Enchanted Circle Theater Enchanted Circle Theater

Priscilla Kane Hellweg

PkhPriscilla Kane Hellweg is the Executive Artistic Director of Enchanted Circle Theater. Priscilla, named a Champion of Arts Education in 2004 as Outstanding Artist-in-Residence by the Massachusetts Alliance for Arts Education, has written, directed, performed and taught educational theater throughout New York and New England.  She is adjunct faculty at the University of Hartford and Hampshire College.  In 2014, Priscilla received a Civic Pride Award by the City of Holyoke, and a Milestone Award from the National Guild for Community Arts Education for her contributions to the field.

Under Priscilla’s guidance, Enchanted Circle Theater has taken a leadership position in the community developing creative education programs that bridge arts, education, and human services.  ECT is a Cultural Partner with the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and a recipient of NEPR’s Arts and Humanities Award.

In 2013, Priscilla designed and launched ECT’s Institute for Arts Integration, a professional training program for educators, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.  In 2011, Priscilla presented a TEDx talk entitled The Moment of Inspiration for the Pioneer Valley TEDx conference at Amherst College.

Currently, Priscilla serves on the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Arts Education Advisory Council, Holyoke Early Literacy Initiative, and the Amherst Superintendent’s Five College Advisory Committee.

Priscilla has created numerous arts integration initiatives to enhance academic achievement in public schools, including The Creative Classrooms Initiative, From Page to Stage, Living History, and Science through the Arts. She has taught Professional Development workshops for many city-wide school systems in Massachusetts and Connecticut, as well as the Wang Center in Boston, the Smithsonian’s Discovery Theater in Washington D.C., the History Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Forty Carrots Family Center in Sarasota, FL, and the Hampshire Educational Collaborative, in Northampton, MA.  Priscilla was founding faculty at the Arts in Education Center in Amherst, MA, and the Drama Studio in Springfield, MA.

Priscilla has collaborated on the development of several Teacher Training Institutes with numerous partners, with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and Teaching American History grants.  She’s been guest artist at Mount Holyoke College, Amherst College, Smith College, Hampshire College, Elms College, Westfield State College, the Institute for Teaching and Learning in New Haven, and the Professional Development Institute in Boston.  Priscilla has been a grant reviewer for the Connecticut Commission for the Arts and Tourism, Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the New Hampshire State Arts Council.

Priscilla directs all ECT productions and is co-author ECT’s historical dramas SOJOURNER’S TRUTH: “I will shake every place I go to,” BETWEEN THE CANALS: The Evolution of a Mill Town, LEAH ENTERS LATE: A New Page in the History of Yiddish, and THE SKINNER SERVANTS’ TOUR: A Living History of Wistariahurst. She and her writing partners Rachel Kuhn and Kate Thibodeau also wrote and developed a documentary film for WGBY entitled Creating Holyoke: The Immigrants Search for Community.

Ms. Hellweg received her B.A. in Performing Arts and Education at Hampshire College, and did professional theater training at the Provincetown Playhouse and SUNY at Purchase. She is currently working on a book entitled: Actively Engaged- Theater as a Dynamic Teaching Tool.