6TH-8TH GRADE COMMUNITY PROGRAM

when kids train to put on a show, they are learning life skills:

Empathy, Teamwork, Patience, Listening, Focus, Hard Work, Awareness, Confidence, Discipline, Personal Responsibility, Body Control, Problem Solving... the list goes on!

Please check out our FAQs page for information on Absences, Casting, Costumes, Tickets, and more!

PARENTS AND STUDENTS PLEASE NOTE: This class is a big commitment. There will be work to be done at home in preparation for our classes. We will not put on a good performance in time if the only work you do is in class. I expect hard work each day because I will work hard for you.


2019/20 SCHOOL YEAR!

Join us for a Get-To-Know-You Night!
August 30, 6:30 - 9ish

Into The Woods Jr .png

“Be careful what you wish for, as Stephen Sondheim’s and James Lapine’s cockeyed fairytale comes to life in this adaptation of their groundbreaking, Tony Award-winning musical.  Into the Woods JR. features all of your favorite characters — Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack (and his beanstalk) and the Witch — in this lyrically rich retelling of classic Brothers Grimm fables. The musical centers on a baker and his wife, who wish to have a child; Cinderella, who wishes to attend the King's festival; and Jack, who wishes his cow would give milk. When the baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a witch's curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse, and wind up changed forever.” -MTI


Who: Our Community Program is open to ALL 6th - 8th graders in the Portland area. Taught by: Caroline Schwiebert and Lydia Ellis-Curry

What:  A specialized acting class and a 60 minute Into The Woods Jr

ATTENTION PARENTS AND STUDENTS: This class requires dedication from our students with an interest in becoming better actors through studying and practicing the craft of acting. Our first semester will focus on acting technique and improv games culminating in a Scene Night for parents at the end of the semester. We will begin music rehearsals for our show on day one of class and cast our show within the first few weeks of class, but only dedicate half of our time to the show during our fall semester. Spring semester will be intense musical rehearsals requiring work at home on lines and music. Students are expected to come to each class prepared and ready to work. Students are expected to know and keep track of their own schedule and if they have email addresses will be added to our email list so they see all student/parent/teacher communication. It is quite a commitment and parents should discuss this commitment with their children before registering.

When: Mondays, 4pm-6pm; September 9, 2019 - May 18, 2020

  • We will follow the PPS school schedule which means we have many Mondays off. We might sometimes call a special Monday class if we feel we need more rehearsal, but what it really means is that kids will be expected to work at home on assignments and their roles.

  • Our shows and tech rehearsal are tentatively planned for Friday May 15, 2020 and Saturday May 16, 2020 (please reserve the whole day on Saturday)

Where: St. David of Wales Parish Hall, 2800 SE Harrison Street, Portland 97214 (just a few blocks from Hosford!)

Cost: $650 for the full-year program; class limited to 28 students

  • While we can not offer discounts or scholarships for this class we do have options that can hopefully make it easier for you to pay for class. A 3-payment plan or 8-payment options are available at check out. 3-payment option: Pay $225 at registration and then two auto-payments for the remaining amount on August 28 and January 6, 2020. 8-payment plan option: pay $125 at registration and smaller auto-payments on these dates: 15 Jun 2019,15 Jul 2019,15 Aug 2019,15 Sep 2019,15 Oct 2019,15 Jan 2020,15 Feb 2020

  • A 15% sibling discount is available (full price for first child and 15% off additional children)

  • Students entering class after our Monday September 23rd class will be given a chorus role in our musical and will be given a monologue for scene night (but can join at a prorated rate of $18/class) up to October 7.

  • REFUNDS: We can refund minus a $65 admin fee up to the first day of class. We do not offer refunds after the show is cast (approx October 7). We can offer a refund up to casting time minus a $65 materials fee + $18 per class prorated.

additional info

Our first semester will be a combination of show rehearsal and scene study. Students will be grouped or paired up and work on scenes from plays or films. While the elementary approach is more about teamwork and body movement, the older student will look deeper and focus on interpersonal communication. We will study variations of the Stanislavski method of acting, which focuses on creating real life moments and connections. While we will announce our cast in the fall and begin work on our show, the 1st semester will focus on acting technique and culminate in a no-frills showcase of the scenes they rehearsed in class. Our second semester will be fast-paced and all about our musical. Lots of outside rehearsal is required. Kids will be expected to memorize songs and lines at home, bringing prepared work to each class. They will be expected to keep a drama journal as part of class and be on our email list so they receive all communication that parents receive.


An OREGON SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL EXPERIENCE

We hope to start putting together annual trips to Ashland, OR for our middle school students! We will see a Shakespeare play and participate in a workshop, event or tour. These will be at an additional cost as it requires an overnight stay.
This fall (with enough interest) we will see Shakespeare’s comedy As You Like It (accompanied by a thorough explanation/discussion beforehand) and participate in a Sunday morning interactive 2 hour workshop before heading back up to Portland. About 4 to 6 drivers/chaperones will be needed who can drive 3 - 5 kids in each car (depending, of course, on how many students/families are interested).
The folks at Oregon Shakespeare Festival make it easy to welcome kids in for an incredible experience and I’m really excited.
WHEN: Saturday, October 12 to Sunday October 13 Leaving Saturday around 11am or earlier, arriving home Sunday most likely between 8pm and 9pm. It is about a 5 hour drive w/one stop.
WHERE: accommodations at The Bard’s Inn in Ashland, OR (walking distance to the theaters); All rooms will have one adult present. Some students may need to share a bed with another student. where possible we will wheel in roll away beds. We will keep the rooms divided by boys or girls. We will have a parent and student meeting about this trip before leaving so we are all clear on rules.

HOW MUCH: $150 for students and JUST $25 for drivers/chaperones.
WHAT IT INCLUDES:
Saturday (drive down to Ashland - about 5 hours)
5pm: arrive at hotel, check in, dinner (included) and discussion as a group
7pm Prologue: a 30 minute in depth explanation of the plot/characters from an OSF teaching artist
8pm see the play: As You Like It
Sunday
7:30 - 8:30am: breakfast provided at the hotel (included in cost of trip)
9:30 - 11:30am Sunday: interactive workshop with OSF teaching artists
On Sunday after our workshop is done our students and chaperones will either have lunch (not included in cost) and shopping time around town on their own (there are fun shops, restaurants, coffee and ice cream places and a beautiful park) before heading home or head home directly after our workshop. Families should send students with money for fast food and/or pit stops to and from Ashland and/or pack food for the car. Extra costs are estimated to be somewhere around $20 - $50 depending on activities and souvenirs the student chooses.
Chaperones will not need to participate in the workshop Sunday morning and will have that time free to relax or shop.
However, if you would like to participate in the workshop you are welcome to attend!
We can not offer scholarships for this opportunity, but you can add this to your payment plan to break up payments. If for whatever reason this event needs to be canceled you will, of course, be fully refunded and it’s removed from your payment plan. There are no cancellations/refunds after September 10th as all of our final payments and #s are due to OSF. You can have the cost added to your account later (but I’d like an email telling me you’re considering it so I can have a general idea of how many kids and parents we’ll have so we can move forward).

There is a possibility of adding a 2nd show on Friday night. The show would be the musical Hairspray at 8pm (this may be sold out). That Friday is a no-school Friday for PPS so most kids would not miss school for the drive down. This option would be added later when we can get a better idea of interest/costs to add it.

How can we bring the costs down or help kids who can not afford it? If kids and families are willing to do some fundraising to cover our basic costs maybe we can open the door to our whole cast. I am open to ideas, but would need help facilitating. Car washes? Bake sales? Coffee and donut sales to parents in the mornings outside of school? Are some of our kids crafty? Babysitting? Asking someone to sponsor one or two students? This is the old school way I used to make things happen when I went to school. I don’t see it much anymore! Let’s brainstorm!

If we don’t get enough parents to drive but many students who are registered we will look into taking a bus, but this will raise the cost of the trip significantly or raise our need for fundraising.

Is As You Like It appropriate for my middle schooler? OSF has listed this show appropriate for all ages provided they can understand the text being spoken. You can go here for more info on the show or read the synopsis below.
Synopsis of AS YOU LIKE IT from the OSF website:
“Director Rosa Joshi (who helmed 2018’s widely praised Henry V) delves into the search for true love in a wondrous world of wit, transformation and imagination. Exiled from the controlling confines of the court, Duke Senior and her daughter Rosalind seek refuge—and find much more—in the unconstrained Forest of Arden. Also fleeing danger at home, Orlando encounters a young man named Ganymede and seeks help in love—unaware that Ganymede is actually his heart’s desire, Rosalind, in disguise. “All the world’s a stage” and all society’s rules of conformity are off in this exuberant theatrical journey into one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies.”

I truly believe your child will come away from this experience with more interest in theater, literature and Shakespeare. Shakespeare is meant to be seen and experienced. By watching, listening and breathing it in they will be better equipped when it’s time to read it in high school (or middle school). Shakespeare is not to be feared! I loved the idea of Shakespeare as a kid, but had such a hard time deciphering and didn’t think I’d ever really get it it until I started watching films. I never got to see live Shakespeare when I was young and really want that for my students. OSF does such an incredible job with their productions. Often these shows are set in different time periods and swap genders to tell the stories in a new way. As You Like It takes this approach and has a wonderfully diverse, non-traditional cast of talented actors. You can read more about this show on the OSF website.