Fall Acting Classes Open for Registration

New Director of Training Carmen-maria Mandley has expanded offerings at the Acorn Acting Academy with new classes for teens and master classes for more specialized training

In her new position, Mandley plans to build upon Acorn’s almost two decade-old tradition of developing acting talent by adding a number of new specialized offerings to the usual slate of beginning and continuing classes. Mandley brings a wealth of theater education experience to Acorn, including stints at Portland Stage Company and Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, Massachusetts. Since Acorn first offered their signature Acting for Ordinary People classes in 1998 on Congress Street, the company has introduced countless actors into the community through it various programs. Acorn’s fall semester will begin the week of September 26th in the company’s new home at Mechanics Hall in downtown Portland.

Click here for more info about adult classes

Click here for more info about our Master Class series

Click here for more info about classes for teens and children

“I am most excited about partnering with Michael Levine on this adventure to continue to bring classes to Portland and its surrounding areas that push, engage, invite, and illuminate actors of all ages and experience levels,” Mandley said about her new position. “Having taught for Acorn during the past year, I have grown to love and cherish the community, the sense of camaraderie, and the deep desire of the students to push forward, widening and deepening their toolboxes as artists. The bravery, joy, scholarship and transformation that occurs in the classrooms is staggering, and I am so grateful to take a leadership role in its forward momentum.” Mandley plans to continue to teach Shakespeare classes and a clown intensive workshop in the fall as she assumes her new duties.

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Acorn offers a free acting workshop

Join founder Michael Levine for a two-hour session introducing many of the common games and exercises used in our classes

If you are wondering what happens in an acting class, we invite you to attend a fun and accessible evening of creative play that provides a wonderful overview of the tools actors need to succeed in their stage work. Beginning icebreaker activities designed to make everyone in the group comfortable, the instructor guides the participants through a series of short scenes and improvisational performances that take a minute to learn and a lifetime to master. Come start your life on stage with us!

Monday, September 12th from 7 to 9pm

Mechanics Hall, 519 Congress St., Portland

click here to sign up

No experience necessary. Space limited to 14 participants


Michael Levine is the Artistic Director and Founder of the Naked Shakespeare series for whom has acted and directed with since its inception in 2004, including performance installations of Cymbeline Underground and All’s Well on the Waterfront, as well as traditional productions of The War of the Roses (based on the Henry VI cycle), King Richard II, and The Merchant of Venice. He is also the co-founder of Oak Street Theatre and Acorn Productions, for whom he has taught acting and playwrighting for over 15 years. He has directed many productions for Acorn, including Much Ado About Nothing, the first ever production at the St. Lawrence Arts Center, which he helped design and construct. Mike is a graduate of M.I.T., where he studied playwrighting with A.R. Gurney, and acting with Kristen Linklater, and Shakespeare and Company.

Acorn welcomes new Director of Training

Carmen-maria Mandley plans to expand Acorn’s educational offerings by adding master classes and workshops

Acorn is thrilled to announce that we have hired Carmen-maria Mandley to assume a leadership role at the Acorn Acting Academy, currently located at Mechanics Hall in downtown Portland. Mandley brings a wealth of theater education experience to Acorn, including stints at Portland Stage Company and Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, Massachusetts. Acorn’s fall semester will begin the week of September 26th and will include a number of new specialized offerings for adults, teens, and younger actors, along with our usual slate of beginning classes. Check back soon for more details, including the opportunity to register before Labor Day for great savings!


Carmen-maria Mandley is currently the Director of Training for Acorn Productions and The Community Engagement Manager for Theater at Monmouth. Previously she was the Education Director and Literary Manager for Portland Stage and a teacher, actor, director and artisan for Shakespeare & Company for 12 years. She is a company member of Bare Portland, Founding Artistic Director of the Nickel Shakespeare Girls (National touring), Founding Artistic Director of Bare Theatre (Raleigh, NC) and a produced playwright and poet. Carmen attended National-Louis University in Chicago, Illinois and continued her training at Shakespeare and Company and at the Dell’ Arte International School of Physical Theatre. She has been actively directing, teaching and performing Shakespeare for 20 years.