Faculty & Staff
Owner & Artistic Director
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Samm is an award-winning teacher, producer, coach, entrepreneur, and proud mother of three boys ages 9, 6 and 2. 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. The Friends of Broadway have lent their talents to hundreds of performances to nursing homes, hospitals, and to charities like The Jimmy Fund and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, to name a few. It was through the work with FOB that Samm discovered her true passion and purpose: working with young people in theater. In addition to FOB, Samm founded Metrowest Family Theater at age 16 and has directed over 25 musicals and plays with MFT since 2000.
In addition to her work with FOB, MFT, and TPAC, Samm has collaborated with Rounder Records ("Girl Authority", Executive Producer) and SteveSongs on various recording projects in the children's music industry. Over the years, Samm's students have appeared in regional theater, in national recording/commercial/film/TV projects, on national tours and on Broadway. 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, an organization dedicated to engaging the people of Sudbury in community-wide efforts to provide humanitarian aid to people in need, both at home and abroad. She 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 teaches classes to all ages at the studio from our youngest performers in our Little Limelight Program all the way to adults! She directs our sister groups, Metrowest Family Theater and The Friends of Broadway.
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!
Executive Director/Director of Special Events
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Courtney began dancing at the age of three, studying jazz, tap, ballet, and lyrical until graduating high school. While at Stonehill College, Courtney was on the dance team and was part of the dance club. In addition, she danced in several musicals during high school and college. After graduating from Stonehill and while living in Boston, Courtney continued her dancing at the Jeannette Neill Dance Studio, performing in several of the studio's semi-annual repertory shows. Since graduating from Stonehill with a B.A. in psychology and a minor in early childhood education, Courtney has worked within the field of early childhood development as an infant/toddler teacher, a preschool teacher, and as a developmental specialist in Early Intervention. Courtney is thrilled to be back at TPAC for her fifth year!
Director of Theater
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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. She can't wait to "hit the road" with all of you for Season 16!
Director of Eclipse Dance Team
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Carla is proud to have been teaching at TPAC for nearly 15 years! She began dancing at age three in Colorado with training in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, hip-hop, contemporary, and musical theater dance. Carla attended West Texas A&M University earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance in 2008. While there she helped run the University Dance Academy, taught classes for a studio in a nearby town, was captain of the Thunderette Dance Team, performed in The Nutcracker, and was the line captain and dancer in the musical "Texas". Upon graduation she ventured to Boston and began working at The Performing Arts Connection. She has choreographed for numerous youth musicals including Willy Wonka, Seussical, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Oliver, Alice in Wonderland, Dear Edwina, and more. She choreographed for two seasons of PROVE IT and received an EMACT award nomination for Best Choreography for Spring Awakening. In 2010 she helped form the Eclipse Dance Team. Carla's choreography has won various awards including 1st place Overall in their division, the Art of Dance Award, and the "Funtastic" award. She has also choreographed for Metrowest Family Theater, RJ Grey Jr. High, The Friends of Broadway, and OnStage Dance Company. She has performed with OnStage Repertory Dance Company, The Mill City Dancers, and Adagio Entertainment. She currently dances and performs with OnStage Dance Company and takes various dance classes around Boston. She continues her professional development by attending various dance conferences and trainings throughout the country. She loves teaching and sharing her love of dance with others!
Katie is enthusiastic about joining the staff at The Performing Arts Connection as the Office Manager. She joins us from 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 conservation. Prior to that she was employed at Quadrum Gallery, 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 ages 9 and 12, and is a proud dance 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 most looking forward to working at TPAC to learn more about the arts of dance and theater, and to watch children discover their own passions and thrive.
John has been teaching voice at The Performing Arts Connection since 2007. He holds a B.A. in music theory/composition and vocal performance and a minor in French language from Haverford College. In 2008, JB became the music director for the recording group "Girl Authority," that performed at venues nationwide and sold over 100,000 albums. He has also been an active music director and pianist for various community theater companies in the Metrowest area. JB currently works at The Rivers School where he is the Assistant Head of Middle School, directs the Middle School Select Chorus, and music directs the school productions. When not teaching, you can find JB singing first tenor in his semi-professional a cappella group, "Redline," golfing, and enjoying quality time with his three boys, James, Miles and Lucas.
Alissa Schimmel was born and raised in New York where she discovered a natural passion for dancing and performing at a very young age. Alissa received her training at Footworks Dance Center, The Ulster County Ballet Company, Alvin Ailey, Steps on Broadway, and Broadway Dance Center where she was a Summer Intern and an Assistant for the Rockette Experience at Radio City Music Hall. Alissa holds a B.A. in Dance and Theater from Manhattanville College. She has choreographed and taught throughout New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts. Alissa has performed for Princess Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Sandcastle Dinner Theater [Guam, Mariana Islands], and throughout the United States with Salazar Magic. She is a former member of the Greater New York Chapter of NADAA (National Association of Dance and Affiliated Arts) and has taught dance teachers and students at numerous NADAA dance conventions. Although Alissa loves performing, her true passion is spreading her love of dance by teaching young performers. She is grateful to be a part of the TPAC faculty and looks forward to motivating her students to be the best they can be.
A lifelong musician, Hannah Judas 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). Hannah currently teaches voice, piano, and group voice classes at The Performing Arts Connection (Sudbury, MA) and teaches in-home private lessons through Jammin’ With You (based in Wellesley, MA). In addition, Hannah has also has music directed various programs for The Performing Arts Connection Summer Theater Workshops (Sudbury, MA), 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 privately since 2013 and has experience teaching and coaching voice, piano, and music appreciation to all ages and levels all over New England both in-person and virtually.
In addition to 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), Saint John the Evangelist Church (Cambridge, MA), Night Song (Cambridge, MA), Peacham Congregational Church (Peacham, VT), and she sings for the High Holy Days at Temple Beth Shalom (Needham, MA). She has also performed with the Community College of Rhode Island Chamber Singers (Warwick, RI), 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).
Fun Days Instructor
Bio coming soon!
Fun Days Assistant
Hi there! My name is Jenna, and I’ve been working at TPAC in some form or fashion for two years now, and I’m so excited to be back for year three! I graduated from Saint Anselm College in 2019 with a degree in English, worked for a year in an after-school program, and fortuitously stumbled upon TPAC in Fall 2020. I’m looking forward to even more fun in Wednesday Fun Days with the incomparable KJ, where we will be playing, creating, and dodge-balling to your kids' hearts' content.
Theater & Voice Department
Michaela is so excited to be returning for her second year at TPAC! “Road Trip” is a perfect theme for Michaela, as she has spent much of her life teaching theatre and music in different areas of the US–Florida, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, New York, New Hampshire, and of course, Massachusetts! Michaela is a graduate of Muhlenberg College, where she studied Theatre and Music, with concentrations in directing and choral conducting. Originally from Haverhill, Massachusetts, Michaela is excited to have made her way back to MA and be working as a teaching artist. She looks forward to helping each student have their time in the limelight!
Allie grew up in DeForest, WI, beginning her dance training at the young age of three. She quickly fell in love with the art form, training in as many genres as she could. After many years of assistant teaching, performing competitively, and working with 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 chosen to compete at the American College Dance Association. Since graduating, Allie has danced professionally with The Boston She Party, Forty Steps Dance, Metamorphosis Dance Company, Onyxx Performance Group, and Madison Contemporary Dance. She has taught for both recreational and competitive programs in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Illinois, and she loves getting to share her passion for movement with the next generation. Allie is thrilled to be back at TPAC for her second season, and she looks forward to encouraging students to shine through their own unique voices and talents!
Erica grew up in Tampa, FL beginning her dance training at the age of 10, and 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. She quickly realized her passion
for dance, and attended numerous summer programs throughout her pre-professional training 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
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, Erica has taught in both recreational and competitive dance programs throughout Connecticut and is excited to be a new Massachusetts resident. Erica is grateful to be able to spread her passion for dance and the arts through teaching, and seeing her students shine and blossom throughout the
school year. She is looking forward to being a part of the TPAC family and can’t wait to meet all of the wonderful students!
Annabel is an educator and artist with a passion for experiential learning, movement technique, and the theatrical arts. In May of 2022, she earned her Masters of the Arts from Emerson College in Theatre Education and Applied Theatre. She possesses a thorough understanding of the Massachusetts State Standards, the UbD template, and experiential learning techniques. She has worked in professional and community theatre settings as a teaching artist, designer and performer for over a decade. In her free time, Annabel enjoys exploring multiple areas of movement and performing arts including musical theatre dance and yoga. She is so excited to get moving with The Performing Arts Connection friends and family!
Front Desk Host
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After graduating from Fitchburg State University with a BS in Communications Media, Julia is happy to return to TPAC where she spent her childhood performing as a “Broadway Baby.” Julia is excited to get back into the theatre community and is looking forward to being able to help cultivate a safe and fun learning environment for kids.
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.
Bio Coming Soon.
Bio Coming Soon.