Drama in Mr. Muir's Class
Drama in Room 109 is hugely dependent on the willingness of arts organizations to share their work and love for the arts. We are indebted to these organizations:
The Metropolitan Opera Guild / Washington National Opera
I participate in the Creating Original Opera Program created by the Metropolitan Opera Guild. Most years my class forms a theater company and creates an original musical. Over the past several years, I have journeyed during the summers to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the Metropolitan Opera in Manhattan and the Washington National Opera in Washington, DC to attend ten-day theater workshops along with teachers from Europe, Central America and numerous U.S. States.
The Portland Center for the Performing Arts
In March of 2005, my teaching colleague and I received a phone call from Robyn Williams of the Portland Center for the Performing Arts inviting us to a meeting to discuss our theater work. Thus began a remarkable collaboration and sharing of resources with the PCPA. That June saw the production of "A Trip to Grandpa's Farm Where a Girl Finds Her Power" at the Winningstad Theater. The following year saw "Hollywood Theater Mystery" at the Newmark Theater--all created and performed by second graders. In 2009, my fifth grade class performed their original musical "Earthalerth!" at the Winningstad Theater. The PCPA also provides technical support (draperies, follow spots), prints tickets for the PCPA performances, and conducts the class on a tour of the facilities as we prepare for our evening performance. The PCPA staff has always been enthusiastic and generous toward our theater work, and we are deeply indebted to them. For pictures of the theater and more information about the PCPA, go to pcpa.com.
The Portland Opera
2005 also saw the beginning of a strong working relationship with Alexis Hamilton and the Portland Opera. In past years, my class has attended dress rehearsals at the Keller Auditorium for "Journey to Riems," and "Nixon in China." The Opera also regularly sends touring productions to Lent. In past years we have seen "Hansel and Gretel" and "La Boheme." In theater companies, most jobs do not involve acting, and so it is in our class as well. The P.O. sends company members to visit the class and discuss their own work for the company. Past visitors have included stage managers, production managers, and public relations directors. Finally , I would like to add that in 2006, the P.O. donated space in their own performance program to carry an advertisement for "Hollywood Theater Mystery." The contributions of the Portland Opera to our theater program are varied and numerous, and we thank them.
Portland Center Stage
In past years my class has seen "West Side Story" and "A Christmas Carol" at the Gerding Theater at the Armory in N.W. Portland. These visits are underwritten by the Gerding Theater and managed by the ever-flexible Kelsey Tyler. We have also participated in pre-show workshops and toured backstage. We thank Portland Center Stage, and in particular Kelsey Tyler and Tim DuRoche for making this happen.