Meet Our Camp Staff
For over 30 years, Smirkus Camp has been welcoming campers of all ages to run away with the circus. Smirkus Camp staff come from all walks of life, from circus arts and performing to teaching, childcare, and healthcare. With boundless energy and depth of personality, counselors, coaches, and camp staff bring passion for Circus Smirkus’ mission, a sense of fun, and love of their work to their interactions with campers, camp families, and staff.
★ William Forchion, Summer Camp Director
William was born and raised in Hammonton, New Jersey and is a graduate of Hammonton High School. He went on to graduate from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College and received a B.S. in Metaphysics from The American Institute of Holistic Theology.
William discovered the joy of performing while in high school where he participating in school musicals and the marching band. Mr. Forchion’s performing career has taken him around the world performing with many acclaimed companies such as Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, The Pickle Family Circus and Cirque du Soleil.
William’s acting and circus training made for a smooth transition to stunt work for film and television. As an actor and stuntman William has been highlighted in numerous television and film productions. In 2017 William made two trips to Turkmenistan as a U.S. State Department Cultural Exchange Ambassador representing Circus Arts.
When he is not writing or editing or otherwise producing film and television works in his Brattleboro, Vermont studio William does what he loves best and is dad to 3 beautiful children. William seeks every opportunity possible to pursue his mission to entertain, inspire, educate and innovate. Read more about William.
★ Robin LaPlante, Camp Administrative Director
Robin has a background in performing arts marketing and production. She spent four years working at NPR’s “From the Top,” a classical music organization in Boston that produces the weekly NPR show featuring kids playing classical music. In that role, Robin managed the marketing, box office, and ticketing plans with presenters around the country.
Robin is excited to be part of the Smirkus family and believes that “if you give kids access and opportunity to the things they are passionate about, they will use those things to make the world a better place.”
Having attended The Hartt School at the University of Hartford to study musical theatre, Robin enjoys dance of all kinds, especially tap dance. Her love of dance and children also led her to the Boston Ballet where she was a child supervisor for their yearly production of The Nutcracker, making sure that the little mice were costumed and made it to the stage on time.
After camping in Vermont for eight years, she fell in love with the Northeast Kingdom and recently moved with her husband and daughter, Charley Lou, to Barton, Vermont. She loves to make delicious things to eat, specializing in canning jams and pickles. Read more about Robin.
★ Amira Silverman, Assistant Camp Director
Amira Silverman is a Vermonter born and raised. She spent her first summer at Smirkus as an 11 year old camper, fell in love with the lyra, and has been returning ever since. Having worked as a counselor for the past two summers, Amira is excited to take on the role of Assistant Camp Director and has been hard at work with the other camp staff planning a magical summer under the tents.
During the year Amira is an undergraduate student at Skidmore College, studying Sociology, Intergroup Relations, and Spanish. When not circusing or studying, you can find Amira climbing, hiking, taking photographs, and eating Annie’s Mac and Cheese.
★ Doug Stewart, Head Coach
Doug began his circus journey in 2009 when he came to Smirkus Camp for the first time. He continued coming to Smirkus Camp until 2014, when he ran away with the Big Top Tour and never looked back!
Doug graduated from Columbia College Chicago in May 2018 with a degree in Business of Live and Performing Arts. He has performed with Circus Smirkus, Diamond Family Circus, Aloft Circus Arts, The Midnight Circus and Aida Cruises.
During college, Doug founded a brand new circus company Cirque Us and is the company’s founder and operations director, now in it’s fourth season.
Doug will be the Head Coach during Smirkling Camp, Intro to Smirkus, All Levels Camp, and Intermediate Camp. Read more about Doug.