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.
★ Joshua Shack, Smirkus Camp Director
Joshua Shack wears many hats at Circus Smirkus. He has been a Smirkus Residency Artist for six years, Production Manager for the Big Top Tour for over a decade, and is now Director of Programming and Alumni Relations for Circus Smirkus. This summer he will serve as Summer Camp Director.
After seeing his first circus, Joshua decided to become a clown when he was just three years old. At age nine, he began performing his solo show at many local events, and from 2000-2003 he spent his summers touring with the Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour.
In 2004, he toured the U.S. with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. He is a co-creator and performer of The Piccolini Trio, and directed their critically acclaimed stage show Circus in a Trunk. As a writer and director, his credits include the clown play Out of Orbit at the Theater at Saint Peter’s in New York City, Nothing but Nonsense, a variety musical comedy at Circus World Museum in Baraboo, WI and 14 productions for Theater in the Open in Newburyport, MA. He also loves cooking, art, puns and ice cream.
★ Doug Stewart, Assistant Camp Director & 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 operating director.
★ Grace Leishman, Head Counselor
Grace has been a Circus Smirkus superfan since the early 2000’s, attending camp for eight consecutive summers and performing in Advanced Camp’s road show in 2008. She returned to the tents as a camp counselor in 2012.
Grace received her undergraduate degree from Caltech in 2016, studying business and geology. She went on to pursue a career in finance in San Francisco and then New York. Grace is an avid runner, crossworder, and joke teller.
★ Mariah Fraker, Activities Coordinator
Mariah first attended Smirkus Camp as a camper in 2007. Beginning in 2014, Mariah has worked at camp every summer since and has had many different jobs, including counselor, coach, dishwasher and veggie-chopper, layover-mommy, and activities coordinator. Mariah loves camp more than anything. When not at camp, Mariah can either be found traveling, or working and keeping constantly busy with fun activities, such as musical theater or musical chairs.
★Lillian “Tucket” Shoji, Administrative Assistant
Lillian “Tucket” is an artist and performer originally from Atlanta, Georgia. She loves ice cream and hates spinach. Tucket studied physical theatre and languages at Coastal Carolina University where she found a passion for community, ensemble creation, and storytelling. She first joined the Circus Smirkus family as a cook for last year’s pandemic-defying camp session. She is incredibly grateful to be returning this summer to the amazing Vermont views and the magical Smirkus experiences.