Acorn’s spring acting classes

Whatever your interest and level of experience, there is a place for you in one of Acorn’s classes and workshops!

New classes begin the week of March 27th.

click here for classes – save 20% on Early Bird registrations before March 1
click here for specialized workshops
click here to register for a FREE acting workshop
click here for voice workshops

All classes and workshops meet in Mechanics Hall in downtown Portland

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We are pleased to announce the selections for the 2017 Maine Playwrights Festival


6 plays will be performed over the course of two weekends from April 27 to May 7 at the Portland Ballet Studio Theater

Click here to audition for the 2017 Maine Playwrights Festival

Auditions take place Sat., Feb. 4 and Sun., Feb. 5.

CONNECTION, by David Vazdauskas

ELWOOD’S LAST JOB, by Elaine Ford

MIRACLES, by Ron Kanecke

THE THING CAROL SAW, by John Manderino

THE WILD HUNT, by Lynne Cullen


Acorn’s 2016/17 Season


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


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


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.