ORGANIZATION HISTORY AND MISSION

Mission Statement

Performing arts are an integral part of a diverse and culturally rich society. Acorn Productions’ mission is to invigorate the community of performing artists in Southern Maine. Acorn seeks to nurture new performance pieces, develop artist collaboratives, train new talent, and make the arts accessible to a wide spectrum of the general public. Acorn accomplishes these goals by mounting annual festivals that are open to a variety of artists as well as professional performances by local actors in both traditional and non-traditional venues. Ticket prices for these performances are maintained at an affordable level in order to lower economic barriers for potential audience members. Acorn also offers educational programs, including acting classes and workshops, and offers fiscal sponsorships to grassroots organizations or individual artists seeking to become more active members of the performing arts community.

History

Acorn Productions presented its first show in September of 1995 under the umbrella of Oak Street Theatre. Since that time, the company has experienced steady growth in audience size and artist compensation, becoming an independent 501(c)3 company in August of 1998 and hiring its first member of Actor’s Equity Association in March of 2000. During the 2000/2001 season, Acorn Productions collaborated with Friends of St. Lawrence on renovating the parish hall of the St. Lawrence church and opened the new theatre with a presentation of Much Ado About Nothing in May of 2001. After that time, Acorn Productions went into production hiatus until December of 2003, when the company returned with a series of four successful events at the Portland Performing Arts Center. Since that time, Acorn has focused on events that enable project directors to establish long-term relationships with performing artists and playwrights, establishing a popular and eclectic series of annual events that appeal to a broad range of the community.  In the fall of 2006, the company moved into the Dana Warp Mill in Westbrook and created Acorn Studios, a low-cost complex of rehearsal and performance space for use by members of the performing arts community.

Phyzgig vaudeville festival

Holiday entertainment featuring world-class performers at the Portland Performing Arts Ctr and SPACE Gallery

Maine Playwrights Festival

Rotating evenings of new one-act plays by Maine playwrights presented workshop-style at the St. Lawrence Arts Center

Acorn Acting Academy

Four semesters of acting classes and specialized workshops for actors of all levels of ability

Naked Shakespeare

Free public performances by the Shakespeare Ensemble that focus on the power of the spoken word.

Studio Series

Classic plays produced in the intimate quarters of our Acorn Studio Theater

Fairy Tale Players

Performances for kids of all ages presented by a combination of students from the Acorn Acting Academy and professional adult actors