Portland Drama Club in Your School
We have attempted to answer most questions people new to our programs may have below. If you have more questions, please don't hesitate to contact our Artistic/Executive Director Caroline Timm Schwiebert. She'd be happy to converse via email, phone, or even come in person to speak about who we are and what we do!
play production classes
Here are just some of the benefits of having a Play Production at your school:
- Boosts self-confidence
- Teaches public speaking skills
- Teaches acceptance of people/characters/kids/beings different than you
- Teaches kids to work as a team
- Teaches patience, resilience, personal responsibility, and accountability
- Builds community between grades
- Builds community with parents/families
Putting on a full-scale production costs money. We have found, though, that the value it brings to the school community and the children themselves far exceeds theater classes without a production at the end.
By jumping right into a show, children learn by doing. We will incorporate theater games and exercises into each rehearsal. Students will learn breathing and vocal techniques, acting techniques, and dance/movement in a supportive environment that encourages hard work through practice and personal responsibility.
Portland Drama Club is a brand new nonprofit, so we are still working on funding through grants, etc. We are happy to work with your school to create a program that parents can afford. Whether some or all of it is supported by your PTA/PTO, whether we fundraise within the school to raise money for production costs, or it is simply a tuition-based after-school program you offer to your students, we hope to find a way to make our programs accessible to as many kids as possible.
general requirements for putting on a show
30 minute productions require at the very least 30 hours of rehearsal. That's one day a week, after school for 2-2.5 hours each day for approximately 15 weeks (this is a semester program; recommended for younger kids).
60 minute productions require at least 60 hours of rehearsal. That's one day a week, after school for 2-2.5 hours each day for approximately 30 weeks (this is a full-year program; appropriate for elementary and middle school kids). We can increase the number of times we meet each week to decrease the number of weeks required to learn the show, but the hours should remain roughly the same. This can be customized to meet the needs/desires of your school/community.
Believe it or not, we do not need a full stage. We need a large open space to rehearse in and can also build/create a stage if there isn't one (within reason, of course). The show must go on! We can make your space work. Please don't let location keep you from contacting us.
Ideally, we would have enough time throughout the rehearsal process to play games and activities that strengthen the theater experience and gives the kids a break from only working on the show.
Please email us for a general budget or to request a proposal for your school.
theater fun classes
We also offer shorter Theater Fun after-school classes where we simply play games and activities. These classes are tuition-based and can be conducted in a classroom with some open floor space. These classes are a great space for all kinds of kids: for shy kids to simply get a taste of theater and for little showbizzers to strut their stuff. A low-key performance without the use of costumes or set pieces will be held at the end of each session for parents.
- Young kids grades kindergarten - 2nd grade will meet for approximately an hour and play lots of silly games. It's a play to play and speak up.
- Kids 3rd-5th grade can meet for 1-1.5 hours playing games with plenty of silliness, but with more depth and understanding of the purpose of the games. Kids will break off more often into smaller groups to create their own stories and may occasionally work on scenes.
- Middle school kids can meet for 1.5-2 hours working through theater exercises and concentrating more on acting technique, creating their own stories and two-person scenes. Kids are encouraged to step out of their comfort zones through improvisational games and opportunities for self-expression. Middle school kids will keep drama journals and follow more of a set curriculum. Even with this age group, though, silliness ensues.
Please email to request a sample curriculum.