2023 ACTING ENSEMBLE (ages 12+)

Please note: This program is currently full. While we explore the possibility of opening additional spots, we recommend interested students join the waitlist as soon as possible (see link below). Thank you for your patience.



The 2022-2023 Acting Ensemble
By Kate Hamill
Based on the nove by Jane Austen

This playful adaptation of Jane Austen’s beloved novel follows the fortunes (and misfortunes) of the Dashwood sisters — sensible Elinor and hypersensitive Marianne — after their father’s sudden death leaves them financially destitute and socially vulnerable. Set in gossipy late 18th-century England, with a fresh female voice, the play is full of humor, emotional depth, and bold theatricality. When reputation is everything, how do you follow your heart? Join the cast of SENSE AND SENSIBILITY and the new Acting Ensemble at STAGES Youth Theater. Limited to 10 Students.

The Acting Ensemble is a two-semester program, meeting on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00PM-8:00PM, beginning on September 20 and ending on March 30, 2023. The performances will take place the weekend of April 1, 2023.

There will likely be extended rehearsals during the final show week. All students enrolled in the Acting Ensemble MUST be able to be fully present for rehearsals and performances from March 27 – April 2, 2023. STAGES will make every effort to accommodate the schedule constraints, within reason, for our cast members and families. The final show week schedule will be determined early in 2023 based on this feedback.

The Ensemble will NOT MEET on the following dates: Tuesday October 4 (Yom Kippur), the week of November 21 (Thanksgiving Week), the weeks of December 19 & December 26 (Winter Recess), and the week of February 20, 2023 (February School Vacation Week).

Tuition: $795.00 for this 2-semester program (multiple, customizable, installment plan options available)

Please note: We hope and expect to be able to perform this production in our theater next spring for a live in-person audience. We also acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic is still evolving in ways we may not be able to predict. In the event of a pandemic-related or other disruption that would make in-person rehearsals and performances impossible, this program (inclusive of all Master Classes, rehearsals and production) will transition seamlessly (in whole or in part) to an online format with a digital presentation.

WE RESPECTFULLY ASK THAT YOU DO NOT REGISTER FOR THIS PROGRAM IF YOU/YOUR STUDENT ARE UNWILLING TO PARTICIPATE IN AN ONLINE FORMAT SHOULD THE NEED ARISE. There will be NO refunds for this program unless it is formally and fully cancelled (without in-person or online options) for any reason.


What is it? After 13 successful seasons, the STAGES Shakespeare Ensemble is transitioning to a broader format that includes the possibility of working with both classical and contemporary plays. The newly formed STAGES Acting Ensemble, like the Shakespeare program preceding it, continues to be an acting and ensemble-building program for students ages 12 and up, spanning both the fall and spring semesters, and culminating in a fully-staged presentation of one of a (non-musical) play. We are pleased to kick off this new ensemble program with Kate Hamill’s fresh contemporary adaptation of SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, based on the Jane Austen novel!

What does the Ensemble do? First and foremost, Acting Ensemble members work together to form a tight-knit group of players, capable of taking on many different types of performance challenges.  Under the guidance of the Ensemble directors, Members experiment with different acting methods and techniques, and ultimately work together to discuss, cast, direct and design their show. Unlike other STAGES programs, the Ensemble format is expanded to accommodate more interaction with the STAGES production team, giving Members a more in-depth stewardship of their original design concepts for the show.

Throughout the two-semester program, Members also receive instruction and advice through a series of Master Classes with local theater and other interdisciplinary artists in support of the themes and goals for the year’s play. Topics in any given season might include language and verse, historical context, adapting and devising, fight choreography, and design. Past Master Class teaching artists have included Peter Brown (Fenix Theatre), Mike Levine (Acorn Productions), Jared Mongeau, James Patefield (Bare Portland, PortFringe), JJ Peeler (Bare Portland), Megan Tripaldi (Polyphonic Theatre Ensemble), Casey Turner (film/TV/audio producer), and Sally Wood (Portland Stage Affiliate Artist).

Returning Shakespeare Ensemble members as well as new Ensemble members will still work with and revel in Shakespeare’s work – which provides a critical foundation for any students interested in theater and performance (even Musical Theater actors)!

How much acting experience do Ensemble members need in order to participate? All experience levels are welcome — and NO experience is required! Our Ensemble directors work hard to ensure that this program is accessible to everyone!

Is it possible to participate in both the Acting Ensemble and the Musical Theatre Ensemble? Yes. It would be possible for one student to participate in both programs if desired. The Musical Theater Ensemble and the Acting Ensemble meet/rehearse on different days of the week, and the spring performance weekends do not overlap. Families should review the schedule detail for both programs before deciding how to proceed. 

Do you have more questions about the Acting Ensemble? contact us any time!

Celebrating 13 Seasons of Shakespeare at STAGES!


“STAGES got me more interested in theater!  Everybody’s nice, you get to make friends, it’s like a family! When I was 10, I didn’t know what it would be like on stage. But when I finally got up on there with confidence, there was a spark in me. The more shows I was in, the more… Continue reading Sarah Krause, STAGES Alum

Sarah Krause, STAGES Alum

“When you graduate from STAGES you wish you could do it all over again. STAGES helped me grow as a person and I truly miss it.”

DJ Nicholas, STAGES Alum