All classes and workshops are suitable for ages 16 and up.

All participants in fall 2021 Acorn acting and playwriting classes must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination at the first class session in order to participate.

Please note that tuition payments are non-refundable unless we have to cancel the class or the class has to move to an online-only format due to public health considerations


FREE INTRO TO ACTING CLASS
In-person workshop at Maine Irish Heritage Center in Portland
Saturday, September 25; 10:00am-12:00pm
Instructor: Rachel Flehinger
All students: FREE, but must sign-up in advance

Continuing Acorn’s tradition of offering free acting classes every year! Have you always wanted to give acting a try? Or did you act in high school but haven’t tried it as an adult? This fun, free introductory class will give you a chance to get your acting feet wet with the help of teaching artist Rachel Flehinger. A great opportunity to try things out before signing-up for this fall’s “Acting for Ordinary People” workshop!

Instructor:

RACHEL FLEHINGER studied acting at George Washington University and Brooklyn College, as well as at The Michael Howard Studio with Larry Singer. She has also studied with renowned teachers such as Anatole Fourmantchouk (Russian Academy of Theatre); Eloise Watt (Riverside Shakespeare Company), Jim Calder, David Matthew Prior and Chuck Jones. Rachel has been teaching acting in Maine as well as in New York for more than 20 years, and is excited to be back at Acorn. Since beginning teaching, she has had the privilege of seeing her students on film, Broadway, and stage throughout the country, and on television as well.


Tara McDonough

Narrative/Long-Form Improv
5-week, in-person workshop at Maine Irish Heritage Center in Portland.
Wednesdays, October 6 thru November 10 (skipping Oct 20); 7:00-9:00pm
Instructor: Tara McDonough
All students: $105.00

Our brains love stories! Narrative improv (sometime called long-form) focuses on characters and relationships, as well as common story structures and genres, to build better, relatable stories. Work with a seasoned improv teacher to discover how to develop stories and characters on the fly, be in the moment, and have some fun! Open to people of all experience levels with improv, including beginners!

Instructor:

TARA McDONOUGH has been teaching, performing, and otherwise thinking about improv for over 25 years — which sometimes feels like a very long time and sometimes feels like no time at all. She performs locally with Yes & Co and You Should Smile More and is a former Artistic Director of Seacoast New Hampshire’s Stranger Than Fiction and co-founder of the Improvised Puppet Project. She co-founded San Francisco’s Un-Scripted Theater Company and has trained with Keith Johnstone and teachers at BATS Improv, UCB, Magnet Theater, ImprovBoston and more. She has taught improv to clowns, shy people, public defenders, and everyone in between.


Rachel Flehinger

ACTING FOR ORDINARY PEOPLE
In-person workshop at Maine Irish Heritage Center in Portland
6 weeks, Tuesdays, October 5 thru November 9; 6:30-8:30pm
Instructor: Rachel Flehinger
All students: $125.00

A class for anyone who is curious about what acting is all about.  We will cover the basics in a fun and interactive way with games and exercises designed to bring out your best on stage. You will leave with an understanding of how to approach a role, interact with fellow actors, and interpret text, all while having fun! A great introduction for people who’ve always wanted to try acting, or re-introduction for those coming back to acting after many years.

Instructor:

RACHEL FLEHINGER studied acting at George Washington University and Brooklyn College, as well as at The Michael Howard Studio with Larry Singer. She has also studied with renowned  teachers such as Anatole Fourmantchouk (Russian Academy of Theatre); Eloise Watt (Riverside Shakespeare Company), Jim Calder, David Matthew Prior and Chuck Jones. Rachel has been teaching acting in Maine as well as in New York for more than 20 years, and is excited to be back at Acorn. Since beginning teaching, she has had the privilege of seeing her students on film, Broadway, and stage throughout the country, and on television as well.


7 MORE WAYS TO MAKE YOUR SCRIPT STAND OUT
5 week Zoom workshop, Thursdays, October 14 thru November 11; 7:00-9:30pm
Instructors: Brent Askari & Daniel Burson
All students: $105.00

Playwright Brent Askari and dramaturg Daniel Burson lead a five-week sequel to their sold-out workshop last spring. Could a subtle revision or addition take your script from ordinary to something that grabs the reader’s attention? A workshop for playwrights of all skill levels that looks at common pitfalls that can hold a script back, and uses constructive exercises on how to strengthen your structure, get the most out of each scene, and make your characters stand out. (note: this fall features new material and examples, and is open to playwrights who either took the spring workshop or didn’t!)

Instructors:

Dan Burson
Dan Burson
Brent Askari

BRENT ASKARI is a playwright and actor living in Portland. Some recent plays include American Underground (World premiere Barrington Stage Company 2019), Hard Cell (PlayPenn Conference 2017, world premiere Geva Theatre Center 2019), The Refugees (Winner of National New Play Network’s 2019 Smith Prize for Political Theatre), and White Party (Public readings at EST LA and Palm Beach Dramaworks, workshopped at Florida Repertory Theatre). Brent is a National New Play Network affiliate artist and a member of Mad Horse Theatre Company. He is currently working on a new commission for Barrington Stage Company.

DANIEL BURSON is a director and dramaturg living in Bath, and the Artistic Director of Acorn Productions. As a dramaturg, Dan is a member of Literary Managers & Dramaturgs of the Americas, a five-time dramaturgy respondent for KCACTF, and has developed new work for companies including Boston Playwrights Theater, Saco River Theatre, and Portland Stage. His Maine directing credits include productions at Portland Stage (where he was Literary & Education Manager for nine seasons), Penobscot Theatre, Deertrees Theatre, AIRE, Dramatic Repertory Company, and others. He has also directed more than forty developmental workshops & readings of new plays in Maine and beyond.

Gift Certificates Available

Give the gift of an Acorn class! Click the link below to purchase a gift certificate for either the Improv or Make Your Script Stand Out classes.