choreography has received many overall high scores on the regional, national and international competitive level. Rodney is also the owner of an awesome new dance competition “The Classic Dance Experience.” When he is teaching, he brings an uplifting and fresh approach to his teaching style. To quote Rodney, “My passion for dance inspires me to teach others how to move their bodies and connect with the feelings and souls of others.”
Database Manager since 2021
Lindsey has been an avid supporter of TPAC from the very beginning! Over the years, she has been involved in several ways at the studio, from performing in musicals, working on the summer theater team, organizing costumes and props, and serving as a crew member backstage at performances. Lindsey has a passion for improv and is no stranger in the Adult Improv class. Taking Adult Improv at TPAC has helped her grow tremendously as an actor and as an individual. The class challenges Lindsey to quickly think on her feet, be open to new ideas, take risks, accept, adapt, be creative, and collaborate. Lindsey holds a B.A. from the University of Connecticut and a M.Ed. from Northeastern University.
Dance & Theater Department since 2022
Emily is so excited to be back at TPAC! Emily danced at Acton Boxborough Dance Center for 15 years, starting at age four. She studied all forms of dance, including ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, modern, lyrical, and pointe. In fifth grade, she joined their competition team and was a teaching assistant throughout high school. At AB Regional High School, Emily was very involved in Proscenium Circus, their theatre group, as a performer, director, and student choreographer. She received a TAMY nomination for her work in “Mary Poppins”, and played Belle in “Beauty and the Beast.” Emily has a B.A. in Dance and Theatre from Muhlenberg College, with concentrations in Education, Choreography, and Performance Studies. She performed in numerous faculty and student productions, choreographed several mainstage pieces, and coordinated dance showcases. She was thrilled to work with Earl Mosley in “Unconquered” and has taken master classes from Dianne Walker, Aaron Tolson, Thelma Goldberg, and Ian Berg. At college, Emily was captain of the jazz team and a performing choreographer for both the jazz and tap teams. She also taught dance for the Muhlenberg Community Dance Center and completed an Arts Administration Internship at The Dance Complex in Cambridge. Last spring, she completed a wonderful year of teaching dance and musical theater classes at TPAC, Acton Boxbrough Dance Center, and Dancing Arts Academy. She also continues to perform with Dance Works Boston, a Boston-based dance company. Emily strives to create inclusive and engaging classes and shows that foster a love of performance. She cannot wait to get moving with everyone!
Office Manager since 2022
Katie is excited to be entering Season 17 at The Performing Arts Connection as the Office Manager. Before arriving at TPAC, Katie was employed at Native Plant Trust (Garden in the Woods), where she served as the Administrative Coordinator for three years. Working at the Garden sparked an interest in environmental issues and protecting the region’s native flora and fauna, and she plans to continue educating herself about the field of conservation. Prior to that she was a Gallery Assistant at Quadrum, a gallery featuring a carefully curated collection of designer jewelry, for twelve years. There she was able to indulge in her love of gemstones and all things sparkly. Her favorite part of working at Quadrum was meeting interesting artists and making personal connections with clients. Katie has two daughters and is a proud dance, soccer and theater mom! She has made her home in Framingham for the past 20 years after earning a degree at Framingham State University, studying Art History and Museum Studies. When she is not working she can be found traveling in her camper with her husband and girls, enjoying nature, or curled up with a good book. She is so excited to be a part of the TPAC team and work with all the wonderful families and students!
Theater and Voice since 2023
Cooper is a music director, accompanist, educator, and performer originally from Northern Virginia. They are currently pursuing a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee in Boston, MA. A lifelong performer and musician, Cooper has been performing and playing piano since the age of 8. He has music directed and directed at Boston Conservatory, Berklee College of Music, Northeastern University, and Emerson College, as well as music directing at the world renowned French Woods Festival for the Performing Arts. They love to share the gift and excitement of music and theater with other artists, young and old alike. He is so excited to be joining TPAC this summer!
Fun Days since 2020
Kelly-Jo has been a preschool teacher for over 30 years and loves to bring light, laughter and learning into her classroom! Kelly-Jo completed her lead teacher requirements for preschool and infant/toddlers at Mass Bay Community College. She started teaching in Maine at Rocking Horse childcare center in 1986 and since then has also taught in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Kelly-Jo was the K-1 Pod Squad instructor back in 2020 and loved every second of the journey. She is the mother of two wonderful children and loves taking vacations anywhere by the ocean, the White Mountains and Disney World! Kelly-Jo hopes to continue to mold young minds through hands-on projects and thinking outside the box. She believes that through using your imagination and support of each other you can accomplish anything! Kelly-Jo has strived to create a safe and fun learning environment for children so their education, growth and safety will always come first. Fun facts: has a german shepard named Moxie, loves Disney, and her favorite colors are green and blue.
Fun Days Assistant since 2020
Jenna has been working at TPAC since 2020, and can’t wait for round three of Fun Days with her partner in fun, Kelly-Jo! She loves running around with the kids, doing crafts with KJ, and finding new games to play. She’s looking forward to seeing you all in the fall!
Front Desk Host since 2023
Emily grew up the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Hope College in Holland, Michigan. She is passionate about history, music, and meeting new people! Emily is thrilled to be joining the TPAC team and can’t wait to support its community.
Little Limelight Teaching Team
Katie is excited to be coming back to TPAC to teach at The Little Limelight “Twirl, Leap & Tumble.” Katie graduated from Providence College in 2022 with her Bachelor’s in Theatre Arts and Creative Writing and previously worked at TPAC as a summer counselor in 2022 and 2023. Katie has a background in children’s theatre, acting, directing, playwriting, and stage management. She is excited to help students grow as dancers and gain confidence in themselves.
Little Limelight Teaching Team
Jess is thrilled to be a part of the TPAC team! She has been a student at TPAC since she was eight years old. She took Conservatory classes, competed with the Eclipse Dance Team for five years, and was part of the studio’s Apprentice Program. She also has had the absolute pleasure and joy of being a summer counselor for the past two years at the Summer Theater Workshops and could not be more excited now to be a part of the Little Limelight team! Jess is currently in college, studying for a BFA in Theater Education. She is so excited to watch the students grow and have the best year ever! WOO, season 17!!