Though the fires continue to rage around us, most of Portland area schools are back in session this week, with the Kindergarteners finally getting their first day on Wednesday. This includes Brian and Nikki Weaver’s daughter Margot . She may be new at school, but we think she could probably teach us all a thing or two.

Nikki Weaver is no stranger to the classroom. As the Director of Education at Portland Playhouse, she not only oversees our Education programs, but is more often than not, face to face with the students we reach. With her seemingly endless amounts of energy and passion, she made our education program grow and thrive, reaching thousands of students across Portland and beyond. 

If you don’t know much about the programs we offer through the Playhouse, get ready to take note. There won’t be a quiz, but there is so much to learn!
Portland Playhouse encourages students of all ages to explore human behavior in a safe and nurturing environment. We commit ourselves to strengthening the voices of tomorrow through immersion in the dramatic arts by providing a visceral learning experience. We do this by utilizing Shakespeare text, Viewpoints, yoga, voice work, actor/director collaboration, and individual mentorships in all areas. Our programs build confidence and self esteem, challenge and examine social perspectives, foster relationships through artistic collaboration, and create empathy through storytelling.

Portland Playhouse has provided educational experiences at the following schools:

King Elementary
Jefferson High School
Franklin High School
De La Salle North Catholic High School
Trillium Charter School
Fort Vancouver High School
Hudson’s Bay High School
Catlin Gabel School
Cleveland High School
Ridgefield High School
Lincoln High School
Sauvie Island Academy
Da Vinci Arts
Metropolitan Learning Center
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School
Rex Putnam High School
Roosevelt High School
Hockinson High School
St. Andrew Nativity School
Arts & Communication Magnet Academy
Boise-Elliot Elementary
Sabin School
Lake Oswego High School
Lake Ridge High School
Alameda Elementary School
Learn more about our education programs below and on our website. While you are there, find out how you can contribute to their success.
Each year, Portland Playhouse welcomes a small group of young pre-professionals for a year of training. Since 2010, we have served as a bridge between the university and the profession, developing each individual's skills by working alongside professional artists.

Apprentices devote time to their specific craft: acting, design, directing, and stage management. Acting work includes Movement (Suzuki & Viewpoints), Voice, Scene Study, Community Engagement, and Devising for Ensembles. Designers, a director and stage manager focus on a single year-long mentorship. Apprentices benefit from the small-group, select nature of the program, working closely with teachers and fellow ensemble members to maximize their year of training. In addition to the conservatory-style training, 

This annual program begins mid-August and runs through early June. In total, 54 artists have benefited from the program and nearly all of them have gone on to work professionally in the arts - locally, nationally, and internationally
The Fall Festival of Shakespeare is a non-competitive region-wide collaboration between Portland Playhouse and area high schools. The Festival is a spectacular theatrical event, in part because student actors connect well to Shakespeare; they understand the passion, the large stakes, and the disaster. High school is not unlike an Elizabethan Tragedy.

The students are not only performers in the festival, but a large and vocal component of the audience. They are most active and vibrant theatre patrons you will ever encounter. They “oooh” and “ahhh”; call out “Oh no she didn’t”; scream and laugh. It’s the closest thing we have to how an Elizabethan audience at Shakespeare’s Globe might have reacted. It’s an unforgettable experience for the students involved, and an engaging cultural phenomenon for everyone to witness.
The main purpose of The Social Justice Festival is to engage students within their own schools to communicate more, to share ideas, to challenge assumptions, and to question WHAT IS SOCIAL JUSTICE ?

How do we talk about social justice? How do we define it? How do we take ACTION? The program allows students to do all of these things through the power of investigation, imagination, and research.

Led by dedicated teaching artists the program seeks to create a visceral response to understanding more about a certain topic. This school year we will focus on ableism and are working with Roosevelt High, Franklin, and Rex Putnam High School. Students will create devised work that asks the audience to take their own action as a response to what they see. Each school will perform a 30 minute piece, and each school will perform at all three schools over two weekends in the spring.
While it sometimes seems possible that Nikki's passion alone could fuel our education program, there is quite a bit of financial assistance that goes into these initiatives. Just under 30% of our general operating budget is spent on our education program and nearly one quarter of that is from individual donors.

Thank you to the organizations who have provided financial support for our education programs for the 2017/18 season:
Herbert A. Templeton Foundation, HMF Beaudoin Family Foundation, Hoover Family Foundation, Jackson Foundation, Juan Young Trust, Oregon Arts Commission, PGE Foundation, and Rose E. Tucker Foundation.
Thanks to our sponsors:  
The 2017-18 season is presented by Harold Goldstein & Carol Streeter and Ronni Lacroute 

Our work is made possible by Mary & Don Blair, Ellyn Bye, Colas Construction, The Collins Foundation, Joel Hamberg Painting, Mary Chomenko and Greg Hinckley, Kinsman Foundation, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Oregon Cultural Trust, ME Fitness, Meyer Memorial Trust, James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, Roy and Diane Marvin Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation, M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust, Ned Ludd, Raymond Family Foundation, SERA Architects, Judy Shih & Joel Axelrod, State of Oregon, Phillip Terranova, Phyllis L. Weaver Memorial, Steve & Elsie Weaver, James B. Wiley Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation, Wrather Family Foundation, and Friends of Sandra Zickefoose. 

Thanks to the Regional Arts & Culture Council, including support from the City of Portland, Multnomah County and the Arts Education & Access Fund.
Portland Playhouse receives support from the Oregon Arts Commission, a state agency funded by the State of Oregon and the National Endowment for the Arts.