Since its inception, Naked Shakespeare has been dedicated to presenting the words of the Bard in locations that have inherent dramatic value. This October, the company brings its unique performance style of speeches and short scenes to the Portland Museum of Art (PMA). Presented in conjunction with the PMA fall show Treasures of British Art 1400-2000: The Berger Collection, the performance features pairs of actors in three different locations throughout the PMA presenting the environmentally-staged pieces that have become the company’s trademark. The October 16th performance is part of the monthly Third Thursday party at the PMA, in which the museum stays open to the public until 9pm and offers refreshments, music, and entertainment.Pieces to be performed at this show are as follows:

First Floor Gallery – Portia (Merchant of Venice), Shylock (Merchant of Venice), Pericles/Marina (Pericles);
L.D.M. Sweat Memorial Galleries – Angelo/Isabella (Measure for Measure), Macbeth/Lady Macbeth (Macbeth);
Third Floor Gallery – Julia (Two Gentlemen of Verona), Benedick (Much Ado About Nothing), Brutus/Portia (Julius Caesar).

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 16th at 5:15pm
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 18th at 11am


You are invited to an Open House for the performing arts community, hosted by Acorn Productions at the historic Mechanics Hall third floor ballroom at 519 Congress Street in Portland’s Arts District. This special event is on Wednesday, October 22nd at 6pm.

As you may have heard, we have reached a collaborative agreement with the Maine Charitable Mechanic Association (MCMA), the non-profit organization that owns and operates Mechanics Hall, to complete the final stages of renovations to the third floor ballroom space so it can be licensed for public performances and operate as a rental venue for the performing arts community. Built in 1857, Mechanics’ Hall is listed on the National Register of Historic Places; the Ballroom, redesigned by John Calvin Stevens at the turn of the 20th century, is characterized by unique historical features, 3,000 square feet of floor space, a refinished wood floor suitable for dancers, high ceilings, and nicely restored architectural details.

This new venue will be fully flexible to accommodate a wide variety of uses, including theatrical performances, musical concerts, grand balls, workshops, dramatic readings, lectures, films, and a wide variety of social dances, including swing, latin, contra, tango and ballroom, just to name a few. Portland is a city long on arts organizations but short on venues, and the location of Mechanics Hall in the Arts District means that the proposed 50 to 300-person performance space will be a cultural, social, and educational center for its members and the community. MCMA is committed to restoring the elegance of the space, while making it available to arts and culture groups at affordable rates.

MCMA and Acorn have identified the work required to receive a public assembly license; a final push should allow the venue to open during the 2014/15 arts season. When it is complete, the ballroom will provide a unique addition to the roster of performance venues in the Arts District—indeed, on the peninsula. Come see the space and learn our plans on Wednesday, October 22nd at 6pm. Representatives from Acorn and MCMA will be on hand to answer your questions and refreshments will be served. We hope to see you there!

It’s not too late to join Naked Shakespeare

This fall Naked Shakespeare is offering a free series of Monday night training workshops open to any are actor interested in learning more about working with Shakespeare text in performance. The company meets from 6:30 to 9pm every Monday night in the third floor ballroom in Mechanics Hall in downtown Portland. Sessions are led by Naked Shakespeare’s Founding Director Michael Levine. For more information, please email us at

Naked Shakespeare workshops begin Monday

If you are planning on attending our first Naked Shakespeare workshop on Monday, September 22nd, please bring a (continuous) selection of your favorite lines from Shakespeare.  These should be verse (only) and between 6 and 12 lines (no more please).  They should represent a complete thought or thoughts and can be from a character of any gender or age. More than one actor can work with the same text, so no need to let us know in advance what text you are bringing.

We strongly recommend you wear loose fitting comfortable clothes and bring a pencil or pen, as well as a water bottle (there is no water source easily accessible other than the bathroom sink).

We have only 12 yoga mats, so please bring one if you have one as well.

If you cannot make this first meeting, but still want to be a part of the workshops, please email us if you have not already.

If you are not certain if you want to attend or not, keep in mind that we are not thinking you are making a commitment for the entire three and a half months simply by attending this first session.  Come check it out, and we can always chat after if you have questions.

We look forward to seeing you on Monday at 6:30pm at Mechanics Hall–519 Congress St.  Please meet us outside the building and arrive on time, as the doors will be locked if you arrive late.

MPF is now accepting scripts

The 2015 Maine Playwrights Festival, now in its fourteenth year developing new scripts by Maine-based playwrights, welcomes your submissions for this year’s edition of the state’s largest incubator for world premiere pieces. Daniel Burson, the former Literary and Education Director at Portland Stage Company, joins returning Founding Director Michael Levine as MPF co-Artistic Directors. Performances take place in May at the St. Lawrence Arts Center on Munjoy Hill in Portland.

Click here for more information and an application

Naked Shakespeare workshops begin Monday, Sept. 22

Director Michael Levine encourages any local actor interested in working more closely with Shakespearean language to attend our Monday night workshops that run from 6:30pm to 9pm weekly on Monday nights at Mechanics Hall in downtown Portland. These free workshops encourage ensemble work that enables us all to learn from one another as we explore some of our favorite selections in the canon. Naked Shakespeare will be forming a new Ensemble after the first of the year with actors from the Monday night workshops. Methodology to be explored each week includes exercises utilized by Shakespeare and Company, Kristin Linklater, John Barton, Cicely Berry, and the Viewpoints group. More information is available by clicking on the links on our website. Please email us at if you would like to attend.

Read more about these workshops here