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

All participants in the in-person winter 2022 Acorn 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

Tara McDonough

5-week, in-person workshop at Mayo Street Arts in Portland.
Mondays, January 31 thru February 28;
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!
Students should have basic knowledge of “Yes And” and other improv concepts or have taken an Improv class previously; contact us with questions about eligibility.


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.

Callie Kimball

Remote workshop held on Zoom
5 weeks, Tuesdays, February 15 thru March 15; 7:00-9:00pm
Instructor: Callie Kimball
All students: $105.00

A play can confirm or challenge a worldview. It can entertain, puzzle, frustrate, or provoke. This workshop will give you tools to build the engine of your play while nurturing the igniting spark to begin. We’ll supplement the basic elements of playwriting such as character, setting, and plot with discussions and exercises around image and spectacle, form and structure, space, language, rhythm, and the importance of questions. Suitable for beginners and experienced playwrights alike, the workshop will be a mix of lecture, discussion, in-class exercises, and hearing your work aloud.


CALLIE KIMBALL earned her MFA under Tina Howe at Hunter College, where she won the Rita & Burton Goldberg Playwriting Award two years in a row. Her plays have been produced and developed in New York, Chicago, LA, and DC, at the Kennedy Center, Portland Stage Company, Lark Play Development Center, Halcyon Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre, The Drama League, and more. Callie is an Affiliate Artist at Portland Stage Company, an Affiliate Writer at the Playwrights’ Center, Playwright-in-Residence at Theater at Monmouth, and a former MacDowell Fellow. Her first teaching job was teaching Shakespeare in a juvenile detention facility, and she has taught playwriting to over 1,000 students since through various nonprofit arts organizations and colleges.

Stacey Bader Curry

In-person workshop at Mayo Street Arts in Portland
6 weeks, Mondays, March 7 thru April 11; 7:00-9:00pm
Instructor: Stacey Bader Curry
All students: $125.00

If you are a fan of the Moth or other storytelling shows and podcasts, then this class is for you. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to identify and shape personal experiences into well-structured stories that will wow your audience. We’ll listen to examples of performances from a diverse cadre of storytellers, engage in oral and written prompts, and learn techniques and approaches that will allow you to confidently perform your story in front of an audience. The course will culminate with a class show where you’ll get to share your polished 6-minute story with classmates and invited guests.


STACEY BADER CURRY is a storyteller and writer living in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Stacey has studied creative writing at the 92nd Street Y, The Kenyon Review Summer Writers’ Conference, and the MFA program at the New School. She began storytelling in 2016 and has since won eight Moth story slams, a Grand Slam, and has performed on stages across the country, including PBS’ Stories From the Stage, Sound Bites, and Yum’s the Word with Mo Rocca. You can hear her stories on The Moth Radio Hour, Maine Public, and many podcasts. As much as Stacey enjoys taking to the stage to tell her own stories, she loves to help others discover their own stories because she believes that everyone has a great story to tell!

Rachel Flehinger

In-person workshop at First Parish Unitarian Universalist in Portland
6 weeks, Tuesdays, March 8 thru April 12; 6:30-8:30pm
Instructor: Rachel Flehinger
All students: $125.00

In this class, for all levels of acting ability, you will hone or learn to: make strong choices, develop detailed characters, and trust your instincts. By the end of the workshop, you will have at least one monologue to use for auditions. A great choice for anyone with a little bit to a medium amount of stage experience, or who has previously taken Acorn’s “Acting for Ordinary People” workshop.


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.

Gift Certificates Available

Give the gift of an Acorn class! Use the links below to purchase a gift certificate for one of our classes.