Museum Reviews
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Sarah Salerno Thomas has performed for museum family days and vacation week events, adapting productions to link with permanent collections as well as temporary exhibitions ranging from ancient Japanese paintings at the Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University to masks at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA; from Mary Cassatt at the Bennington Museum in Vermont to Jan de Bray's Banquet of Antony and Cleopatra at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, NH and a chocolate exhibit at the New York State Museum in Albany, NY.


"Sarah Salerno Thomas captivates both children and adults by tailoring her program to fit each unique situation. The Gardner Museum has engaged her services throughout the years and each program - though entirely different - was a wealth of imagination and creativity."
Johnetta Tinker, Director of Community Programs
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Boston, MA

"I have been overseeing the Free-For-All for the past nine years... I can say without a doubt that rarely have I seen an audience enjoy a show as much as it did The Singing, Ringing Tree... I think this was due to Ms. Salerno's artistry, skill in directing children, and the great enthusiasm she projects when she performs..."
Marianne Ruggiero, Coordinator of Family Programs
The RISD Museum of Art
Providence, RI

"We call our family series of programs "Art Comes Alive!" and with your performance, it did just that... The incredible way you connected to the individual visitors as well as to the imagination of each person regardless of age level was amazing to behold."
Melinda Georgeson, Director of Education
Norman Rockwell Museum
Stockbridge, MA


"You managed to make this a delightful experience not only for the children involved and their proud parents, but for the entire audience as well. This is certainly a rare talent you possess, and I hope you have the opportunity to share it with many, many more audiences."
Barbara Robertson, former Director of Education
Williams College Museum of Art
Williamstown, MA

"Both kids and parents were captivated not just with the charming story but with seeing peers perform and contribute to the play. Zoe, the young princess, was a perfect example of a child who loved participating and performing and was so grateful to you for the opportunity. I know that any museum would be so pleased to host a program of such joyful energy and creativity."
Carol Inge Hockett, Coordinator of School & Family Programs
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University
Ithaca, NY

"Ms. Salerno-Thomas draws children out and encourages them to shine as only a seasoned artist who understands children (and adults) well can do. In the process, everyone participates and goes away with the sense of having contributed and the joy that often comes with doing so."
Kathleen Lomatoski, Family Program & Art Lab Coordinator
The Institute of Contemporary Art
Boston, MA

"Sarah has a gentle, persuasive way of engaging young audience members in participatory theater. With actors as young as 3 years, she manages to keep the momentum of the story going so those not participating maintain rapt attention. Sarah is truly a remarkable children's theater expert!"
Karen Lambe, Early Childhood Developer
Providence Children's Museum
Providence, RI

"The event drew over 400 people and at least 200 attended Sarah's performance... She has a unique warmth and enthusiasm that help the young actors confidently develop and deliver their lines... I wholeheartedly recommend her to any organization that offers high quality programs for families and children."
Ronna Tulgan Ostheimer, Coordinator of Community Education & Outreach
Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute
Williamstown, MA


I was amazed and delighted by the skill you employed in helping, what I am sure is one of the youngest casts you've worked with, feel comfortable and successful in their "on stage" roles. Your gentle coaching, sense of humor, and wonderful masks all contributed to a fine performance enjoyed by all."
Rosemary Agoglia, Curator of Education
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
Amherst, MA

"Your performances displayed an unparalleled level of audience participation and creative freedom... Your exceptional directing skills made the children (especially those who were shy) feel comfortable and excited about their roles. You are a very gifted educator, writer and artist. I definitely recommend that other museums embark on one of your theater adventures!"
Mollie Clarke, Museum Educator
Florence Griswold Museum
Old Lyme, CT

"It was absolutely delightful having you here. It was very creative, artistic, and just plain fun. Kids always love to get involved and parents always love to watch their kids as they perform and have their minds just unfold before them. Way to go!!"
Noreen Yost, Visitor Services
New York State Museum
Albany, NY

"I was most impressed by your interaction with the children; you listened to their ideas and let the story unfold following the kids' leads, while keeping it on track at the same time! Truly magical! Your flexibility and warmth, combined with your friendly ability to roll with the vagaries of space, lighting, or faulty equipment make you a delightful colleague as well as a creative and talented artist with children."
Lynne Stanton, Coordinator of Public Education
Harvard University Art Museums
Cambridge, MA

"You have a wonderful way of working with children and it fostered an atmosphere of fun and creativity. How else could our young participants have thought of such colorful characters as a cat that makes pancakes and a pet mouse that cost $500?"
Erin Hickey Crooks, Public Programs Coordinator
National Heritage Museum
Lexington, MA

"...I am still always amazed to see what children are capable of when given the sort of support you provided in your program... I was also struck by the reflections of the performers after the show. Each of the children talked about overcoming fear and feeling more confident about what they are capable of doing in the future - what a gift to give a child! You have remarkable abilities as a director and a magical way of drawing out the very best out of children!"
Jane Seney, Director of Education
Lyman Allyn Art Museum
New London, CT

"I enjoyed your performance and was amazed at the spontaneous scripting! Your cast was fabulous and I am sure had a wonderful experience. Programs like this are crucial to creating a positive museum experience that will stick with people for life!! Thank you for your entertaining and creative performance!"
Michelle Wilkins, Public Programs Manager
Heritage Museums & Gardens
Sandwich, MA

"Sarah had a comfortable and fun way to encourage and instruct the children (and adults!) about their roles. It was amazing that the story was portrayed on the spot in this manner. Sarah's props, masks and scenery contributed to the performance as well. Sarah was professional and made good links to a painting in the museum's collection."
Courtney D'Alessio, Manager of Public Programs
Currier Museum of Art
Manchester, NH

"Sarah's performances were a huge success. They were interactive, so the audience was really involved. The kids loved being part of the show and the parents loved seeing their kids participate. Sarah was professional and understanding of our needs."
Karin Goodfellow, Community Programs Manager
Fuller Craft Museum
Brockton, MA

"The Higgins Faire family festival was a great success, with more than 800 visitors from throughout New England. Many of these visitors were coming to the Museum for the first time, so it was especially important for us to capture their interest in hopes of encouraging repeat visits; your participation in the Faire helped us to do just that."
Tara Young, Director of Education & Public Programs
Higgins Armory Museum
Worcester, MA

"You have an exceptional ability to involve the children, and to allow their natural gifts to be revealed... I would recommend this performance to any organization interested in creative opportunities for family audiences."
Linda Carpenter, Director of Museum Education & Public Programs
American Textile History Museum
Lowell, MA

"Through individual performances, you created a team effort with the children drawing inspiration and confidence from each other and from you. I know that around dozens of dinner tables that night parents and children were reliving the fun they had."
Emily Stearns, Executive Director
Wenham Museum
Wenham, MA

"The Singing, Ringing Tree was a great addition to the Hyde Park City Celebration. The Museum tries to bring diverse experiences to its visitor; your performance helped to do just that. We have received a lot of good feedback from staff and visitors."
Alyssa Tang, Community Programs & Partnerships
The Children's Museum
Boston, MA