2024 ACTING ENSEMBLE (ages 12+)

Registration Now Open!


The 2023-2024 Acting Ensemble
By Anton Chekhov
Limited to 12 students

When an impoverished landowning family, living in denial, is unable to face the fact that their estate is about to be auctioned off, a local merchant presents numerous options to save it – including cutting down their prized cherry orchard. Anton Chekhov’s play charts the precipitous descent of a wealthy family, and in the process creates a bold meditation on social change and bourgeois materialism, exposing themes as relevant today as they were in his own time.
THE CHERRY ORCHARD is considered by many to be one of the best plays by one of the greatest playwrights of all time. Countless directors, actors, and designers took major inspiration from Chekhov’s plays. Entire schools and methods of acting are rooted in his works, and his style of writing became the foundation for so many American playwrights throughout the early 20th century to today! THE CHERRY ORCHARD is a feast for actors who are looking to hone their craft and dive deep into their characters!


The STAGES Acting Ensemble is an acting and ensemble-building program for students (ages 12+) culminating in a fully-staged presentation of one full-length classical or contemporary (non-musical) play each season. Acting Ensemble students form a tight-knit performance company, experimenting with different acting methods and techniques, and ultimately working together to discuss, cast, and design their production under the mentorship of STAGES teaching artists.


The Acting Ensemble is a two-semester program, meeting on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00PM-8:00PM, beginning on September 26, 2023 and ending on April 4, 2024. The performances will take place the weekend of April 5, 2024.


Read on below for more information about the Acting Ensemble, including more logistical details, program information, and how to register. Contact us any time with questions!


Frequently Asked Questions!

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, and working toward the goal of a polished, fully-staged production at the end of the school year. Unlike other STAGES programs, the Ensemble format accommodates more interaction with the STAGES acting and design Teaching Artists, affording students a more in-depth stewardship of directing and design concepts for their show.

Throughout the two-semester program, Members also receive instruction and advice through a series of workshops delivered by guest speakers from the Portland community, with expertise in theater, or subject matter relevant to the current season’s play. Past workshop topics have included language and verse, historical context, fight choreography, dialects and accents, and various arts, crafts, and design demonstrations and hands-on projects.

How much acting experience do Ensemble members need in order to participate? All experience levels are welcome — and NO experience is required! Ensemble Teaching Artists work hard to ensure that this program is accessible to actors of all experience levels!

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. 

My student would be a great fit for this program, but is not quite 12 years old yet. Can you make an exception? If a student’s 12th birthday takes place before December 31, 2023, STAGES will consider these requests. We ask that parents/caregivers use their discretion when inquiring about participation for younger students, especially with regards to maturity, general readiness, and ability to work collaboratively with other older students. Registrations for students falling outside of the program age range will need to be handled by STAGES, as our registration system will not permit you to do so on your own. 

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

Registration Information

The Acting Ensemble is a two-semester program, meeting on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00PM-8:00PM, beginning on September 26, 2023 and ending on April 4, 2024. The performances will take place the weekend of April 5, 2024.

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 April 1 – 6, 2024. Performances will likely take place on Friday, April 5 and Saturday April 6. The final show schedule will be released later this year.

The Ensemble will NOT MEET on the following dates: Tuesday October 31, 2023 (Halloween), the week of November 20, 2023 (Thanksgiving Week), Thursday December 7, 2023 (The First Night of Hanukkah), the weeks of December 18 & December 25, 2023 (Winter Recess), and the week of February 19, 2024 (February School Vacation Week).

Tuition: $795.00 for this 2-semester program. Payment installment options are available! Please plan accordingly – all STAGES Tuition Deposits are Non-Refundable, except in the form of an account credit to be used toward future programs. Financial Assistance is available.

Celebrating 14 Seasons of Acting Ensemble (formerly The Shakespeare Academy) at STAGES!


“Being able to think outside of the box and put yourself out there, especially as a child, teaches you how to be a confident, well-rounded person. I know I don’t know where I would be without youth theater.”

Eliza Skidgel, STAGES Alum & Employee

“Inclusion, confidence, empathy, support. STAGES teaches life long lessons that go far beyond any stage. There is NO youth theater experience like it.”

Julie Fournier, STAGES Parent