caroline timm Schwiebert
Artistic director/executive director
Caroline Timm Schwiebert is an actress and director. She grew up performing in music, theater, Olympics of the Mind and Forensics competitions. As a young adult Caroline traveled in the international performing arts group Up With People staying with host families, providing community service and international performance to communities around the world. Traveling with this program for a year as a young adult instilled in her the belief that theater and art can provide a bridge between languages, cultures and communities. Caroline continued with Up With People as well as working as a staff performer and an Up With People Jr program director. Caroline has trained in NYC and LA with so very many wonderful teachers and mentors primarily making her career in commercials and voice-overs. She is repped here in Portland by Q6 Model and Talent Management and can currently be seen in an ad for Curiosity Stream. Of all the work she has done, Caroline has enjoyed working with children the most. She's worked with them in a musical theater setting for 15 years, having grown and run summer camps and year-round after-school productions and classes for Upstage Theatre Arts Schools in Los Angeles. Now here in Portland, she has grown Portland Drama Club from 19 kids in a summer camp in 2016 to almost 200 kids in summer camps and after-school classes throughout the year. She's also a mother of three (one boy who is 23 and two girls, ages 21 and almost 8, so she's been through some stuff). Caroline considers every student of hers her very own child. She believes theater is a discipline to be as respected as any sport or martial art and that we learn about ourselves and the world around us by jumping in and doing it and failing and doing it again. Natural talent is nice, but hard work is better. She's seen miraculous things happen to kids of all ages/types when they hit the stage. She cries every time. Caroline is certified in CPR/First Aid. She wishes she knew martial arts or something cool like that, but has been trained to use an Epipen. So that's kinda neat.
assistant: SUMMER CAMPS
Mayah is just coming back from pursuing her own performance and travel opportunities as a student abroad in the Up With People program! She's looking forward to taking what she's learned from her travels and performances and bringing it to our summer camps! Mayah has been involved in theater since first grade. She was a student of Upstage Theater Arts School in Los Angeles between the ages of 7 and 12, and when she aged out of the classes and camps, she moved on to working for them. She has done numerous jobs for Upstage from taking tickets at the door and running the spotlight to organizing costumes and chasing kids. Aside from working with her mom in nearly all of the Portland Drama Club programs wearing many hats, Mayah has been a counselor at a girls' overnight summer camp in Los Angeles and most recently at art camp at Tucker Maxon School here in Portland. Mayah continues her education now at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, OR and comes back every summer to work with our theater kids. You might be able to get a coffee from her at Starbucks in the neighborhood, too! ;)
Assistant and teaching artist:
Lydia Ellis-Curry has been back in Portland teaching and performing for the past 3 years. Before her return, she graduated with her Bachelors in Theatre from Columbia College Chicago, where she also founded an after school drama club for underserved middle school students at a westside charter school. Her love for teaching and mentoring youth of all ages has grown and been strengthened by working this past year at a bilingual Spanish immersion preschool and teaching part time at Vision8 studio and Oregon Children's Theatre. When not working with kids or coaching private lessons, Lydia can be seen performing at various theatres around town. Her next show will be with Portland Musical Theatre Company as a lead Soprano vocalist for their fall show. Lydia is grateful and excited to begin partnering with Caroline for Portland Drama Club's summer camps and into the fall as a teaching artist with her at several after school programs.
Assistant and teaching artist:
Nick was raised in Connecticut and showed a love of being in the limelight even as a toddler. Since middle school, he has immersed himself in all aspects of the performing arts. In middle and high school, Nick attended musical theatre summer camps at A.C.T. Performing Arts Magnet School in Willimantic, CT and served as a theatre intern at the Hartford Children's Theatre and Neighborhood Studios in Hartford, CT. As an intern, he created a one-act play on bullying and assisted with all aspects of running theatre programs including advertising, ticket sales, painting sets, and doing both lighting and sound; his internship also included teaching and organizing theatre activities for children between the ages of 6-12. Nick has had lead roles in multiple musical theatre productions, including Seussical and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Nick relocated to Portland two years ago because of its popularity as a place to live for millennials, dedication to green living, availability of public transportation, and the wide variety of outdoor activities. He is thrilled and grateful to be continuing his interest and involvement in theatre here.
Middle School Choreographer
Julia Bray is a creator, writer, performer, teacher and Portland native. She spent 10 years in New York City performing in Off-Broadway shows, writing plays and producing theater. In Portland, she teaches Kundalini Yoga & Meditation, adult dance classes & musical theater after school programs and creates solo-performance work. Her recent one-woman show "Matter Is Mother" a multi-medium theatrical experience where Julia plays 8 different characters and performs original music & dance, received a RACC grant for a full production run in 2019. She loves reading astrology charts, studying human behavior and consciousness through a theatrical lens, and connecting with animals (especially her terrier, Sparkles the Moon Dog). www.the-magic-is-you.com
KAYLA BANKS (professional choreographer, dancer and actress) is originally from Denver, Colorado where she received her BA in Performing Arts and Business Administration from Colorado State University. She has danced professionally with Impact Dance Company and also performed and trained here in Portland with NW Dance Project. She recently performed in New York City at The Public Theater. She has choreographed and danced for events in Colorado, the Portland Musical Theatre Co., Anya Pearson: Shaking Tree Theatre, and led orginal projects. She currently teaches dance at studios such as The Portland Ballet, Laurelhurst Dance Studio and directs workshops at Performance Works NorthWest Studio. She hopes to continue to collaborate with The Portland Drama Club because of the wonderful work that they produce.
and of course, we couldn't do what we do without our board of directors
Charity Babcock Jedeikin
(bios coming soon!)