“I believe arts education in music, theater, dance, and the visual arts is one of the most creative ways we have to find the gold that is buried just beneath the surface. They have an enthusiasm for life a spark of creativity, and vivid imaginations that need training – training that prepares them to become confident young men and women.”
– Richard W. Riley, Former US Secretary of Education
Westtown School’s arts faculty is a cohort of talented professional artists and educators. Our teachers hold graduate degrees from some of the finest programs in the country and have performed across the United States and on three continents. A commitment to the development of the whole student- as artists, scholars, and leaders- is a hallmark of the visual and performing arts department.
William Addis has been the Director of Theater and Chair of Visual and Performing Arts at Westtown School since 2015, returning after a 13 year hiatus. He teaches the upper and middle school theater curriculum, including Elements of Theater, Acting Workshop, and Theater and Social Change. He previously served as Director of Theater at Worcester Academy in Massachusetts and has been on the faculty at Marymount Manhattan College, Brooklyn College, NYU, and Bronx Community College. He is a teaching artist at McCarter Theater at Princeton University and has previously taught at Roundabout Theater Company, The Shakespeare Theater of NJ, The Children’s Museum of Manhattan ,and The New-York Historical Society and has been a guest artist at the US Military Academy at West Point and Pace University. From 2000 through 2010, Will served as the Producing Artistic Director of Bakerloo Theater Project, which The Albany Times-Union regularly named one of the best summer theater companies in the Berkshires and New York Capital Region. Will’s professional work focuses on creating new interpretations of Shakespeare and other classic texts. Favorite productions include Henry V, Macbeth, Antigone, Julius Caesar, Shakespeare’s R&J and the world premieres of Jane Austen City Limits. Sacred Text or 64 Kisses, Shadows on the Wall, and Hamlet: What Dreams May Come, which was named the Best New Production of the decade by the North Adams Transcript. Will is a Traphagen Distinguished Alumnus of Drew University and holds a Master of Fine Arts in Directing from Brooklyn College, the City University of New York.
Jenny Bopp is the Director of Westtown’s Dance program and the Elements Dance Ensemble. She has been teaching at Westtown since 2012 in both the Upper and Middle School programs. Prior to Westtown, Jenny taught ballet and modern dance techniques in various studios, and she has recently opened her own dance studio in West Chester. Jenny performed and choreographed for four years with the Hillsdale Tower Dancers dance company, and has performed as a guest artist with Go! Contemporary Dance Works and with Circle Modern Dance in Knoxville, Tennessee. She received a B.A. in Political Science from Hillsdale College in 2008, and in 2014 she graduated with an M.A. in Urban Studies and Community Arts from Eastern University where she focused on trauma-informed, arts-based practices for effecting positive change in communities both locally and globally. In addition to her work at Westtown, Jenny is a teaching artist at a local drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility, and she serves as a leader for the dance ministry program at her church.
David Fontes has been the Choral Director at Westtown School since 2016. He teaches in both the Upper and Middle School programs, is a member Middle School Core Faculty, and a 7th grade advisor. He previously served as the director of the Men’s and Women’s Choruses and AP Music Theory teacher at Longmeadow (MA) High School, a Grammy Award winning program. A graduate of Susquehanna University, David has pursued graduate studies at Boston University, the Hartt School of Music, the University of Massachusetts, and the New England Conservatory of Music where he earned his Kodaly Music Certification. Currently, he is completing a Master’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Florida. David has performed as a chorister with the Arcadia Players Period instrument ensemble and with the Boston Symphony Orchestra as a member of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. In 2002, David was chosen as one of 12 singers to be in residence the the Tanglewood Music Center to rehearse and perform new compositions by the TMC composition fellows.
Robert Frazier has been the Director of Instrumental Music at Westtown School since 2010. He conducts the Symphonic Band, String Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, the winter musical Pit Orchestra, and teaches an Introduction to Guitar class. Prior to coming to Westtown, Robert taught music in Maine for a decade at both the high school and the collegiate levels. He received his Bachelor of Music in Music Education with a concentration in horn from Gordon College, a Master of Music in Instrumental Conducting from the University of Maine, and is currently a Doctoral Candidate at Boston University for a Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Education. He is active performer on the horn and performs with the Chester County Concert Band, the Chesco Pops Orchestra, and at Goshen Baptist Church on the worship team.
Joyce Nagata has been on the faculty since 2005 and currently teaches both middle and upper school Clay as well as US 2-D and 3-D Foundations. She received her BFA and MA from the University of Illinois and MFA from the University of Wisconson. Her teaching experience spans 30+ years. She has a K-12 certification in art education and spent several years teaching art in the public school system in Illinois before retuning to graduate school. 14 years of college teaching in Illinois, Wisconsin, and as a Professor of Art at Swarthmore College as well rebuilding the ceramics program for the Wallingford-Swarthmore school district round out her formal education career. She has also served on the board of the Clay Studio of Philadelphia and has taught classes and lectured at art centers in the tri-state area. A 10 year hiatus from teaching full time allowed her to develop a private studio practice, participating in national exhibitions and craft shows, among them, the Philadelphia Craft Show, The American Crafts Council; Chicago and Atlanta, and more recently, the Chester County Studio Tour. Her studio work can be found at the Clay Studio in Philadelphia and Baltimore Clayworks. Her work has also been published in the Lark Book Series 500 Bowls and 500 Teapots as well as Ceramics Monthly.
Sarah Sullivan has been the Theater Manager and Director of Technical Theater and Design at Westtown School since 2014. An All School Faculty member who supports the performing arts productions in all three divisions, Sarah also teaches drawing and computer aided design at the upper school. Previously Sarah has taught at Buckingham, Browne & Nichols, American School in London, Groton School, North Broward Prep School and Keene State College. Sarah has worked as an artisan and craftsman for ESPN, The History Channel, WGBH, Public Television, Smithsonian, and the National Science Foundation. In addition she has designed lighting and scenery for theater, dance and opera in primarily the New England area. Sarah has a BA in theater and art history from Smith College, an MFA in theater design from University of California, Irvine and has done post-graduate work with Worcester Museum of Art, University of New Hampshire and Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
Chris Wills joined the visual arts faculty at Westtown School in 2017. Chris teaches photography, digital arts, drawing, painting, and portfolio preparation in the upper school. Most recently Chris served as the Upper School Visual Arts Department Chair at Bentley School in Lafayette, CA, and currently serves as an advisor on the Arts Development Committee for the College Board’s Pre-AP Program. Chris is an arts education advocate specializing in curriculum design, teacher training, and contemporary studio practices. He regularly presents on his findings and best practices at the National Art Education Association Conference and the AP Annual Conference. Chris earned his BFA in Fiber and MAT in Art Education from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). In his own studio practice, Chris works across media, blending photography, writing, and design to investigate the intersections between the digital and analog and explore ideas of memory, place, and time.