Photo of Shana Kennedy
Shana Kennedy
Founding Director

Shana is the Founding Director of the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts. She trained as an aerialist and a juggler at Circomedia, in England, and performed for many years in both capacities. She began teaching aerial skills in her home and backyard in 2001. In 2006 Air Play was founded as a performance and teaching company; and it evolved in 2008 to the full-fledged school facility. From 2010-2014, Shana’s husband Greg was performing in Cirque du Soleil’s Totem, and she and her three children (Baz, Ayla, and Isa) accompanied him on the tour.  Since their return to “normal” life, Shana has been thrilled to be back at her desk at PSCA.

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Greg Kennedy
Co-Owner

Greg Kennedy is an internationally-renowned modern juggler, who performed as The Scientist in Cirque du Soleil’s show Totem from 2010-2014.  He has won gold medals at the International Jugglers Association Championship twice, appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and performed on five different continents.  He is currently presenting several different shows at venues around the world – details can be found on his Web site, http://www.innovativejuggler.com

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Kitsie O’Neill
Director of Programming and Managing Partner

Kitsie has been a part of the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts since its earliest days, first as a student, then as a graphic designer and administrative assistant, and now, as the school’s Director of Programming. After 5 years working in the corporate design world, Kitsie took the exhilarating circus leap and began working full-time with the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts in 2008. She is thrilled to be a part of such an exciting and innovative time in American circus history. Knowing how the circus arts have shaped her life, she cannot wait to share and watch circus arts change the individuals who walk in the door as well as the Philadelphia community.

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Adam Woolley
Head Coach and Managing Partner

Adam has been coaching circus for the past ten years, and is proud to be a part of the Circus Campus family since 2015. He has served as the Safety Committee Chair for the American Circus Educators Association, has coached professionals around the country, and has produced five international circus showcases during his time living in NYC. He has worked tirelessly as an advocate for circus arts, presenting at and organizing events for the Smithsonian Institute, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP).

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John Polk
Managing Director

John Polk is the Managing Director of the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts. For the past 10 years, John has supported the financial and operational growth of charter schools in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Michigan. Prior to his work with schools, John held several roles, including accountant and sales/customer service roles with companies like DuPont, Devon Health and Educational Testing Service. At his core, John is a listener who really enjoys problem solving and winning as a team! John is also a big Penn State fan, where he not only earned his BS in Finance and MBA, but is also a proud Penn State dad. In his spare time, John likes to travel with his wife, tries to exercise :) and volunteers with youth groups. John also has a deep appreciation for how the arts resonate with all ages and is excited to be part of something so special at PSCA.

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Carolyn Beatty
General Manager

Carolyn is the General Manager for PSCA. She joined the staff in July 2017 and is happy to be working with such kind and passionate people. She is also an active performer and writer in the Philly comedy scene, most notably at Philly Improv Theater (where she is also the Director of Operations!) You can catch her at the front desk and never on the flying trapeze as she is very scared of it.

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Rachel Lancaster
Associate Head Coach

Rachel Lancaster is a versatile performer who specializes in aerial acrobatics and circus arts. A graduate of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Rachel discovered the Philadelphia School for Circus Arts in 2012 while she was wrapping up her studies. After a year, Rachel began teaching introductory aerial classes at PSCA and after several years of teaching a variety of other skills and levels, she was promoted to Associate Head Coach. In addition to the many classes that she leads, Rachel also utilizes her background in theater to produce and direct many of the shows that PSCA presents.

 

Aside from her coaching, Rachel performs regularly with several regional entertainment groups, including PSCA’s own Airplay Entertainment. She specializes in aerial silks and aerial hoop, as well as hula-hooping and fire spinning. Whether you’re taking a class with her or watching her perform, Rachel’s passion for Circus Arts is always apparent and undeniably contagious.

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Lesley Berkowitz
Events Coordinator/Aerials & Acro Instructor

Lesley is a local actor and physical theatre artist. She trained at Dell’arte International school of physical theatre in California. As a deviser, Lesley has created original works in Iowa, Colorado, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Locally, she has worked with BRAT Productions, Philly Shakes, Tribe of Fools, Curio Theatre Company, and Delaware Shakespeare Festival . With White Flag Productions, she has created a two-woman clown show called “Really, You Should Use Bullets” about a clown’s journey through the underworld. She has been working at the front desk at PSCA for a few years and has recently started teaching. Circus loves include Clown, Trapeze and the Rola Bola.

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Eric Geoffrey
Performance Coordinator AirPlay Entertainment, PSCA Residency Director

Eric brings almost 30 years worth of performing and teaching experience to his work at PSCA as performance coordinator and instructor. He began his performance career at age 14 with the Philadelphia-based Give & Take Jugglers. Immediately following high school Eric attended the Ringling Brothers & Barnum & Bailey Clown College, graduating with a specialty in aerial slapstick and comedy flying trapeze. He then toured with Ringling’s Blue Unit, performing aerial insanity on a daily basis. Tiring of life on the road and embracing the changes that parenthood brings, Eric taught creative movement and circus arts for a couple of years at the Saratoga Springs Waldorf High School in upstate New York. Having permanently moved back to Philadelphia in the winter of 2011, Eric loves being a part of the vibrant circus community that is growing in the region, and is a proud member of the Funicular Station monkey pirate ship crew.

 

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Treacy Gallagher
Summer Camp Director

Treacy has been teaching youth classes at PSCA since 2007.  Addintionally, she teaches physical education since 2004 for grades 1-8.  She holds a BS in Occupational Therapy and 10+ years experience prior to becoming a full-time mom.  Little known fact about Treacy is that she was  prison guard for 2 years which totally helps with class management.

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Karen Ladd
Aerials & Acro Instructor

Before discovering circus, Karen was a competitive gymnast, high jumper, and All-American cheerleader. She earned a degree in education from Penn State. She was an instructor with the National Cheerleaders Association, as well as a USAG certified gymnastics coach with over ten years of experience. She loves the freedom of expression found in the circus world and strives to help her students build a positive relationship with themselves and their bodies.

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Terry Brennan
Parkour/Youth Circus Instructor

Terry Brennan is a professional actor and teaches Circus and Parkour at PSCA. Terry has appeared on TV, toured nationally and is the co-creator of Barrymore nominated School Play, a one-person show about a child with ADHD trying to function in school. Terry is the artistic director of Tribe of Fools theatre company and was trained at The Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre.

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Nicole Burgio
Aerials Instructor

Friends and family call her Cole. She has trained with some of the most talented coaches from Montreal’s Ecole Nationale de Cirque, New England Center of Circus Arts, and the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts. Her training has led her to Canada and all over the United States, and she can’t want to see where her next adventure will take her!

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Eric Michaels
Aerials Instructor

Eric Michaels has devoted nearly his entire life to the performing arts.  A musician since the age of 8, his musical drive led him to the study of multiple instruments and a B.M. in Composition from the world-renowned Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Eric has been studying the aerial arts since shortly after he left college, and has come to specialize in rope and aerial straps, performing whenever possible while maintaining his musical passions as well. He has a deep love of collaboration and the intersection of multiple art forms, and relishes the opportunities circus provides for exploring those intersections.

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Christine Morano
Aerials Instructor

Christine Morano is a freelance dancer & aerialist. She has been teaching at The Philadelphia School of Circus Arts since 2009, and is currently a dancer for DanceFusion and an aerialist for Greg Kennedy’s shows Spherus & Theorem. She earned degrees in Biology and Dance from Stockton University, and has completed the Professional Training Program at Frequent Flyers Productions Aerial Dance Theater.

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Shannon Sexton
Aerials Instructor

Outside of circus arts, Shannon Sexton is a professional actor with conservatory training in Meisner and Williamson movement techniques. She is also a certified snowboard and skateboard instructor, with over a decade of teaching experience in both disciplines. When she’s not training or performing, Shannon can be found belting out heavy metal tunes (loudly) and snuggling with her Shiba Inu puppy. She is truly grateful to be a part of the PSCA team!

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Megan Gendell
Aerials & Handstands Instructor

Megan has performed circus and dance professionally in NYC and around the world since 2007, working with ensemble companies and performing solo hand balancing and duo trapeze nationally and internationally. She is a 2012 graduate of NECCA’s Professional-Track Training Program, and she has taught handbalancing, trapeze, acrobatics, act creation, and more to youth and adults since 2008.

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Molly Wright
Aerials Instructor

Molly joined the PSCA team in 2015. She fell in love with the circus arts after taking a Cyr Wheel Workshop and Partner Acrobatics classes. Molly is not new to body movement, as she has been rock climbing for over 18 years and offers private instruction. She keeps busy by crawling around underground exploring and training single-rope technique with the Philadelphia Grotto and Commander Cody Cave Club. Molly also volunteers with the Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild and is a climber aboard Philly’s Tall Ship, Gazela, located at Penn’s Landing. Molly teaches yoga and enjoys practicing partner yoga with friends. She is grateful to be surrounded by new talented friends at the Circus School and is excited to share her skills while learning new ones.

Photo of Joseph Ahmed
Joseph Ahmed
Youth Circus Instructor

Joe has been teaching at PSCA since 2015, specializing in youth classes and ground skills. He is also an actor and has performed with Philly favorite theater/acrobatics companies Almanac Dance Circus Theater and Tribe of Fools. He holds a BFA in Theater Arts from Boston University and a certificate from the Teaching Artist Certification Program at Columbia University’s Teachers College.

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L Feldman
Acro Instructor

Lauren specializes in working with circus artists on developing their acts and ideas to their fullest artistic potential. She works with acts at any stage: developing the earliest seedling ideas, shaping and crafting acts-in-progress, or revising and polishing full pieces. She can work with you actively on your act (i.e. on your apparatus, on your feet), or she can sit down with you and talk through ideas, choices, and possibilities based on a video, image, notes, or questions (or a combo of the two).

Lauren’s plays and circus acts have been seen internationally. She is also a freelance dramaturg, an artistic collaborator, and a teaching artist and professor. She holds an M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama, is an alumna of NECCA’s Intensive and Pro-Track programs, and is passionate about the art of making live performance.

Photo of Fenix Cobbledick
Fenix Cobbledick
Aerials Instructor

Fenix has been teaching at PSCA for three years. After studying and performing for seven years on the west coast, Fenix realized that their love of teaching was so much greater than their love of performing and decided to commit to it. Now Fenix teaches a little bit of everything and they couldn’t be happier about it! When they are not doing circus, Fenix likes to alternate between sewing their own clothes and watching superhero tv shows.

Photo of Noa Schnizter
Noa Schnizter
Youth Circus Instructor

Noa started her training  in Israel at Sandciel School of Dance and Circus Arts with a focus on trapeze and dance. Since then Noa has performed her work and the work of others in quaint homes, seedy bars and echoing theaters.

Her work on the trapeze has taken her back to Israel, France, Argentina and Brazil. Defined as raw and creative Noa draws on skills from contact improvisation contemporary dance and curiosity to create performance experiences.

A recent addition to Philadelphia from Seattle, where she taught aerial acrobatics and Pilates.

Informed by her practice as a pilates instructor, she takes joy in meeting her students where they are at. Helping  them construct a practice and awareness that will support their growth as movers in the air and on the ground.

Photo of Molly Barger
Molly Barger
Aerials & Acro Instructor

Molly Barger grew up in Mukilteo, WA, and spent most of her childhood upside down, whether she was reading on the couch, handstanding in the kitchen, or at gymnastics practice. Knowing she needed to stay upside down, she attended Oberlin College and joined OCircus!, where circus quite literally swept her off her feet. After college, she completed NECCA’s professional training program in Brattleboro, VT, where she specialized in partner acrobatics, tumbling, Chinese pole, and handstands. She is excited to be in Philadelphia, working with Open Ring Circus Company and coaching at PSCA! She has coached gymnastics and circus all over the US and loves sharing everything circus has to offer. She loves watching her students accomplish skills that once seemed impossible.

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Melisa Clark
P4 Dance Instructor

Melisa Clark is a dancer, choreographer and educator based in Philadelphia. She is Artistic Director of PIMA Group, a non-profit dance and music company, and earned an MFA in Dance/Choreography from Temple University. She believes everyone has the potential to express their creative selves through movement and is excited to join PSCA in the Fall 2018. http://www.pimagroup.org

Photo of Neva Guido
Neva Guido
Youth Circus Instructor

Neva first began attending PSCA in 2012 and has been hooked on circus ever since! In addition to circus, Neva has a lot of experience in theater, dance, and improvisation, experience which is utilized in every class she teaches. While currently studying dance at The University of the Arts, she is so glad to be included as both a staff member and student at PSCA, and hopes to continue her circus teaching and training throughout her time at college.

Photo of Mike Kelley
Mike Kelley
Trampoline/Acro Instructor

Mike has spent the better part of two decades training acrobatics, originally as gymnast, but later expanding into cheer and circus disciplines. Though he considers hand-balancing his primary discipline now, tumbling and trampoline will always be his first love. He has been coaching for over 10 years and has extensive experience spotting all manner of tumbling skills.

Photo of Mary Kelly Rayel
Mary Kelly Rayel
Flying Trapeze Instructor

Started out as a clown, tried trapeze, loved trapeze, performed trapeze, teach trapeze, love clowning, love juggling, love acrobatics, teach and perform all of those things, and have created a life around it because it really and truly is why I’m here on earth.  Any questions?