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Faculty

Aaron Andrade

Instructor of Acting

Aaron Andrade studied at Rhode Island College, receiving degrees in Political Science and Theater Performance, and an MFA in Performance in Society: Using performance to promote social change.  He has performed throughout New England at such theaters as Trinity Repertory Company, The Trinity Summer Shakespeare Project, Company One, Daydream Theatre Company, Beowulf Theatre and Elemental Theatre Company and as a company member at The Providence Black Repertory Company. Aaron has toured the country in dual language versions of Don Quixote and Cyrano de Bergerac.   He has also worked in television (Dexter, Defending Jacob) and film (Confess, Fletch, Being Dead), as well as in national and local commercials. He teaches and directs theatrical productions (Boston Casting, Rhode Island College, Franklin School for the Performing Arts, Dean College). He is also a voice over artist, having sent his voice all over the country for commercials, animation, and more. Aaron joined the FSPA Drama Faculty in 2013.    

Timothy Ayres-Kerr

Instructor of Voice and Songwriting

Timothy Ayres-Kerr holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance and a Master of Music degree in Vocal Pedagogy both from New England Conservatory. Tim has performed as a soloist in Opera, Oratorio, and Operetta, often portraying lead tenor roles in the works of Gilbert & Sullivan. Tim founded The Parlour Opera Players to present short operas in non-traditional venues throughout Boston. Tim is also a composer and his second completed work for the stage, A Game of Werewolf, earned him a place in One Ounce Opera’s Fresh Squeezed Ounce of Opera showcase. Tim was also awarded the grand prize in the Lester Levy “Save Our Songs,” competition. Tim joined the FSPA Music Faculty in 2019.

Dr. Marisa Babb-Wetherell, PT, DPT

Instructor of Progressing Ballet Technique - Guest Faculty

Marisa trained as a young dancer in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. She performed with the Movement Ensemble Dance Company under the direction of Liana Ciaglo, including appearances with the Commonwealth Opera. Marisa also appeared in The Nutcracker with both the Moscow Ballet and Academy of Ballet Arts. Through her college years, Marisa performed with Springfield College’s Singers, Dancers, and Best of Broadway groups on campus. She also completed a minor in dance at Springfield College while pursuing her degrees in Physical Therapy. She has continued to dance as an adult including appearances in FPAC’s The Nutcracker. Marisa holds a Doctorate in Physical Therapy and currently practices in outpatient physical therapy in North Attleboro, MA. She specializes in dance medicine and is passionate about educating young dancers to use their bodies as effectively, efficiently, and safely as possible.  Marisa achieved her initial certification in Progressing Ballet Technique in 2018 and has continued on to achieve her Level 3 PBT Certification. Marisa enjoys teaching the PBT curriculum and feels it holds great value in training safe and efficient use of the body to advance dance technique and performance while preventing injuries.  

Ben Cameron

Broadway Faculty - Voice and Acting

Ben Cameron is your Broadway Buddy! Ben is a Broadway veteran having appeared in Footloose (original cast), Aida, and a little show called Wicked (original cast, if you listen to track #2 of the Wicked cast album you can hear Ben drop the plot pivotal line, "Glinda, is it true you were her friend?" He has toured the US and Europe in productions of Footloose, Fame, The Who's Tommy, State Fair, and Sweet Charity (playing opposite Molly Ringwald). He has enjoyed 2 sold out runs of his 1 man show "Different is Good" in 2005 and 2010. He continues to write, direct, and choreograph intimate shows for Broadway and cabaret stars at some of NYC's most notable venues. Ben has served on the faculties of NYU's CAP21 studio and Wagner College and as creative consultant for Mapinspired:The Storytellers' Dance Company. Ben continues to teach dance and theatre workshops and choreograph around the world.   Ben is the creator of Broadway Sessions. Sessions has been running for over 8 years and brings Broadway's brightest together at The Laurie Beechman Theatre. Since creating Sessions, Ben has become one of the theatre community’s most beloved hosts and personalities. Ben has also produced web series My Broadway Bar, Dance Captain Dance Attack, and Broadway ObSessions.

Dara Nicole Capley

Instructor of Ballet

Dara Nicole Capley is a dancer, choreographer and teacher based out of Boston, Massachusetts. She is originally from Florida, where she received early training with Gloria Gaither before moving on to train under Peter Stark and Ivonne Lemus at Next Generation Ballet at the Patel Conservatory. After her training Dara found freelance work for a year with Brandon Ballet and The Sarasota Opera, and then danced for Nashville Ballet’s second company for two years before joining Festival Ballet Providence, under the direction of Mihailo Djuric. In her time with Festival Ballet Providence Dara has performed works by Yury Yanowsky, Mary Ellen Beaudreau, Christopher Huggins, George Balanchine, José Limón, and many others. Dara has also originated soloist roles for both Viktor Plotnikov and Ty Parmenter. Dara choreographed her first piece ‘Vivisection’ for the Rhode Island Women’s Choreography Project in the spring of 2019 and received multiple choreographic commissions as a result. One of which, was a commission for Festival Ballet Providence’s 2020 spring season, this work has yet to premiere due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In the summer of 2020, Dara was chosen as one of Sarasota Contemporary Dance’s emerging choreographers, a work she created virtually from Rhode Island while in quarantine. In the spring of 2021, Festival Ballet Providence’s School commissioned a piece from Dara to be used to compete in the ensemble category in the Boston regionals of Youth America Grand Prix. The piece, entitled ‘The Yawn’ placed in the top twelve ensembles, and was invited to compete at YAGP finals. Currently, Dara works as a freelance dancer and choreographer for projects in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Florida, and many more. This is Dara’s first year teaching for Franklin School of the Performing Arts and she is thrilled to be joining the faculty of such a great school for so many different artistic disciplines.

Alexandra Cardi

Instructor of Commercial Dance and Jazz

Alexandra Cardi fell in love with dancing at the age of three. She has experience in a variety of styles such as ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, modern, and contemporary dance. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in Developmental Psychology with a minor in Dance from Plymouth State University in 2015 and a Masters in Holistic Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Salve Regina University in 2022. She was an active member of her undergraduate university’s Contemporary Dance Ensemble and Dance Team as a performer, choreographer, and captain. Her senior year, the dance faculty selected Alexandra as the recipient for the Contemporary Dance Ensemble Award. This merit award is given to a senior who has shown a strong commitment to faculty and student choreography within the dance division over four years of study.  Throughout her years at Plymouth, under the direction of Amanda Whitworth, she had the opportunity to work with professional guest artists such as Mziyanda Mancam, Urbanity, Bosoma, and Pantos Project. In 2018, she had the opportunity to perform at the Boston Contemporary Dance Festival as a dancer for Alchemy Movement.  Currently, Alexandra is working as a mental health counselor in Providence, R.I. and is a movement artist for Alchemy Movement, a New England based company.  Alexandra  joined the FSPA Dance Faculty in 2017.  

Victoria Collins

Instructor of Ballet/Pointe - Children's Program

Victoria Collins, a former FSPA Ballet Conservatory student, has been featured in the Franklin Performing Arts Company's production of The Nutcracker as Clara. Other ballet credits include Cinderella, Coppelia, and other repertoire concerts. After her time at FSPA, she continued her studies at Dean College in Franklin. At Dean, she had the opportunity to continue learning from Cheryl Madeux and other credentialed faculty such as Marc Arensten (Dean of the Joan Phelps Palladino School of Dance), Jill Silverman, Roshni Pecora, Kimberly Calore-Sedlak, Dina Ternullo Melly, and Todd Shanks. Her knowledge of dance expanded after newly receiving her ABT certification in pre-primary-Level 3 and she plans to continue her certification in the other levels in the future. Victoria is glad to be a new addition to FSPA faculty that she has long admired.   

Jeffrey DiIorio

Instructor of Guitar, Ukulele, Bass, and Songwriting

Jeffrey DiIorio holds Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Music Performance and Philosophy from Providence College and a Masters in Music Performance with a focus in jazz guitar from the University of Rhode Island. While at PC, Jeffrey performed with their Pep Band, Jazz Band, Funk Ensemble, and Jazz Combo. He has studied with Jay Azzolina, Lyle Brewer, David Riley, Phil Sargent, Julian Lage, Adam Smirnoff, and Bruce Bartlett. Professionally, he has performed with ensembles led by Alex Lee-Clark, John Allmark, and Mark Burney as well as with The Mac Odom Band, The Phunky Autokratz, and Nightshift Entertainment. Jeffrey was the recipient of the Reverend Leo S. Cannon, O.P. Award for Excellent Musicianship as well as Judges’ Choice at the Berklee High School Jazz Festival. Jeffrey joined FSPA's Music Faculty in 2019. 

Irina Fainkichen

Instructor of Violin


Irina Fainkichen studied at Rachmaninoff Music College and St. Petersburg State Conservatory in Russia. She also got her degree from Rubin Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem, Israel. She is a busy freelance violinist in the Greater Boston area. Irina performed with Broadway on Tour’s “Phantom of the Opera”, and “Hello Dolly” at Boston Opera House, “An American in Paris” at Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine. She performed many shows with an amazing legends such as Marni Nixon, Sarah Brightman, Johnny Mathis and “The Who”. Irina is a former longstanding member of Cape Symphony and has an extensive experience playing with many symphony orchestras including New Hampshire, Plymouth, Lexington Symphonies and also Pro-Arte Chamber Orchestra. Irina has been on FSPA Music Faculty since 2009 and has played in the orchestra of many Franklin Performing Arts Company productions including Annie, Sound of Music, Charlie Brown, Peter Pan, Music Man, Spamalot, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, and most recently Legally Blonde, Humbug!, and Sweeney Todd. Irina is a concertmaster for the annual FPAC holiday production of the Nutcracker and a coordinator of THE BLACK BOX Classical Series,  

Sara Jean Ford

Broadway Faculty - Voice and Acting

Sara Jean Ford is best known for starring as Christine Daaé on Broadway and in the National Tour of the worldwide sensation The Phantom of the Opera. Also on Broadway: CATS (Jellylorum), How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Smitty), A Little Night Music (Mrs Anderssen, Anne/Petra cover), and Finian's Rainbow (Arlene, Sharon cover). Off-Broadway: The Fantasticks (Luisa, Revival Cast Recording). Broadway in Chicago: WICKED (Glinda/Nessa Rose cover). Regional: The Music Man (Marian), Into the Woods (Cinderella), Sunday in the Park With George (Dot), Candide (Cunegonde), Carousel (Carrie), and originated the role of Nellie Oleson in Little House on the Prairie. Concerts: Dream of Now Dream of Then, Anyone Can Whistle at City Center Encores!, Defying Gravity: The Music of Stephen Schwartz and Eric Whittacre at Lincoln Center, Paradise Lost at Carnegie Hall, Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre, and Walt Disney Concert Hall. Sara is the proud mama of Annie.


 
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