STAGES began in 2007 as STAGES: The Performing Arts Academy for Kids in Scarborough, Maine to provide “movement, music and theater instruction” to kids ages preschool through highschool. In 2010, STAGES joined Mad Horse Theatre Company in their new South Portland venue, and expanded to become a theater production company producing a full season of large-scale, all-student productions each year. In 2016, the business was re-established as the new non-profit organization, STAGES Youth Theater, and after a decade of renting spaces from other great theater companies, moved the entire operation – including administrative offices, rehearsals, and all mainstage performances – to a 6000-square-foot facility in Portland. With all programs under the same roof for the first time, work began to build and ensure that STAGES will remain a premiere youth theater institution for years to come.
Guided by a strong mission, STAGES Youth Theater reaches hundreds of kids each week in our theater and in schools throughout the community, and continues to provide a safe, nurturing and happy environment in which kids can create amazing theater together while learning more about themselves and the world around them.
STAGES Youth Theater…
- produces a full season of fully-staged, all-student productions (including as many as 7 large-scale Broadway Musicals and a Shakespeare play), and three professionally produced Theater for Young Audiences performance experiences (featuring adult casts performing for young children) each year
- designs and delivers after-school after-school theater enrichment classes to students in our theater, and in other schools/satellite locations in the Portland area
- partners with school teachers to bring customized, one-of-a-kind educational theater residencies and workshops into public and independent school classrooms
- develops new original, innovative dramatic work – specifically for young people through – our Theater for Young Audiences program
- provides part-time employment to 30-40 Maine theater artists, educators and administrators each season.
- shares equipment, costumes, props, rehearsal/meeting spaces and team member support to other area theater companies
- supports schools and organizations by participating in career fairs, sample theater classes, arts celebrations, panel discussions and other community events
- continues to innovate non-competitive educational theater models and best practices designed to meet each student where they’re at
“Being in productions with kids who were older than me exposed me to a sense of artistic community that I never saw at school or at home.”
“STAGES brings together people who may not have met otherwise and allows kids to develop the skills to make friends in a setting outside of school. Without theater, some of my dearest friends would be strangers to me.”