Education & Community Programs


How can we use theater as a lens to explore who we are, what we believe, and how we connect with one another?

Portland Center Stage offers a wide variety of high quality public programs aimed at bridging the gap between theater and society at large.

Our home inside the Gerding Theater at the Armory is a place where Portlanders can immerse themselves in creativity, deepen their understanding of each other, forge social bonds, and celebrate differences meaningfully. For more information on any of our programs, please email or call 503-445-3795.  

Download our Education & Community Programs Annual Report.  Download Beyond the Proscenium to learn more about how PCS is creating a successful ecology for community engagement.

education programs for schools

Our Education Programs provide young people with opportunities to experience the art of theatre, to directly participate in its process, and to apply its collaborative principles elsewhere in their daily lives.

Stage Door

Our Stage Door program provides young people with an unforgettable opportunity to experience professional theatre in a context that supports their education. Targeted toward students age 12 to 18, Stage Door offers:

  • Discounted tickets to Thursday matinees and weekday evening performances
  • FREE tickets for Title 1 schools and social service agencies
  • FREE in-school workshops, providing additional background about the play and theatrical craftsmanship
  • FREE post-show discussions with the cast following each Thursday matinee performance
  • FREE tours of the Gerding Theater at the Armory
  • Resource Guides containing informative content design to spark conversation in the classroom before and after the theatrical experience.

School matinee schedule and age recommendations for the 2015/2016 season here.  For more information, pelase email or call 503-445-3795.

All's Fair in Love and Shakespeare

“The course of true love never did run smooth.”  Four actors perform famous scenes of romance, intrigue and regret. Our hour-long program is designed to take Shakespeare out into the community and explore the complex relationships of the Bard's most famous couples.  Join Romeo and Juliet, Beatrice and Benedick, the Macbeths and others for a deeper look at love found, love lost, love forgotten and, most of all, to celebrate the master of the language of love.

Booking now for schools, community centers, businesses, libraries, universities and everything in-between. For more information, pelase email or call 503-445-3795.

Cost: $400 with limited full and half-scholarships available.

Visions & Voices

The Visions & Voices student playwriting program brings professional teaching artists into public high school classrooms for intensive, month-long residencies during which students learn about the basic elements of theater, with each writing a short play.  Designed to meet Oregon benchmarks for Arts and English/Language Arts, the Visions & Voices curriculum addresses theatrical conventions and dramatic structure, as well as acting, writing, and constructive critical response. The program culminates at the end of the school year with free, public readings of plays selected from all residency sites, performed by professional actors. 

Every summer, up to six Visions & Voices graduates are chosen by Portland Center Stage to participate in JAW: A Playwrights Festival, which is recognized nationally for its role in developing new works for the stage. Alongside professionals from across the country and under the mentorship of our Resident Teaching Artist, these Promising Playwrights conceive and write original short plays from start to finish in the span of two weeks. Their plays are then performed by professional actors at the festival’s kick-off event in the Ellyn Bye Studio.


education programs for teens

Let PCS introduce you to the confidence-building fun of learning performance skills in a stimulating, supportive environment through the city’s flagship theater.  Our teaching professionals, drawn from Portland’s theater elite, eagerly await the chance to share their experience with you.

Summer Teen Theater Intensives

Session I: Production and Technical Theater Intensive
For students entering grades 9 through 12
Weekdays, June 20-24, 2016 - 9 am to 4 pm

Register Here


Session II: Professional Acting & Audition Intensive
For students entering grades 9 through 12
Weekdays, June 20-30, 2016 - 9 am to 4 pm

Register Here


Session III: Musical Theater Intensive
For students entering grades 9 through 12
Weekdays, August 1-12, 2016 - 9 am to 4 pm

Register Here


Session IV: Platinum Project - Devised Intensive
For Teen Council members only by application/audition.
Weekdays, August 15-28, 2016  9 am to 4pm

Deeper descriptions and Instructor bios coming soon.

Teen Council

The Teen Council at Portland Center Stage is composed of high school students who desire a deeper involvement with professional theater and opportunities to take part in advanced theater experiences.  In exchange for serving as ambassadors for PCS, teens can earn free tickets to all of the productions at PCS, enrollment in workshops taught by working actors, backstage interviews with cast, and perhaps a party here and there.  Activities are as wide and varied as the teen council can dream up.  Typically the teen council meets on the first Sunday of every month from October to June.

For more information, pelase email or call 503-445-3795.

Stumptown Speaker Series

Organized by and for high school students, the Stumptown Speaker Series aims to provide easily accessible insights into business, leadership, and entrepreneurship as a potential career for students of all demographic and socioeconomic backgrounds. 

Resource Guides

Immerse yourself in the world of the play with help from one of our guides, containing detailed information and resource materials compiled by Portland Center Stage staff. Available here.

Learn about our Community Programs here.

education & community programs sponsors

Education Programs are supported in part by contributions from:

Community Programs are supported in part by contributions from:


Additional contributors:

James F. & Marion L. Miller Foundation

Oregon Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts

Regional Arts & Culture Council

Craig & Y. Lynne Johnston

H.W. & D.C.H. Irwin Foundation

Autzen Foundation

Holzman Foundation

Mentor Graphics Foundation

Juan Young Trust


Great Expectations
January 16 — February 14

January 30 — March 20

Sign up for the PCS email list.

Season Sponsors