for Rising High School Seniors
Our professional staff of artists and educators at The Summer School for the Performing Arts are dedicated to the mission of active participation and healthy risk taking.
Michael Towers is the Artistic Director of Westford Academy Theater Arts (WATA), a thriving public high school theater department in Westford, MA. In conjunction with guest professionals from the Boston area, Michael produces four mainstage and four black box productions each year showcasing the talents of his one hundred and fifty theater students. Six of Michael’s productions were each named the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild’s State Finals Winner in recent years. In 2009, Michael earned his MFA in Playwriting from Boston University under the instruction of Richard Schotter, Melinda Lopez, Ronan Noone and Kate Snodgrass. His full length comedy Five Down One Across premiered at The Boston Playwrights’ Theater in October of 2010. His short plays have been read and produced by the Munroe Saturday Night Reading Series, the Boston Theater Marathon, and most recently: Station Nation-A National Reflection on the Station Nightclub Fire.
Chris Gosselin, a founding member of the SSPA Professional Staff, works regularly throughout New England as a director and music director in middle and high school theater arts programs, most recently directing "Songs for a New World" at Westford Academy Theater Arts. During the academic year, Chris teaches full-time in the English Department at Wakefield Memorial High School. Additionally, Chris serves on the Executive Council of the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild and is the Music Director for the state-wide MET Awards. He holds degrees from Saint Michael’s College in Burlington, VT and Simmons College in Boston, MA.
Stephanie Gosselin is a 17 year veteran teacher of Instructional Technology in the Westford Public Schools. She has worked on many productions at Westford Academy Theater Arts and The Summer School for the Performing Arts over the past 10 years in Costumes, Ticket Sales, Publicity and wherever she can help out. As Administrative Director she has managed the enrollment, publicity, staffing, web design and communication at SSPA since 2009.
Assistant Artistic Director
Kyla Blocker is an actor, director, and educator currently residing in New York City. She is a recent graduate of New York University where she earned her master’s degree in Educational Theatre. While at NYU, Kyla completed her student teaching at LaGuardia High School of the Arts and Hunter College Elementary School; she also served as the Company Manager for the NYU Youth Theatre Ensemble. Previously, she received her B.F.A. in Theatre from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where she trained at the Stella Adler Studio. She has performed in several productions both at NYU and in the New York City area and is still very connected to her artistic side. Kyla pioneered the Dramatic Acting program at SSPA, and she has directed numerous productions in the Black Box Theatre including last summer’s Cry Havoc and Memory House. Kyla strives to help her students grow not only as theatre artists, but also as human beings and believes there is no better place to do this than SSPA. She is thrilled to be back this summer.
Shakespeare in the Park
Maggie Sulka is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she received her B.F.A. in Acting, under the guidance of Dale AJ Rose, and worked as a company member at the Connecticut Repertory Theatre. While at CRT, Maggie pioneered the role of Diane in the World Premiere of I’m Connecticut, which starred Jerry Adler (The Good Wife) and Joyce Dewitt (Three’s Company). Other CRT credits include the World Premiere of O Beautiful written by Theresa Rebeck; the Regional Premiere of Odysseus DOA written and directed by Stephen Svoboda, starring Kim Zimmer (Guiding Light); and Punk Rock, directed by Kristin Wold. Maggie has also trained at Florida State University’s Theatre Academy London in the United Kingdom, where she studied Shakespeare and voice under the direction of Barbara Houseman and Ben Naylor. Maggie received her silver certification in rapier and dagger, and unarmed combat from the British Academy of Dramatic Combat. She is excited to return to SSP!
Kate Maguire has worked for the Westford Public Schools as a Kindergarten teacher for the past 14 years. She was the Program Director for SSPA Jr. and is presently in her fifth year with SSPA. Kate is certified in First Aid and CPR and worked as an Aquatics Director and USS Swim Coach for over ten years. Kate has enjoyed the world of theater as an avid audience member watching her daughter Maggie perform.
Laurie DeTolla (Costume Designer) is thrilled to be returning as the Costume Designer for SSPA. In addition to creating costumes for the actors, she will be teaching the art of costuming and props and how they enhance the world of the performers. "Mama DeTolla" has been costuming for Westford Academy Theater Arts for over ten years and embraces the lessons learned here, both on and off the stage.
Director- Musical Theater Studio
Emily Brown is a graduate of the Boston University School of Theatre, and a lifetime student of SSPA. Her recent roles include Mrs. Tenney in Mrs. Packard, and Callie in Equal Writes, a new work at the Boston Playwrights' Theater. Last year, Emily directed MT Studio's pioneer productions: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Emily is looking forward to this summer, and is proud and excited to celebrate ten years of SSPA.