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Creative Arts

We have a vibrant Visual and Performing Arts Department. Our seven faculty members are exceptional educators with solid professional performance and artmaking backgrounds.

Be your best at:


Project management

Technical skills


Actors' Studio

Students develop their dramatic, expressive skills while exploring themselves as actors, writers, and
communicators. Through improvisational theater exercises, students explore their creative expression and
movement. Through reading, examining, and performing monologues and short scenes from a wide range of
theatrical work, students experience the full range of human emotions from comedy to tragedy. Throughout
the rehearsal process, students develop theater technique and understanding of blocking and staging. Their
work culminates with a performance presentation of work studied in class. Available as a one or two-semester course.

Theatrical Production

In this year-long course, you will develop the skills necessary for all of the technical aspects of theater. This includes set design and construction, lighting design and operation, prop-making and design, sound, and stage management. You will apply your skills by being instrumental in the design and construction of the fall and spring productions. This is a project-based course, which will give you a greater understanding of the range of talents required to produce a theatrical production. You will see tangible and concrete results through the application of your work, use problem-solving skills and collaborate with the class and the performers on capstone shows for the CATS community.

Acting for Film

In this one-semester course, you will develop skills needed for film and TV acting while learning about the industry and the standard expectations relating to casting and performance. You will critically assess the performances of fellow and celebrity actors and you will develop and create your own acting video audition piece. Upon leaving the class, you will have built a solid repertoire, developed your acting skills and have an audition reel which you can show to prospective colleges.

Chorus: Voices on!

Throughout this year-long course, you will discover your inner singing voice through exploring a full range of vocal styles and genres, from classical to contemporary pop. You develop your vocal skills and technique, including vocal range, breath and singing in harmony. You also further expand your language skills by singing in a number of different languages. The chorus performs for school events as well as outside of school in choral festivals with other schools and community service opportunities.

Introduction to Keyboard

During this year-long course, you will become musically literate, through hands-on experience sight-singing, ear-training, and note-reading, as well as learning to read in clefs. Through applied music skills and developing musical technique, you will become proficient in playing with two hands together and chord reading. You will also learn about the great composers and you will develop musical terminology and vocabulary through listening and analysis.

Intermediate Keyboard

The Intermediate Keyboard course is a year-long course and is designed for students who are keyboard literate and are working on intermediate piano literature. The teacher will assign repertoire on an individual basis, according to your level. You will be able to choose pieces that interest you and will work on a wide range of music in order to further develop your musical skills. You will be assessed regularly and there are solo and ensemble performance opportunities throughout the year. Prerequisite: Audition by the instructor.

Advanced Keyboard

The Advanced Keyboard course is a year-long course and is designed for students who are keyboard literate and are working on either intermediate or advanced piano literature. The teacher assigns repertoire on an individual basis, according to your level. You are able to choose pieces that interest you and will work on a wide range of music in order to develop your musical skills. You are assessed regularly and there are solo and ensemble performance opportunities throughout the year. Prerequisite: Audition by the instructor.

Business of Music

You will explore the backbone of the music industry during this one-semester course, learning about copyright law, band deals, and music promotion. You look at icons within the music industry and how artists rise to fame. The class utilizes social media to promote art and music to the student community and manages a Facebook page — CATS Café. Prerequisites: ESL Level 3 or higher. This is also a CATS Innovation course. 

Music Technology & Production

You will learn to compose and produce music using the same programs as used within the music industry. From EDM, to jazz, to rock and roll, you will pick apart many different genres and learn how to recreate some of the greatest hits of all time. The class also teaches composition skills. Prior piano experience is a plus, as much of this class is based around playing the keyboard. Prerequisites: ESL Level 3 or higher. This is a year-long course and also a CATS Innovation course

Instrumental Ensemble

Throughout this year-long course, you will play in groups with other student instrumentalists, in order to enhance your musicality and study some of the greatest composers in history. This course explores music spanning the past 300 years, covering musical giants from Bach, to Mozart, to Gershwin, and more. There are multiple opportunities for you to display your work to the school with performances throughout the year. Prerequisites: Instrumental Audition and instructor approval.

Studio Art: Introduction to Drawing

Introduction to Drawing can be taken over one or two semesters. It is a studio-based course that introduces students to the visual language of drawing. You will gain exposure to numerous drawing approaches, including ways of structuring the picture plane, creating believable space with linear perspective, modelling form with shading and drawing from observation. Field trips to museums and galleries further your understanding of historic and contemporary art. You will submit a portfolio of your work developed throughout the semester. 

Studio Art: Introduction to Painting

The purpose of the course is for you to explore, experiment, and become familiar with the medium of paint; to build skills of observation, and to learn to create form and materiality of simple and complex objects through paint. You will build an understanding of the properties of color, composition, and perspective and develop an understanding of basic design terminology used to express visual ideas and concepts. The course can be taken over one or two semesters. 

Studio Art: Advanced Drawing & Painting

Advanced Drawing and Painting is a year-long, studio-based course which gives advanced art students an opportunity to explore the combined visual languages of drawing and painting. You will develop your skills of self-expression through assigned, independent and collaborative projects. You will further your understanding of how to structure the picture plan, create believable space with linear perspective, model form, and understand the properties and materiality of paint. Using a variety of media, you draw and paint from observation and are encouraged to develop your personal voice. You will submit a mid-year and a final portfolio of your work. Prerequisite: Instructor approval.

Computer-Aided Design

During this one-semester course, you will learn introductory CAD skills relevant to the drafting, designing and engineering process. You will also learn the basic concepts and processes followed by architectural and industrial design professionals. You will begin by designing a piece of furniture and go on to design virtual objects that will be printed on a 3D printer. You will be introduced to set design for theater and by the end of the class you will have all of the skills necessary to digitally design your 'dream house'.



Printmaking Survey

In this one-semester course, you will learn a survey of printmaking techniques and methods, including monotype, collagraph, relief, screen printing, and photoetching. From painterly prints to linocuts to original designs on tee shirts, you will gain a well-rounded understanding of some of the most popular methods of printmaking. Through these studio processes, you learn how to combine techniques, use the studio equipment, and develop new, original creative content. Your independent, final projects will demonstrate these skills and you will create a suite of prints suitable for inclusion in your college application portfolios.

Introduction to Fashion Design: Reclaimed Material

In this year-long, project-based course you learn fashion design through exploration with reclaimed materials and develop skills in basic construction and design. Units include learning draping techniques using plastic, creating structured paper armour, and designing with color. Each unit ends with critique, where you will practice giving and receiving feedback on your designs. The curriculum interweaves themes from fashion history, beginning with loose, draped Greek and Roman garments, continuing to the tailored clothing of the 19th century. The semester ends with a presentation of your creations in a CATS Academy Fashion Show. 

Advanced Fashion: Technology & Marketing

How do clothing companies design and market their products successfully? Can we create clothing that satisfies the needs of our own community? In order to address these two questions, you will learn how to use fashion design software, identify market needs, and develop and advertise your products to the school community. Products include a CATS Academy jacket, 3-D printed jewelry, and wearable electronics. The course includes a trip to the MIT Media Lab to see cutting-edge uses for technology in the sartorial world. Prerequisites: Previous fashion class or instructor approval. This is a one-semester course. It is also a CATS Innovation course.

Advanced Fashion Construction

If you have taken Introduction to Fashion Design, this course gives you the opportunity to develop sewing skills and learn new techniques. You learn French draping, how to alter patterns, when to use a wide range of fabrics, and how to improve your fashion drawing skills. Key projects include developing a portfolio of fashion designs and creating a mini-line for a photo shoot and runway show. Prerequisites: Introduction to Fashion Design or instructor. This is a one-semester course. It is also a CATS Innovation course.

Digital Imaging/Internet Self-Marketing

The purpose of this course is to introduce you to digital art and self-promotion. You utilize computer programs from the Adobe Creative Suite such as Photoshop and Illustrator and class projects will include − photo manipulation, logo design, and webcomic creation. You learn valuable skills in drawing, composition, and design, as well as the importance these have on marketing and product advertising. Your work will be self-promoted through social media, web forums, and other internet outlets. This is a one-semester course offered over both semesters. It is also a CATS Innovation course.

Digital Photography & Video Production

You will learn about photographic composition, light manipulation, and elements of design, and develop skills in digital imaging using the Adobe Creative Suite and Final Cut Pro. You will look at how to develop a storyline, record an event, or promote an idea using the media of film. Student-produced films are presented to the school community in an end-of-term film festival and posted on social media. This is a one-semester course offered over both semesters. It is also a CATS Innovation course.

Visual Storytelling

You will create visual narratives accompanied by a written storyline. You will use traditional materials such as ink and pencil to develop images and have access to the Adobe Creative Suite for producing digital images for your narratives. You develop creative writing, digital design, composition, fine art drawing and painting skills while exploring the art of storytelling. Student works will be posted and viewed on social media. This is a one-semester course offered over both semesters. It is also a CATS Innovation course

Advanced Placement electives

AP Studio Art: 2D Design

Through studio practice, application of design concepts, and informed decision-making, you will assemble a body of artwork that demonstrates a high level of quality. You develop mastery of concept, composition, and execution. All students enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) Studio Art will be expected to submit a portfolio to the College Board containing a minimum of 24 works for grading and possible college credit. This is a year-long, Advanced Placement course Prerequisite: Instructor approval.

AP Studio Art: Drawing

Through studio practice, application of design concepts, and informed decision-making, you will assemble a body of artwork that demonstrates a high level of quality. You develop mastery of concept, composition, and execution. All students enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) Studio Art are expected to submit a portfolio containing a minimum of 24 works to the College Board for grading and possible college credit. This is a year-long Advanced Placement course. Prerequisite: Instructor approval.

AP Art History

The year-long, Advanced Placement (AP) Art History course will enable you to probe art’s formal and cultural past from prehistoric times through the present day. You will learn to critically analyze a variety of media, from painting to photography to performance art. You will not only learn to write about art but keep a sketchbook in order to explore different styles and techniques through hands-on assignments. The class makes frequent visits to art museums and galleries in the area. You will leave with a new understanding of the importance of art as a universal human phenomenon. Prerequisite: ESL Level 5.


Kim Barry
Department Chair
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Kim Barry

Department Chair

BFA, Fine Arts & Sculpture, Rhode Island School of Design
MFA, Painting, University of Massachusetts

Kim M. Barry has been instrumental in establishing the fine arts programs at CATS, in fashion, music, theater, and the digital arts. Ms Barry has a Master’s of Fine Arts in Painting from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture from Rhode Island School of Design and an Associate of Fine Arts from Colby Sawyer College. Ms Barry is a professional ceramic artist and painter. She is a member of Hatch Street Studios and owner of Clay Trout Pottery. She lives in a small coastal town in South Eastern Massachusetts.

Kent Archer
Fine Art Teacher
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Kent Archer

Fine Art Teacher

BFA, School of Visual Arts, New York

Kent Archer brings to CATS his experience as a working arts professional alongside his passion for teaching. He teaches the fundamentals of art and helps students build portfolios for college admission. Kent has taught art courses at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Sacred Heart High School in Kingston Massachusetts and numerous local art centers. Kent has worked professionally in the field of comic books since 2005 when he co-launched the popular webcomic − Dr McNinja. His work has been published by Archie Comics, IDW Publishing, Dark Horse Comics, and Topps Trading Cards. Kent attended the received his BFA in Cartooning from the School of Visual Arts.

Roland Lewan
Music Teacher
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Roland Lewan

Music Teacher

BA, Film Scoring & Composition, Berklee College of Music

Roland 'Skip' Lewan is a musician and composer from Georgia who has brought his passion for music to CATS Academy. He a gigging musician and his instruments include piano, saxophone, and voice. Currently Skip is a worship director at the Kings Chapel as well as a vocalist in the group Green Line X-tension. He received his undergraduate in Film Scoring and Composition from Berklee College of Music. Skip has interned with award-winning composer Yuval Ron, in Los Angeles, where he worked on the project, Color Therapy for Samsung which was launched in London, Vancouver, Bangalore, New York City, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Montreal, Paris, and Shanghai. He started the Music Industry program at CATS Academy which integrates music technology and the current state of the music industry into composition, production, and artist management.

Mark Phelan
Visual Arts Teacher
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Mark Phelan

Visual Arts Teacher

MFA, Painting, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
BFA, Printmaking, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth

Mark Phelan is a working artist from Southeastern Massachusetts with a studio in Kilburn Mills in New Bedford. He teaches painting and drawing at CATS Academy Boston. Prior to working at CATS, Mark taught at University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth and Massachusetts College of Art and Design. He has a MFA in Painting and a BFA in Printmaking from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. Mark exhibits his work regularly and it is in the archived collections of University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth and Massasoit Community College, and in private collections around the world.

Nate Punches
Theater Director
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Nate Punches

Theater Director

MA, Theater Education, Emerson College

Nathaniel oversees the Drama program at CATS. He trains students how to effectively use their voices, bodies, and imaginations both on and off stage. This aids in the development of their inner voices and self confidence. Prior to joining the faculty at CATS academy, Nathaniel worked as a freelance teacher/technician/designer/director/actor in the greater Boston area. He served as the resident set designer for Stage 284 and directed programs for Boston Children's Theater. Before that, Nathaniel worked as the Technical Director for Actor's Shakespeare Project and The Barnstormer's Theater. Last year he filled in as the interim Theater Director for Brimmer and May School. Nathaniel received his Master's in Theater Education from Emerson College.

Travis Liquori
Music Teacher
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Travis Liquori

Music Teacher

TJ Liquori directs the chorus at CATS Academy and music directs the annual musical each spring. He also teaches all levels of keyboard classes, providing students with the tools they need to develop skill on a musical instrument and an understanding of music theory. Prior to joining CATS Academy, TJ taught as a K-5 general music teacher at 5 schools in Woburn, MA. He also wrote and directed the annual elementary school musical, as well as running an after school African drumming program and a singer-songwriter program. During the summers, TJ is a teaching artist for the Dedicated Performing Arts Team at The American School in Switzerland. He received his Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, where he also directed the student classical chamber choir “Crepusculum". Currently, TJ is an avid music theater composer. He has been commissioned by both The American School in Switzerland and Children’s Stage Adventures to write original children’s musicals for touring and non-touring performances, and has also had his work produced at The Auburn Players Community Theatre and Merry-Go-Round Playhouse in Auburn, NY.