Our Staff

Elyse Hager


Elyse-Hager_sm_bwElyse Hager is a full day kindergarten teacher in Plymouth, MA. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education from Stonehill College and a Masters Degree in Special Education from Bridgewater State College. She teaches and takes dance classes at Carver Dance Center and choreographs for Braintree South Middle School. Miss Elyse grew up loving musical theater and has attended many Broadway shows. She has performed in Anything Goes, Into the Woods, RENT, Chicago, and Godspell. Miss Elyse has been a part of Theater Plus! for the past five years and has thoroughly enjoyed sharing her love for theater and dance with children.


Stacey Erikson Shanahan

Program Director

Stacey-Shanahan_sm_bwStacey Erikson Shanahan grew up in Marshfield and has been involved in theater since her first show in 3rd grade at Eames Way school, where she played the Wicked Stepmother in Cinderella, She holds a BA in Theater Arts from St. Michael's College and her Masters in Education from Eastern Nazarene College. She spent many years in Quincy Public Schools as a Language Arts/Reading Teacher and Drama Coach. She began her career in Marshfield Public Schools in the Fall of 2011 as a 6th grade Reading and English teacher and Drama Club Advisor. She has been involved in several local community theaters for more than 20 years as an actress, director, board member and theater teacher. She lives on the south shore with her husband, children and kitten.


Matthew Sawtelle

Music Director

Matt-Sawtelle_sm_bwMatthew Sawtelle is the choral, band, and theater instructor at South Middle School in Braintree, Massachusetts.  He holds a Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree from Anna Maria College and Boston University, as well as a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Education Administration from American International College.  Mr. Sawtelle has been involved with Theater Plus since it’s conception and has a deep admiration for all the work Mrs. Shanahan is doing to instill an arts spirit throughout the south shore.  He is ecstatic to be a part of this awesome collaboration.  Mr. Matt lives in Whitman, Massachusetts with his beautiful wife Michelle, handsome son Benjamin and their French bulldog Moxie.  He is currently part of the South Shore Pentecostal Church worship team playing alto saxophone, and sings tenor in the church choir.


Martha Sawyer

Artistic Director

An award winning director, actress and designer Martha Sawyer has served as artistic director for over 70 full stage productions in the scholastic, community and regional theater venues across greater Boston and the South Shore. She has a B.A. from Manhattanville College with a minor in Musical Performance. Martha has studied acting and directing with Helena Dreyfus of the Yale University Drama School and has masters credits in Directing and Scenic Design from A.R.T./Harvard University. For the past several years she has served as artistic director for the INLY Players and Theatre Director for St. Paul School in Hingham. In the summer of 2011 Martha’s dear friend Stacey invited her to join the staff at Theater Plus. Since that time Martha has directed several productions and helped with costumes and all things glittery and feathery! Martha resides in Scituate with her very talented and patient husband John.


Jim Sullivan

Artistic Director

Jim-Sullivan_sm_bwJim Sullivan holds a BFA in musical theatre from Emerson College, and has been directing and teaching in youth programs since 1990. Jim also directs and performs in community and professional theatre.  In 2013 he joined Theater Plus to help create The Studio program for teens, and is now excited to also be working with the younger ages as well.  Jim is the artistic director of Authentic Acts, a school residency program that creates original works with students around social issues in their school as well as oral interpretation of literature and team/confidence building retreats for drama clubs and community theaters.  Jim also works with the Furnace Brook Middle School drama program in Marshfield helping out with technical aspects of their productions.  He lives in East Bridgewater with his husband John, their son Zachary and dog Scooter.