LEARN MORE ABOUT PORTLAND DRAMA CLUB
Portland Drama Club is a nonprofit that seeks to teach Portland's youth the power in themselves through play, practice, and performance.
It is our goal to provide a creative, safe space for children to have fun and gain confidence while learning the skills necessary to perform for an audience through musical theater. Not only will kids learn movement, vocal, and acting technique - as well as technical aspects of putting on a show - they will learn to work as a team and to form clear points of view. They will learn to encourage others to be silly and feel brave enough to be silly themselves without judgement. While they will absolutely learn to enunciate and speak up, they will also become better listeners. They will learn concentration, hard work, and doing your personal best pays off and is fun!
When kids train to put on a show, they are learning life skills:
Empathy. Team work. Patience. Listening. Focus. Hard work. Awareness. Confidence. Discipline. Personal responsibility. Body Control. Problem solving.
Skills needed for the theater are skills that they will carry throughout life. Whether it's the benefits of falling down and getting back up again (sometimes literally) or giving kids a voice when they might feel they don't have one; expanding world views through exposure to literature, music, and other cultures; connecting kids to their bodies through movement, feelings, and sound - the benefits of theater in a child's life are immeasurable.
Portland Drama Club lets a child learn through performance right from the start. If you join the Club, you get a part. We learn by doing.
Portland Drama Club is growing! What began as a single summer camp a few summers ago to test the Portland waters has now grown to be a nonprofit organization whose programming includes year-round Community Programs, performance programs at Schools, and multiple Summer Camp opportunities for various ages. And we are just getting started!
If your school doesn't have an after-school performance program and you'd like to see if Portland Drama Club might be a good fit, please contact us! We'd love to get that ball rolling.
Our Artistic Director/Founder/Queen is Caroline Timm Schwiebert and, well, people love her! She brings a huge amount of experience and talent to the table, having run a similar program for 12 years in Los Angeles before moving to Portland. You can read all about her here. Below are testimonials from both parents and students about their theater experiences with her at the helm.
"I cannot say enough good things about this program. I have driven my daughters across town to give them the opportunity to take drama classes and when our school started offering Portland Drama Club I had no idea how amazing it would be. My children say this is their favorite theater teacher and class and it’s SO much fun for them to get to put together a production with school peers. Selfishly, the convenience of it being at school right after school, is incredible. It’s not the convenience though that makes it so great. It’s the top notch teaching, the incredible productions, and the true theater experience that my kids are getting. Any school would be lucky to have Portland Drama Club!!" -Robin Krill, Woodstock Elementary parent
"Caroline is personable, fun, and immensely talented. My shy daughter really blossomed under her encouragement, and we saw shades of her personality that really surprised us and lit up the stage. I wish Caroline was still in LA!" ~ Parent (4 yrs.), after-school program
"Caroline is probably one of the greatest teachers I will ever have. Throughout the years I did 5 plays with her and they each were a blast to perform. She helped us learn emotion and how to really pull the audience in. She is an amazing teacher and mentor. I have really enjoyed learning from her." ~ Student (4 yrs.)
"Caroline understands children and brings out their very best. She is nurturing, funny, organized, and dedicated. She created a supportive, safe atmosphere that allowed my daughters to take risks, grow, and have a lot of fun along the way. We miss her, but are happy that some lucky kids in Portland will get to enjoy her lucky brand of theater magic!" ~ Parent (5 yrs.), after-school program and summer camp
"I feel extremely grateful that my daughter had the opportunity to know and work with Caroline, who was both an inspiration and a role model. I have always been deeply impressed by Caroline's caring, professional way of guiding her students to greatness. In my daughter's case, a special talent was sparked and developed. Caroline gave her the life-long gift of discovering and nurturing a passion and also developing self-confidence and a strong self-image. I can't say enough wonderful things about Caroline's positive influence during my daughter's formative years." ~ Parent (6 yrs.), after-school program
"My daughter participated in Caroline's drama program for six years starting in elementary school. It was a transformative experience for her! When she started, my daughter was shy and would hardly speak a word to anyone she didn't know well. She had a difficult time participating in class. Caroline was kind, patient and really encouraged her to grow. Six years later, not only was she playing and singing leading roles in the drama productions, she was selected to speak at her middle school graduation... to 3000 classmates and their guests! Caroline's program was not just fun for my child, it provided discipline and skills that she will use well into adulthood." ~ Parent (6 yrs.), after-school program
"Caroline was AWESOME! She encouraged us to do better and pushed us but was really nice and funny while doing it." ~ Student (1 yr.), age 10
"I couldn't think of a better person to endorse! Your theater program brought out characteristics in Sydney we never knew she had. I mean 'who knew she could sing like she did as JOJO?' The skills, discipline, CONFIDENCE and love for the theater you instilled in her will carry her through her life. I would send her across the country to attend your camp, and if you ever find yourself in Ohio, Bexley sure could benefit from your passion!" ~ Parent (6 yrs.), after-school program and summer camp
"Caroline is definitely a Wonder Woman. The skills I attained from the six years of being with her are monumental, and have guided me to the person I am now. I have grown from a shy, immature third grader, to an upbeat and confident fifteen year old. I entered high school proud, and when I auditioned for the Fall play, I didn't have an ounce bit of nerves. I stood on stage, and filled the room with a loud voice, believable facial expressions, and appropriate awareness for the other actors. I was the only freshman. Results were posted the next week, and I saw my name written next to "Nina Gold," the female lead of the play, The Spelling Bee. There is no question that Caroline's teaching has led to this success. The spark that I feel, the purpose that theater gives, is so rewarding." ~ Student (6 yrs.), after-school program
"My son participated in four musicals with Caroline in the third and fourth grades, through the drama program at his school and at summer camps. Caroline made it really fun (she's a hoot according to Ezekiel), but still had high expectations for putting on a great show. The environment she created for the children was very safe - they could take risks without worrying about being embarrassed or doing it wrong. Any concerns Ezekiel had about singing and dancing in front of many quickly vanished, and his confidence skyrocketed. We were very sad to see her move to Portland!" ~ Parent (2 yrs.)
"Caroline brings such enthusiasm and encouragement to all the kids she works with. It was such a delight to see my kids introduced to theater and with such positive energy and nonjudgmental support. Caroline's passion and get goofy sense of humor was reflected in how she taught the curriculum and in her direction of the shows. Shy kids come out of their shells, children with soft singing voices were taught how to project safely. Younger children and older children worked together to make the best ensemble production together under Caroline's wing. In short, Caroline is delightful and any kid able to take a theater class with her or be part of a show she is directing would be very lucky indeed." ~ Parent (3 yrs.), after-school program and summer camp
"Caroline was such an important figure in both of my children's lives. She got them to really love theater. She was so supportive, inspired them to really commit to their parts, and to take risks. She made the theater program a family, for all of us." ~ Parent (5 yrs.), after-school program
"Caroline was a warm, nurturing, funny, talented teacher for my son. He grew as an actor and got more and more comfortable on stage over the 6 years they worked together. She was patient and instructive, encouraging and always fun to be around. She made theater a safe place for these kids to take risks on stage and she always made them feel accepted. Portland is lucky to have her. We miss her a lot." ~ Parent (6 yrs.), after-school program and summer camp
"Both of my daughters had the opportunity to study with Caroline year round through their elementary school years. Caroline is not only an amazing musical theater teacher, but she is kind, committed, supportive, and a ton of fun!!" ~ parent (6 yrs.), after-school program and summer camp
"We have been with Caroline for 4 years and the growth and confidence she has developed in my child is priceless. Your kids will come home happy and loved!! She's a Mom, so she gets kids! She really relates to every type of child, finds their strengths, and gives them the tools to soar, on and off stage. Portland is so lucky to have Caroline!" ~ Parent (4 yrs.), after-school program and summer camp