Community Engagement

Portland Stage engages our community through events that bring theater and people together.  Our community events build connections, promote critical thinking, and inspire dialogue.

2017/18 Season Events Include:

Pay-What-You-Can Community Performances:
The first Tuesday Preview and the last Thursday Matinee of every mainstage show are Community Performances! These shows are our pay-what-you-can evenings that promote total access to Portland Stage mainstage productions for everyone in our community!

Rush35 – A rush discount program for people 35 or under. Sign up and see any show for $15. That’s it! The best deal ever to the best live theater. Tickets subject to availability.

Discussion Series – Dialogue between artists and audience is an integral part of our creative process! Portland Stage hosts three free audience discussions for the general public during the run of each production on our Mainstage. Patrons interested in attending either of the post-show discussions (The Artistic Perspective or Curtain Call) are welcome to come to the discussion even if they have not attended the preceding performance – just plan to arrive at the theater at the time the performance gets out!

  • Artistic Perspective hosted by Artistic Director Anita Stewart, is an opportunity for audience members to delve deeper into the themes and creative questions behind each production through conversation with special guests. A different scholar, visiting artist, playwright, or other expert will join the discussion each time. The Artistic Perspective discussions are held after the first Sunday matinee performance.
  • Page to Stage discussions are presented in partnership with the Portland Public Library. These discussions, led by Portland Stage artistic staff, provide insight into the literary and social aspects of the play, as well as exploring the challenges of bringing a particular play to the stage. Page to Stage is held at the Portland Public Library at 12:00 noon the Tuesday after a show opens. Feel free to bring your lunch!
  • Curtain Call discussions offer a rare opportunity for audience members to talk about the production with the performers, exploring topics that range from the rehearsal process to character development to issues raised by the work. Curtain All discussions are held after the second Sunday.

New Play Development:

  • From Away – From Away happens each fall and is a part of our Affiliate Artists events programming. This exciting literary program is produced in collaboration with the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, From Away brings talented writers from around the world to Portland, for readings and discussion of their work. By presenting work by writers who are highly acclaimed in other countries yet not known in the United States, this program introduces our audience to a diversity of world views, ideas and cultures and provides the opportunity to ask, first hand, about life experiences in other places. Past writers have come from Cuba, Tajikistan, Singapore, Hungary, Russia and Nigeria, to name a few.
  • The Clauder Competition – a new play competition for writers from New England, generates over 200 submissions every three years. Each play receives at least two evaluations and all writers are sent a letter including individualized response from readers. Winning work is included in Little Festival of the Unexpected – a week-long development process culminating in two staged readings. The final step is a Mainstage production and cash prize.
  • Little Festival of the Unexpected – A week-long new play development workshop, Little Festival, puts our audience in front row seats with a spotlight on the writing process. Little Festival focuses on nurturing selected writers with time and space to develop their work and share it in-process with a responsive audience after intensive rehearsals with professional directors, dramaturgs and actors. Audience participate in the creative process by watching the readings and sharing ideas in discussions. Portland Stage has a strong tradition of bringing work from Little Festival to the Mainstage. This pre-production development time is invaluable in fostering a dialogue between collaborating artists, audience and the theater.

Tech Events – Tech Events give Portland Stage supporters an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at how we stage our productions. As an Understudy, you are invited to each tech event, and can invite up to two guests. Additional tickets available upon request.  Please contact our Development Department.

Education Class Performances  We invite the public to join in the fun and watch the playful, creative, inspiring, work of students in some of our classes. Come and see their exploration of body, voice, and imagination as an ensemble.

  • Fall Conservatory: All Hallow’s Eve Teen Conservatory Performance
    Saturday, Oct 28 at 3PM
  • Shakespeare Teen Company: Macbeth Performances on May 18 & 19