The Place For Teens.
The S! Conservatory is a pre-professional training program for goal-oriented young people ages 15-19 who want to train hard, play hard, and immerse themselves in theatre.
Meeting weekly throughout the school year, the curriculum is designed to train and support the “whole actor” with sequential classwork, ongoing mentoring, and special opportunities. Housed at our home base, Artists Repertory Theatre, the 9.5-month program culminates in early June with a Conservatory Showcase attended by theatre industry professionals, family, and friends. Space is limited to 16 students only.
S! Conservatory will be held on Monday evenings starting in 2016-17.
Auditions/Interviews for the 2016-17 school year will take place on June 13, 14, 26, & 27, from 4:00-8:00 pm. Students should prepare a 1 minute monologue and a 32-bar cut of a song. Bring your headshot, resume, and sheet music, and email Chanda for an appointment time: email@example.com. We look forward to meeting you.
We seek to grow artists of staggering vitality and boundless imagination. Critical thinkers. Storytellers. Smart, fearless, versatile artists who can tackle anything because they have the tools that only disciplined training can provide. Find YOUR unique voice.
Students are admitted by audition & interview only. Faculty and Guest Artists are drawn from the world of professional theatre, music, and dance. Most have terminal degrees in their fields and all are experienced Teaching Artists/educators.
We equip young artists with the tools for success in the 21st century.
Conservatory students study singing, voice, speech, dance, movement, Shakespeare, Suzuki, Viewpoints, stage combat, solo performance/cabaret, and audition technique in addition to musical theatre repertoire & musical theatre scene study. Preparation and personal attention are our hallmarks. There is a reason S! Conservatory students are performing on professional stages all over the city this season.
For the 4th year running, Staged! will offer The College Prep Workshop for BFA-bound seniors–audition prep, audition coaching and Parent Seminars to help you through the competitive college maze. This workshop meets weekly, September through January, and is tailored to each student’s individual needs. There is a separate fee for this program.
Special opportunities abound for our students to tap into the cultural heartbeat of Portland
Master classes with Broadway performers; field trips to cultural events; invitations to observe rehearsals and directors at work; Q&A sessions with special industry guests; job shadows and access to theatre behind-the-scenes. S! Conservatory students take an annual field trip to the renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland.
Where we meet:
Staged! is a Resident Company at Artists Repertory Theatre in downtown Portland. S! Conservatory meets weekly in the Artists Rep rehearsal studios (1515 SW Morrison St, Portland), with easy access to the bus line and MAX train.
Frequently Asked Questions
My teen loves theatre. What sets S! Conservatory apart from other teen theatre programs in town?
Choosing the right program for your teen is very important. There are some important factors to consider when evaluating various program options:
Is the program affiliated with a professional theatre?
Staged! is a non-profit theatre company, producing professional shows on Portland stages since 2005. Staged! is a resident theatre at the nationally renowned Artists Repertory Theatre.
How long has the education program been around? Is it geared specifically towards teens?
Staged! began in 2005, with a strong arts education component from Day One. Designed by arts educators, our education program is built to meet the needs of teen performing artists. After 6 years of summer camps, master classes, workshops, and nation-wide research, the S! Conservatory program launched in 2013.
Is the program a for-profit school, or is it a mission-driven non-profit connected to a respected arts organization?
Is the program respected by the greater Portland theatre community?
Does the program have ties to the theatre community outside Portland, creating more opportunities for students?
Does the teaching faculty reflect the diversity of the students?
Is the faculty highly qualified to teach in their field, and experienced working with teenagers?
What do alumni and parents say about the program and the teachers? Do they stay involved after the student graduates?
How selective is this program? Does everyone get in?
Because of the weekly time commitment and the maturity required for this high level of training, S! Conservatory is not right for every teen.
We encourage teens who want to “check us out” to sign up for a m(e)ow (musical entirely in one week/weekend) or come in with a parent and sit down with the Artistic Director for a chat.
How do I know if this is for me?
S! Conserv students are passionate about theatre, and are dedicated to bettering themselves. They want meaty training. Are you hungry for growth? Come check us out. A good way to get a taste of the S! Conserv is to join us on a T.O.A.S.T. outing (Teens Out & About Seeing Theatre). Sign up to see a play with us, and join in the discussion afterward. Meet some of our dedicated students and get a sense of whether this is right for you.
Join Staged! for a m(e)ow (musical entirely in one week/weekend)–open to all teens–and get a further sense of who we are. You and/or your parents can also email the Director any time with questions, or schedule a time to come in and chat about the program: firstname.lastname@example.org .
What is the time commitment to be in S! Conservatory?
S! Conservatory meets once a week on Monday evenings from 5:30-9:30 pm. There are breaks for the Winter Holiday Break, generally following Portland Public Schools’ calendar. Special outings (T.O.A.S.T.) and master classes with Broadway professionals are held periodically, along with opportunities for individual coaching.
The course of study is sequential; absences/hiatuses are strongly discouraged as they diminish the impact of the program and hinder the student’s ability to progress. We believe your investment in yourself and your training should take precedence over performing in multiple/back-to-back plays. Tuition is required for the full school year regardless of a student’s attendance. Students need to apply in writing for foreseen conflicts and absences. Showcase casting is at the discretion of the faculty; one student’s absence cannot be allowed to negatively impact the ensemble.
College Audition Coaching takes place weekly September through January and follows a schedule that is separate from the Conservatory, but complementary.
Every student is encouraged to take regular dance classes as part of their study. A list of recommended teachers and studios with whom to study at multiple levels is available from the Artistic Director.
Will I still be able to be in my school’s theatre productions?
Yes. We recognize that many of our students are leaders in their school theatre programs and we encourage this participation. All afternoon hours will be available for rehearsals, and every night except for Conservatory nights. If you are involved in a production, you will of course have a Conservatory night off for tech/production week. Conservatory faculty will be notified in advance of any production week conflicts. The S! Conservatory is designed to be an excellent supplement for students who have leadership roles in their individual school programs; it is a chance to grow weekly with other highly-motivated and skilled theatre students from across the metro area.
What is the tuition?
Tuition is $200/month.
(College Prep Seminar is a separate course and not included in this monthly tuition. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival field trip is also not included in monthly tuition amount.)
Are scholarships available?
Yes. A limited number of need-based and merit-based scholarships and work study arrangements are available. Our students come from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds, and we are committed to making Conservatory financially viable for students admitted to the program.
How will students be evaluated and given feedback?
S! Conservatory students will be evaluated twice a year, and will receive supportive, individual feedback as they progress. Office hours are on Tuesdays from 3:00-5:30 pm and students are encouraged to come in with questions or concerns.
When do I perform?
The focus of the S! Conservatory is process. Throughout the school year we will be building a solid grounding in technique as well as studying scenes and learning repertoire. S! Conservatory students are often asked to perform throughout the year, and opportunities for work come up. The end of the year SHOWCASE is be attended by industry professionals and theatre colleagues as well as family, friends, and theatre-goers.
There are also opportunities throughout the year to perform pieces for special guest teachers in a master class setting as well.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: please email us at email@example.com
S! Conservatory is committed to diversity in its student body, faculty, and staff. Staged! does not discriminate in its educational and employment policies on the bases of race, color, creed, religion, national/ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, physical disability, or political or religious affiliation.
Elizabeth is a director, teacher, and performer who has worked locally with Staged! Musical Theatre, Oregon Children’s Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Miracle Theatre, Catlin Gabel, the Oregon Episcopal School, the Young Players, and Polaris Dance Theatre. In 2011, Elizabeth received an Outstanding Leading Actress and an Outstanding Ensemble Drammy Award for her performance in Songs for A New World co-produced by Staged! and Miracle Theatre. As a director, she has staged traditional, devised, and adapted works in both professional and academic settings. Currently teaching acting courses at Pacific University, Elizabeth has taught voice, movement, clown, and mask courses for Rutgers University, the Universidad Autonoma de Hidalgo in Mexico City, and Cumberland County College in New Jersey. She holds an M.F.A. in Ensemble Based Physical Theatre from The Dell’Arte International School and a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from the University of the Arts.
Chanda Hall founded Staged! Musical Theatre in July, 2005. A graduate of Gustavus Adolphus (MN), she holds a degree in music performance with an emphasis on arts administration. She has spearheaded numerous arts initiatives and is active in the arts education arena, writing curriculum and devising innovative arts programming. She has worked with New York’s City Center’s Young People’s Dance Series, and dance and the Child international (daCi). A member of Alpha Psi Omega and the honor society Guild of St. Ansgar, Chanda is the recipient of numerous awards for both service and arts achievement. She has performed in venues throughout the United States and has served on panels for Oregon Thespians, Regional Arts & Culture Council, and Portland Area Theatre Alliance. A sought-after teaching artist, Chanda has served on the faculty of Northwest Children’s Theatre, Oregon Children’s Theatre, and Oregon Ballet Theatre as well as Staged! She is a composer, pianist and audition coach, and a member of Portland’s Emerging Arts Leaders and Business for Culture and the Arts.”
Erin holds a BFA in Dance from Oklahoma City University including extensive training in dance pedagogy. She has been teaching theatre dance, tap, jazz, lyrical, and ballet for almost 15 years, and is currently the resident dance and yoga instructor at the Northwest Academy. Erin has performed and choreographed for numerous Portland theatre companies including Broadway Rose, Lakewood Theatre Company (OTAS award winning choreography,) Many Hats Collaborations, Live On Stage, Stumptown Stages, Milagro Theatre, and Tin Pan Alley (PAMTA award winning choreography.) She has also taught and choreographed for several local high schools. She was recently featured on Oregon ArtBeat for her work on The Producers with Lakewood Theatre Company. Erin recently choreographed 13 at Staged! for which she received a PAMTA nomination, and was the Assistant Choreographer for the world premiere of Ablaze.
Jessica Wallenfels is a director/choreographer, educator and performer. She is currently choreographing three productions for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s 2013 season. Recent work with students includes productions at Portland State University, Pacific University, and Willamette University in addition to teaching for Portland Actors Conservatory and California State School of the Arts. She choreographed and performed in Famished, presented by Portland Playhouse in the Fertile Ground Festival. Regional choreography includes three seasons choreographing for Oregon Shakespeare Festival as well as credits at Seattle Rep, Portland Center Stage, Artists Repertory Theatre and Tanglewood Music Center. She has choreographed new and original work in New York and Los Angeles. Her company, Many Hats Collaboration, has produced many original works including Find Me Beside You and Truth & Beauty. Jessica holds a BFA from California Institute of the Arts and attended Dell’Arte International. She is a 2-time Drammy Award winner for Outstanding Choreography and a PAMTA Award winner for Outstanding Choreography. Jessica co-directed Staged!’s very first musical (entirely) in one weekend (Into the Woods), and recently choreographed Staged!’s world premiere of Ablaze.
Paul received a BFA in musical theatre from the State University of New York (SUNY) Fredonia then went on to receive an MFA from the Alabama Shakespeare Festival/ University of Alabama. He has been a member of Staged! since The Secret Garden in 2007. He has directed four musicals for Staged!: Les Miserables, which received two Portland Area Musical Theatre Awards (PAMTA) for Outstanding Ensemble and Outstanding Young Performer of the year, Big River which was also awarded two PAMTAs and the Portland premiere of Jason Robert Brown’s 13 the Musical which earned four PAMTA nominations including one for Outstanding Direction and was awarded a Drammy for Outstanding Pit Ensemble. Most recetnly he directed the company’s Portland premier of Jason Rober Brown’s Parade. Other Porltand directing credits include The Homecoming and Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom for Defunkt and Hamlet for Post5 theatre. In the upcoming theatrical season he will direct Romeo and Juliet for the Portland Actor’s Conservatory (Feb 2015), Ruthless! the musical for Stumptown Stages (Feb 2015), The Undiscovered Country for Defunkt (May 2015) and Equivocation for Post5 theatre. (fall 2015)
Andrew Bray has been educating actors in Portland non-stop since he moved here 8 years ago. In 2008 he music directed STAGED’s award-winning production of Les Miserables, and in 2012 he won a Drammy for Outstanding Pit Ensemble for his music direction of 13 the Musical. He also serves as Music Director for the Columbia Gorge School of Theatre, and teaches at many of the Portland Area Schools. As an actor, Andrew has performed on almost every stage with almost every company since he moved to Portland, so chances are you’ve seen him somewhere. Recent roles include Lt. Cable in South Pacific (Lakewood Theater) and Matt in Red Light Winter (Bad Badger Productions). Andrew also works as a private voice and acting coach for training and professional actors. A graduate of the Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts.
Kristen Mun has worked as a fight choreographer for over half a dozen theatre companies in the Portland area including Third Rail Repertory, Action Adventure, Profile Theatre, Post5, Milagro, and Anon it Moves. Kristen choreographed the Staged! productions of Parade and Dogfight. She is the recent recipient of the Leslie O. Fulton fellowship and has won Drammy Awards for her work on Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, Oedipus El Rey, and Henry IV Part 1. Outside of Portland she has worked at Utah Shakespeare Festival, Idaho Repertory Theatre, and was the assistant fight choreographer at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for 2 seasons (09-10). She is an officer and a recognized fight instructor with Dueling Arts International.
Linda K. JohnsonLinda K. Johnson, dance artist, is an Oregon native. For over three decades, she has been deeply influential in the maturation of dance in the NW region, contributing as a maker, performer, academic, somatic educator, Contemporary Alexander Technique teacher, mentor, curator, and arts administrator. Her choreographic work has been presented by PICA/TBA, On the Boards, and ORLO, among many others. Nationally, she is honored to be one of five custodians of Yvonne Rainer’s seminal post-modern work, Trio A. Johnson has participated in residencies at Yaddo, Caldera, Sitka, and Rauschenberg/Captiva, and is one of 12 featured artists in the recently released book by KristinTimkin – The New Explorers, which includes a forward by Lucy R. Lippard. In 2014, she opened her private practice teaching Contemporary Alexander Technique, having studied for four years with master teacher Robyn Avalon and the Alexander Alliance.
OTHER FACULTY MEMBERS INCLUDE:
Chantal DeGroat, Rob Fishel, Kristen Mun, Jeff George, Diane Englert, Andres Alcala, Debbie Lamedman, Ithica Tell, & Jeff George
GUEST ARTISTS INCLUDE:
Susannah Mars, Rodney Hicks, John San Nicolas, Sara Mishler Martins, Laura Haney, & Jeff Whiting