Virtual Summer SMARTS Staff
Sherye Weisz – Executive/Artistic Director: Sherye has been involved in the arts and education for over thirty-five years. Growing up in Providence, RI, Sherye took classes at Rhode Island School of Design, was a company member of the nationally known Looking Glass Theatre Company, played flute in state-wide groups and continued her creative pursuits at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, New York; Emerson College, Boston; and University of Calgary, Alberta. Sherye has been executive/artistic director of SMARTS since 1988. She was on the faculty of Lesley University, Cambridge, MA in the Creative Arts in Learning graduate program for 15 years and was president & artistic director of The UnCommon Theatre Company, a local regional children’s theatre, for 18 years. Sherye is also an educational consultant, providing regional school districts with long and short-term in-service programs that address strategies to enhance student learning through STEAM, integrated arts curriculum and assessment design. She served on the Fine Arts Advisory Council to the Commissioner of Education for 6 years and was a member of the Massachusetts Alliance for Arts Education for many years and is currently on the board of Arts|Learning. Sherye’s greatest joys come from her husband Jim of 42 years, her 3 children and her 3 grandchildren.
Tori Augusta – Executive Assistant/Program Coordinator: Tori is a practicing artist and has worked with children for over 10 years. She has been with SMARTS since early 2016. She graduated from UMass Dartmouth in 2012 with a BFA in Design/Photography. Tori was born and raised in Mansfield, MA and is passionate about arts in our community. When Tori is not at SMARTS she spends her time with her husband and three year old son who cannot wait to join in on the SMARTS fun!
Nichole Speciale – Administrative Assistant: Nichole is a practicing visual artist working primarily in drawing. She is the illustrator behind Yellow Ochre Studio, which raises awareness for local farms in Southeastern, MA by painting gouache portraits of their produce. She graduated from Brandeis University with a BA in Studio Art and Art History and she did her graduate work at University of California, San Diego where she received her MFA in Visual Arts.
Pete Tarsi – Creative Writing Teacher: Pete holds a Bachelor's Degree in Creative Writing and Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Master's Degree in Education from the University of Massachusetts. He has five Young Adult novels published, two of them under a pen name, and his popular "Flipping the Scales" trilogy published under his own name. Pete has been teaching physics for twenty-four years at Attleboro High School, where he is also the after-school Drama Coach. During his time there, he has world premiered four of his own original plays. His one-act play "Tracks" has been published by the Dramatic Publishing Company of Woodstock, Illinois--one of the three largest play catalogs in the country--and was the tenth most produced short play by high schools in the 2018-2019 school year . Pete has three beautiful daughters, who have all participated in the SMARTS Summer Institute.
Seth Antonitis - Percussion Teacher: Seth has been assisting and teaching percussion at the SMARTS Summer Institute for 18 years. He began drumming 20 years ago, mastering several percussion instruments in the process. He is a longstanding member of the Rhythm Room under bandleader Rick Morin and is a freelance musician and private lesson teacher. Seth’s method of teaching centers on passing down knowledge in a fun, interesting, and energetic fashion. Seth earned his BA in Philosophy from The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
Ellis Stump- Drama Teacher: Ellis - like the island! - explores, crafts, and teaches imaginative multi-medium performance, virtually and internationally, for stage, screen, and all ages. She graduated from Penn State Honors College in 2019 with degrees spanning English, Film/Media, Psychology, Gender, and Global Studies, and now pursues a Playwriting MFA at Columbia University in NYC. This past year, Ellis developed her innovative ideas for young audiences and educational contexts in-residency at Prague Performing Arts Academy, Wallace Stegner House Canada, and New York Theater Festival (off-Broadway). Through interactive, collaborative workshops (inspired by her bonus passions: art, nature, social equality and awareness, yoga, food), she hopes to include and encourage every participant. Together, let’s discover our creative selves, communities, and current world!
Kristine Waterman - Dance Teacher: Kristine has been teaching dance and theater arts for over 20 years in various settings, for both children and adults. Kristine served as the Head of the Dance Department and Artistic Director at Berkshire School in Sheffield MA and piloted a new dance program at Miss Hall's School in Pittsfield, MA. Kristine teaches five weekly dance classes, in various disciplines, at Berkshire Pulse-a center for dance and the creative arts in Housatonic, MA. She also teaches dance and drama in grant-funded residencies, choreographs for musical theater productions, and teaches after-school enrichment programs throughout the Berkshires. As a preschool teacher, Kristine designed and taught a creative arts program, in NYC and the Berkshires, for kindergarten and preschool age children. She taught dance and theater, and was director of a dance troupe, for young adults with developmental disabilities in New York State. Kristine has performed both regionally and nationally and performs locally throughout the Berkshires. Kristine holds a B.A. in Theater and Dance from the City University of New York and graduated from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NYC. Kristine finds continual inspiration from her son's many musical endeavors while he studies abroad in Australia and is very excited to join the SMARTS Collaborative team!
Juliette Casselman - Visual Arts Teacher: Juliette Casselman is an art educator, artist, mom, and lover of fresh cut french fries. She has been teaching art for almost 20 years in schools, after school, in camp programs, and specialty art workshops. Juliette currently teaches middle school art for Plymouth Public Schools where she has created illuminated light sculptures for parades, build theater props for the lavish school productions, and explored all forms of art with her students . Juliette loves to create artwork of all kinds from large scale murals to wearable art. She looks forward to teaching at SMARTS Collaborative summer camp for the first time this year. To view some of her work and her students, please visit her social media art sites juliettegcasselman@weebly,com and/or her Instagram page Casselmanartroom.
Ella Mordarski- Ella is going to be a junior at Cumberland High School this coming fall. She has previously interned teaching swim at the Adirondack Club in Franklin, Ma. Ella loves working with kids and wants to pursue a degree in elementary education. She is very excited to work with SMARTS this summer
David Piccirilli- David is going to be a senior at Mansfield high school in the coming fall. He has been a part of the SMARTS family for over 8 years. While David was a student he loved all of the aspects of SMARTS, especially the film program. He enjoys music and has been playing the violin for many years. David has been an assistant at SMARTS the past two summers where he also worked in Before & After Care.
Keith Slobogan -