School Programs

At Portland Stage, we have developed a series of Education Programs tied to Common Core Standards that are designed to grow with students as they progress through all grade-levels.  From Student Matinees on our Mainstage to our Play Me A Story program- our Education Department offers comprehensive programming that connects to and reinforces Common Core Standards.  Programs focus on process- deepening students’ ability to analyze, synthesize and think critically while building connections to the thoughts and ideas behind the written word.

  • Grades K-5: Play Me A Story School WorkshopsCultureClubBanner
    Professional actor/teaching artists from Portland Stage perform a staged-reading of children’s books for the entire school.  The performance is followed by actor-lead, energetic, interactive workshops for up to 8 classrooms of students.  The program is designed to improve literacy, promote teamwork, and inspire creativity through a multidimensional approach to learning.
  • Grades 7-12: Directors Lab 
    In the 7th and 8th grade Directors Lab, professional artists present scenes from classic plays, with text selected to meet the needs and interests of middle school students. After the performance, students are given the opportunity to “direct” those scenes to alter the outcomes. This interactive process allows students to see how interpretation alters meaning, and requires students to decode classic texts (e.g. Shakespeare) for understanding. Click here to read about our visit to Lincoln Middle School with Romeo and Juliet.
  • Grades 3-12: Charles Dickens’ Holiday Show
    5th and 6th grade students attend a 10:00 am matinee of the world-famous story of ghosts, mistakes, and redemption. Portland Stage’s adaptation of this classic story brings Dickens’s story to life,making it a great complement to classroom curriculum. Performances are followed by an open talkback with the actors onstage.
  • Grades 8-12: Student Matinees
    All of the plays in Portland Stage’s season have 10:00am Student Matinee performances scheduled throughout the school year recommended for students grades 8-12, with our Holiday Show recommended for students grades 3-12.  Students see the same exceptional professional performances as our evening audiences. Every Student Matinee is followed by an open talkback with the actors onstage, and teachers can download our resource guide PlayNotes in advance for background articles, information on the playwright, and lesson ideas aligned with the Common Core Standards.

All of these Portland Stage Education Programs are free once a year to every student in the Portland Public Schools through support from Culture Club – Portland.  All teachers need to do is follow the links above to the appropriate program and call us to make reservations and arrange dates.

Portland Stage’s work with students at the K-5 level in the Portland Public Schools has been studied and endorsed by Education Researcher Dr. Alexander Lapidus of the University of Southern Maine as “cutting edge” innovation in the area of multi-literacy learning. To read Dr. Lapidus’s recent paper on our PLAY – In-Schools workshops, Click here.

For more information for teachers, click here.