About Us

Valley Performance Playground celebrates the creative process and the joy and empowerment that comes from creating original work. Our fun and dynamic classes, workshops, and summer programs blend theater, music, and movement, and foster a strong sense of ensemble amongst the participants.

Whether we’re inventing imaginative worlds with toddlers or providing acting techniques to teens, our work is rooted in the spirit of play. We see the performing arts as a unique vehicle that encourages individual growth and a connection to community. All of our programs are designed to meet children of all levels of experience. We give them opportunities to stretch and challenge themselves in a safe and nurturing environment.

Meet our Team

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Sarah Marcus, Executive Director

sarah@valleyperformanceplayground.com

Sarah is a theater artist and educator who has been playing pretend for as long as she can remember. She attended Tufts University, where she was a member of the children’s theater troupe Traveling Treasure Trunk, and she received her M.F.A. in Acting from The Theatre School at DePaul University. She has been teaching drama to children of all ages since 2002.

In neighborhoods throughout New York City, Sarah taught with the Go Project, Brooklyn Arts Council, and the Neighborhood Improvement Association. From 2010-15, she ran the 6th–9th grade drama program at The Bement School in Deerfield, and she has also run theater programs at the Smith College Campus School, Greenfield Public Schools, Girls Leadership Institute, and Enchanted Circle Theater.

In the summer of 2016, Sarah and Felicia launched Valley Peformance Playground's first camp, and since then, they've continued to offer camps, after-school progams, and workshops. Sarah also launched the Youth Performance Festival with Kelly Silliman at the Northampton Center for the Arts.

As a performer, Sarah has appeared locally in Northampton's 24-hour play festival and Greenfield's Double Take Fringe Festival. Her solo show, "The Company of Myself," premiered at the Emerging Artists Theatre in New York, and she has appeared in plays at the Adirondack Theatre Festival, Cleveland Public Theatre, NY International Fringe Festival, and HERE Arts Center, among others.

Sarah lives in Florence with her husband and two children.

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Felicia Sloin, Director of Youth Programs

Felicia Sloin has been singing and performing since she was eight years old. She grew up doing community musical theater and participating in every theater camp and class she could sign up for. She studied classical voice throughout high school and as a student at Oberlin College, where she earned her degree in theater. After college, she worked as a theater educator with the Great Lakes Theater Festival in Cleveland, OH for several years before moving on to a career as a certified sign language interpreter.

Felicia has extensive experience with group and solo singing. Her father taught her how to sing harmonies when she was just five years old and she has been harmonizing ever since. She has performed nationwide with the Bay Area group Vocolot. She has also worked as a cantorial soloist in congregations in Berkeley, CA, Newton, MA, and throughout the Pioneer Valley.

Since her move to the Northampton area in 2008, Felicia has led music classes and programs for young families. Her Jewish Family Jam classes offer young Jewish and interfaith families a place to make music and build community. She also does family programming for holidays, gatherings, camps and other celebrations. Felicia has been the music teacher at the Lander Grinspoon Academy, a Jewish day school in Northampton, since 2012.

As much as she loves her work as a music and theater educator, Felicia's favorite job is being the mother of Elijah Rain, her greatest source of love and inspiration.

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Emily Bloch, Musical Theater Adventure Staff

Emily Bloch is a Valley actor, stage manager, and nanny. As an artist she has worked with the Majestic, New Century Theatre, Silverthorne, K&E Theater Group, and Pauline Productions. As a nanny she has watched many a baby and toddler grow up and shine in elementary school, taking with them the art, music, and love she provides every child. She received a BA in Theatre from CUNY Queens College in her hometown of NYC. Emily is a proud member of Actors Equity Association, and loves all that the Pioneer Valley brings to the wider world. 

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Seana Lamothe, Musical Theater Adventure Staff

Seana Lamothe earned a Bachelor's Degree in "Children and the Arts" and an M.Ed from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She studied theatre and vocal performance (opera) for three years at Clark University. She has been a theatre teacher and director for over twenty years, beginning her career as a theatre director for Worcester Academy's summer arts camp and elder hostel. She is co-creative director of Shiprock and Anchordog, a program for children that teaches social emotional awareness and environmental activism through music and theatre, and she runs the Kaleidoscope Troupe theater program at the Hilltown Charter School. She served as a mentor artist for Northampton's Inaugural Youth Performance Festival, and she is the theatrical director of the Massachusetts Renaissance Faire.  In her spare time, she performs throughout the area in community theatre and professional productions. She is very excited to be joining the staff at Valley Performance Playground.

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