Acorn’s 2016/17 Season

Naked Shakespeare, the Maine Playwrights Festival, the 24-Hour Portland Theater Project, and new offerings from the Acorn Acting Academy
Save big on all our offerings with our new “Bard Card” – click here for more details


Next season join us in the Mechanics Hall Ballroom as we explore themes ranging from the nature of truth to ties that bond family and country. All shows begin at 7pm and are $10 all ages general admission.

adapted and directed by Megan Tripaldi

The story of the heroine who saved the French and paid the ultimate price for her sacrifices. Pulling only the scenes revolving around her story in Henry VI Part one we get to see a clearer picture of the women who was a hero and what she had to give up to claim victory.

Friday, October 7 and Saturday, October 8

Truth Tellers
adapted and directed by Sarah Barlow

Telling the truth is a precarious venture, but for every leader or dreamer, there must be a realist to keep them grounded. Will these leaders learn from the tough love doled out to them in song, foolery and downright castigation, or will they topple from their pedestals in shame and misery?

Friday, November 4 and Saturday, November 5

Oath Breakers
adapted and directed by Michael Levine

Whether it be in love or war, Shakespeare’s characters will promise the moon, and in their next breath take it back again. Come decide for yourself whether karmic justice is served when notable liars in the canon go back on their sworn words.

Friday, December 2 and Saturday, December 3

Fathers and Daughters
adapted and directed by Carmen-maria Mandley

Very oft there IS a divided duty in the relationship between fathers and daughters in Shakespeare. Sometimes the incredible tenderness, creative cruelty, lusty betrayal and deep love can be unparalleled. In the Bard’s plays, these relationships border on athleticism in their consistency and their changeability.

Friday, February 3 and Saturday, February 4

The Hollow Crown
adapted and directed by Michael Levine

Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown, and sadly many would-be rulers only discover this reality after they have paid a high cost to obtain or retain the golden round. A whirlwind march through the British monarchy as dramatized as only the Bard can.

Friday, March 3 and Saturday, March 4

A Compendium of Flamboyent Shysters and Gargantuan Blabbermouths
adapted and directed by Michael Levine

These outrageous peddlers of words not only talk the talk but walk the walk as they charm, trick, connive, and dupe their way in and out of trouble using the twin powers of rhetoric and obfuscation. Meet some of Shakespeare’s most memorable princes of deceit in our final show of the season!

Friday, April 7 and Saturday, April 8

All Bard Card holders receive one reserved seat for each of the First Friday shows listed above. Not only do you get in for free, we will ensure that you have one of the best seats in the house, even if you show up at curtain time.

click here for more details


Our celebration of new scripts expands to two weekends in a new venue

April 27 to May 6

Portland Ballet Studio Theater
Tickets $18 for adults and $16 students and seniors


Experience the adrenaline-packed excitement of new plays written, rehearsed and performed in only 24 hours!

January 21

Portland Ballet Studio Theater
Tickets $10 all ages

All Bard Card holders receive one ticket for each of the two shows listed above. Choose any show you would like to attend, and we will hold a reserved seat for you.

click here for more details

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.