As a leading cultural institution, education is central to our Mission. All classes and workshops are taught by professionally trained Teaching Artists and focus on literacy, cultural awareness, imaginative problem-solving, collaborative play, and creative thinking. Our teaching philosophy highlights process over product, deepening students’ ability to analyze, synthesize, and think critically while making connections to the thoughts and ideas behind the written word.
Portland Stage Education strives to welcome and celebrate all people regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, national origin, religion, gender identity, neurological, or physical ability.
Experience the fun and magic of theater on Saturday mornings with Play Me a Story! Ages 4 – 10 enjoy a performance of children’s stories followed by an interactive acting workshop with Portland Stage’s Education Artists for $15. Sign up for the month and save or pick individual days that work for you. Build literacy, encourage creativity and spark dramatic dreams!
Classes at Portland Stage produce a safe environment for young people to find a higher sense of play, stretch their imaginations, and gain valuable social skills such as listening, risk-taking, ensemble building, public speaking, and leadership through storytelling. These classes are wildly fun, collaborative, spontaneous, and begin to build skills for the young actor or non-actors’ creative toolbox.
Portland Stage reserves the right to combine programs or extend the ages of the participants at its discretion.
Grades: 7 – 12
Rehearsal Dates/Days: Apr 9 – May 17 | Tue, Wed, Thur*
Time: 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm
*No class Apr 15 – 19
Tech Week Dates/Days: May 20 – May 23| Mon, Tue, Wed, Thur
Time: 3:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Performances: May 24 & 25 at Portland Stage
Students come together as an ensemble to create a fully-staged production of Shakespeare‘s Hamlet in Portland Stage’s studio theater. Participants take on a variety of roles including acting, costume design, marketing, and more!
Grades: 2 – 3
Cost: $150, financial aid available
Dates/Days: Tues October 3 – Tues Oct 24
Time: 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Additional Class/Sharing: Fri Oct 27
Time: 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel. Hop on over to Portland Stage to join pals Frog & Toad on their escapades where you will use your bodies, voices, and imaginations to bring the world of Frog and Toad to life.
Grades: 6 – 8
Cost: $215, financial aid available
Dates/Days: Thur Oct 5 – Thur Nov 2
Time: 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Additional Class/Sharing: Saturday Nov 4
Time: 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Learn to land a punch, a sword, and a 400 year old pun all in one class! Students will explore physical and verbal sparring through Shakespeare’s most dramatic (and comedic) fight scenes.
Dive into theater for five exciting days while on your school breaks! Our theater camps immerse participants in all aspects of theater, culminating in an open studio performance for friends and family at the end of the week! Camps are taught by professional actors, directors, and artisans. Students are invited to think imaginatively, critically, and creatively in an environment of inclusivity and safe play.
April Vacation Camp: Maine Made Magic Trunk
Dates: Monday April 17 – Friday April 21
Times: 9 am – 3 pm
Grades: K – 1
Cost: $305, financial aid available
Every day is a new adventure with stories and the Magic Trunk! A spin-off of our Play Me a Story program, this session will focus entirely on books by Maine authors and illustrators!
Any cancellations or changes made more than two months prior to the first day of a Portland Stage Education program (after school programming, vacation camps, and summer camps) will be fully refunded.
Any cancellation made between two and one month prior to the first day of a program will receive a 50% refund.
Portland Stage will not be able to grant refunds made less than one month before the start of a program.
Portland Stage reserves the right to cancel a program two weeks prior to its start if a minimal enrollment is not achieved. In the event that Portland Stage cancels a program families will be contacted two weeks prior and a full refund will be offered.
Portland Stage also reserves the right to combine programs, change teachers, or extend the ages of the participants at its discretion.
Our Student Matinees, offered for most of our Mainstage season programming, connect and reinforce Common Core Standards and are designed to grow with students as they progress through all grade levels.
Our Touring Programs, including PLAY and Directors Lab, connect and reinforce Common Core Standards and are designed to grow with students as they progress through all grade levels.
At Portland Stage, we have developed a series of Education Programs that connect and reinforce Common Core Standards and are designed to grow with students as they progress through all grade-levels (K-12). Our touring programming focuses on building and enhancing literacy, cultural awareness, collaborative play, and creative thinking through a multidimensional approach to learning. All programs are accompanied by a comprehensive resource guide to enhance and support student/teacher engagement.
Actors actively engage students in small groups/workshops using their bodies, voices, and imaginations to build understanding of the text while bringing the stories and characters to life. PLAY helps develop literacy and reading fluency, character recall, understanding of themes, social emotional skills, physical storytelling, and vocal characterization. The program also comes with a comprehensive Resource Guide filled with information and activities based on the books and poems.
“Through the PLAY program, students experience text in a new light…The program has potential as a beacon program for teachers who work with 21st century learners.”Dr. Alec Lapidus, University of Southern Maine
This program has been studied and written about by Dr. Alexander Lapidus of the University of Southern Maine Literacy Education Department. You can read his paper Multiliteracies in Maine by clicking here.
Professional actors perform a 50 minute adaptation of a Shakespeare play, followed by a talkback. In 2024 we will be touring Much Ado About Nothing. After the performance, students engage directly with the text in an interactive workshop with the actors and creative team. In these workshops, students practice effective communication, creative collaboration, rhetoric, and critical analysis. The program also comes with a comprehensive Resource Guide filled with information and resources about the play we are focusing on. Directors Lab puts Shakespeare’s language into the hands and mouths of the students, empowering them to be the artists, directors, and ensemble with the power to interpret the text and produce meaning.
“Portland Stage was able to bring Shakespeare to life for my students and provide them with an entry point into a challenging text and language. The actors and staff brought a high level of professionalism and talent, and a unique ability to relate to, engage, and work with students to enhance their understanding of performance and text.”Teacher at Gray New Gloucester High School
With our community staying safe at home in the early phases of the pandemic, Portland Stage created a variety of virtual education resources to continue engaging young people, families, teachers, and students. Resources include: Tutorial Videos, Games to Play at Home, Follow-Along Videos, and other Interactive Activities. These resources are designed to get your bodies and creativity moving, all from the comfort of your own home!
Portland Stage would like to thank the Onion Foundation, Maine Arts Commission, and the Robert and Dorothy Goldberg Charitable Foundation for their generous support of our K-12 Education Programs.
Portland Stage would like to thank Susie Konkel for her support of our In-Theater programming, and Bud & Cheryl Higgins for establishing the Jamie Higgins Endowment toward our Education Programs.
Teachers and other audience members can enhance their theatrical experience with PlayNotes, our resource guide. Created by the Portland Stage Literary department, these extensive guides present a broad spectrum of information and perspectives on each play in our Mainstage season. PlayNotes appeals to a wide audience of student and adult readers who wish to delve more deeply into the plays on our stage.