PLAY in Schools

Bringing Professional Theater Education to Schools!

PLAY in school“Through the Play Me a Story 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


The Portland Stage PLAY in Schools Program is an interactive performance and acting workshop for elementary school students in grades K – 5. Professional teaching artists perform children’s literature and classic poetry for the entire school, and then work with select classrooms in workshops based by the stories. Actors teach students to use their bodies, voices, and imaginations to build understanding, encourage literacy and bring stories to life.

This combination kinesthetic/ visual/verbal/cooperative approach offers an alternate strategy for children learning about literature with no “right” solution, allowing for many different interpretations. Students are encouraged to find meaning from words, sentences and stories and make multisensory connection to the material and text. Working as a group to tell a story promotes teamwork. Every student demonstrates a different response, which illuminates the diversity of ideas in the classroom. These skills, inspired by the theater arts, are vital to creating well rounded community members and will be used by students in many ways throughout their academic career and beyond

The PLAY in Schools program meets State of Maine Learning Results and Common Core Standards objectives, including both Performing Arts/Theater and Language Arts.

Further Details:

  • Designed to work in any school auditorium or gym.
  • Dramatic Readings engage and entertain grades K-5 and last approximately 30 minutes.
  • Illustrations from the books are projected behind the actors to further enhance the reading. Our projection system is compatible with your school’s screen or we can project the images onto a large blank wall. Have your own projections system? We can use that too!
  • After the performance, selected classes have the opportunity to work with the actors they have just seen perform in interactive workshops.
  • Workshops are recommended for Grade 1-4. Participating classes are chosen by the school’s principal or coordinator based on teacher’s feedback and interest.
  • Workshops run for 45 minutes and can be taught to as many as eight classrooms total.

Interested in learning more? Call 207.774.1043 x104 or click here to send an email.

Our Play Me a Story 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.

During our 2017-2018 season our available series include:

Celebrating Difference & Accepting Others Series
Perseverance & Growth Mindset Series
Made in Maine: Celebrating Maine Authors
Compassion & Kindness Series