Auction 2017 Fine Art Preview

2017 Auction: Passport to the World

Click here to purchase tickets and for the live and silent auction preview!


Staff Blog Post: National Poetry Month

Reba Short, Director of Theatre & Education

I love poetry. I love finding poems that I can say out loud, and discover meaning as I go. As a trained actor I truly enjoy finding words that I can rhyme and play with. I like it when words can sound the same, if they’re rhyming, or maybe if they are alliterations. Poetry offers a chance to play with language. For the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine, where we’re playing and imagining all day long, an opportunity to play with language is like opening a new toy chest, what will we find in here? I’m looking forward to celebrating National Poetry month with everyone…and playing with words as much as we can! My Shel Silverstein books are out and ready for use!

When I was young, I sought out poems I could play with–funny or silly poems. As an adult I seek out poems that make me feel—sad, inspired, angry, ready for action, full of light—when I open a book of poetry, that is what I’m looking for; a poem that packs a punch. I want poems that take my breath away, make me a new person, make me see the world in a different way, remind me what’s important.

In order to be great educators, we have to be continually inspired by the subject that we teach. We all have favorite poems, and we all have poems that inspire us on a deeper level. For the month of April, we’ll be sharing our favorites on the blog. This is our chance to share what inspires us as Museum & Theatre educators with the community, and some of the parents and care givers of children we see acting in our Dress Up Theatre, or creating masterpieces in the Explore Some More Room.

Last year Geoffrey Canada, founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone, presented at the Association of Children’s Museums National Conference. He was the final speaker of a long an inspiring weekend—but his talk stood out as visionary and dynamic. He presented a way of caring and educating children by valuing their time, and what they have to say. At the end of his talk he shared his poem Take A Stand, which is to me a call to action. This poem is a reminder of what drew me to arts education and how deeply important safe places for children are in our community.


Take A Stand: A Poem by Geoffrey Canada

Maybe before we didn’t know,
That Corey is afraid to go
To school, the store, to roller skate.
He cries a lot for a boy of eight.
But now we know each day its true
That other girls and boys cry too.
They cry for us to lend a hand.
Time for us to take a stand.
And little Maria’s window screens
Keeps out flies and other things.
But she knows to duck her head,
When she prays each night ‘fore bed.
Because in the window comes some things
That shatter little children-dreams.
For some, the hourglass is out of sand.
Time for us to take a stand.
And Charlie’s deepest, secret wishes,
Is someone to smother him with kisses
And squeeze and hug him tight, so tight,
While he pretends to put up a fight.
Or at least someone to be at home,
Who misses him, he’s so alone.
Who allowed this child-forsaken land?
Look in the mirror and take a stand.
And on the Sabbath, when we pray,
To our God we often say,
“Oh Jesus, Mohammed, Abraham,
I come to better understand,
How to learn to love and give,
And live the life you taught to live.”
In faith we must join hand in hand.
Suffer the children? Take the stand!
And tonight, some child will go to bed,
No food, no place to lay their head.
No hand to hold, no lap to sit,
To give slobbery kisses, from slobbery lips.
So you and I we must succeed
In this crusade, this holy deed,
To say to the children in this land:
Have hope. We’re here. We take a stand!

Celebrate National Poetry Month

We’re growing a new poet-tree in honor of National Poetry Month…and exploring a favorite poem every day!

Our very own staff and educators will be sharing their favorite poems throughout the month and we’ll be sharing them on our blog. Together, we’ll discover rhythm and language through art, music, movement, or theatre.

Click here to see our poetry programming throughout the month of April.

April Vacation Week! April 17-21





Looking for adventure this week? We have five days of vacation camp to spark your curiosity, challenge your senses and, of course, help you meet new friends! The theme of our April vacation camp is All About the Ocean! Learn about oceanography and marine life, create art inspired by ocean animals, and even see our ocean play, The Little Mermaid
Get a sneak peek behind the scenes and explore before the Museum & Theatre is open to the public. Thrive with a small group. We keep our camp size small so campers get the attention they need and deserve. Designed for ages 5-8.

Register for one day or the whole week! $35/member per day, $40/visitor per day OR $135/member, $160/visitor ($40 savings for the week!). Register online, call (207) 828-1234 ext. 231, or stop by the front desk. Please sign up early! This camp requires three or more registrations to run, and may be cancelled if sufficient registrations are not received by 5pm April 14. 

Click here to register for the whole week!

Sea Monster and Mer-folk Monday: Dive under the sea for a day full of imaginative ocean adventures! Hear a story about a fearsome sea monster Cetus, play acting games to become a sea creatures yourselves, bust out your best under-the-sea dance moves, and decorate our own mer-tail! (Click here to register for Monday’s Camp!)

Ocean Art Tuesday: Together we’ll bring the ocean into the art room (or at least some of it!). We’ll marbleize paper, create an ocean mural, and make bubble wands! (Click here to register for Tuesday’s Camp!)

Science of the Sea Wednesday: We’ll find out how sharks and whales float, take a closer look at our LIVE sea creatures in our Tide Pool Touch Tank with our microscope, and create your own jellyfish in a bottle! (Click here to register for Wednesday’s Camp!)

Theatre Thursday: Join us for a day of Little Mermaid-inspired theatre! Play acting games in our Dress Up Theatre, go on an exclusive back-stage tour, meet the cast of The Little Mermaid and take in the show at 11am! (Click here to register for Thursday’s Camp!)

Friday: Ancient Tales From the Sea! Hear folk tales from Maine and beyond about sea creatures, fearsome and fantastic, and decide for yourself what to believe. Try a seaworthy snack and use a combination of science and your imagination to craft your own underwater creature. (Click here to register for Friday’s Camp!)

February Vacation Week, Open Presidents Day





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 17, 2017
Contact: Sandy Boyce, (207) 828-1234,


Vacation Week February 20-24, Events Daily
Portland, ME –The Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine will kick off its February Vacation Week on Monday, February 20. Doors will open at 9am on Presidents Day with events scheduled all day long.


Presidents Day, Monday, February 20:
9am-5pm: Open to members and visitors
2-2:30pm: Guest reading from Portland City Council Member Pious Ali
3:30-4pm: Together We Take Flight Collaborative Origami Installation

Tuesday, February 21:
12-12:30pm: Musical Performance by Matt Loosigian of Earth Jams. $4 per person plus admission.

Wednesday, February 21:
10:15-10:45am: Big Fun Indoor Igloo Installation
11am-12pm & 2-3:00pm: Main Stage Performance of The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. $9/members, $10/visitors.

Thursday, February 23:
11am-12pm & 2-3:00pm: Main Stage Performance of The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. $9/members, $10/visitors.

Friday, February 24:
10:30-11am & 11-11:30am: Sparks’ Ark Live Animal Show. $6 per person plus admission.
1-2pm & 4-5pm: Main Stage Performance of The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. $9/members, $10/visitors.

Your coverage is welcome.

CONTACT: Sandy Boyce,; (207) 828-1234 ext. 222 for more information.

WHO: The Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine
WHAT: February Vacation Week, Open Presidents Day
WHERE: 142 Free Street, Portland, ME 04101
WHEN: Open 9am-5pm Presidents Day, February 20. Vacation Week: February 20-24
COST: Free for members, $10 for visitors, excludes paid events.
MORE INFO: ; (207) 828-1234;


Meet our newly named frogs, Prince and Belinda

On November 8, 2016, we held our very own special election, where visitors and followers of the Museum & Theatre had an opportunity to vote on names for our newest live animals. We’re happy to announce that our two American Bullfrogs officially have names, Belinda (female) and Prince (male). Now we can officially say that we have our very own frog Prince right here!

We had a great selection of names to choose from, given to us by visitors and through online submissions. We hope you’ll visit us and stop by to officially meet Belinda and Prince.



Cast your vote this Election Day

Cast your vote this Election Day

Help name our frogs for a chance to win passes to the Museum & Theatre

They may not be our “furry” friends, but they are definitely our friends. Two American Bullfrogs have joined our Ranger Station and are the newest live animal exhibit that the Museum & Theatre has. We love that this is their new home, but the only problem is that they don’t have names yet! We thought that since Election Day is approaching, we would give our explorers a chance to cast their very own ballot…and help us name our amphibian friends.

We’ll be collecting name suggestions through Monday, November 7. Then, our Frog Naming Council will narrow it down to just four names. We’ll then invite our explorers to vote on their favorite names on Election Day, Tuesday, November 8. Votes can be cast at our “Tad Poles” polling area in the building, and we’ll post it online through our website and social media channels. We’ll be sure to announce the winning names the next day. Plus, those who submitted winning names will win two free passes to the Children’s Museum & Theatre!

You can use the form below to send us your name suggestions, comment on our Facebook page, or come in and tell us in person! We’re confident that we’ll end up with the perfect names.

Dates to watch:

  • Now through Monday, November 7: Write in your name suggestions for our frogs!
  • Tuesday, November 8 (Election Day): Vote online or in person for your favorite name!
  • Wednesday, November 9: Winning names to be announced and winner to be contacted for Museum & Theatre passes.

Fun Frog Fact 

Did you know that frogs use their “ribbits” to communicate different messages?

Actor Spotlight: Christian

Name: Christian

Age: 8

Grade: 2nd

Where do you go to school?  Holy Cross, South Portland

How many shows have you been in at the Children’s Museum & Theatre of
Maine?  1 of the shows that would happen upstairs in the nature room a
couple years ago.

What do you do when you aren’t doing a play at the Children’s Museum &
Theatre of Maine? I LOVE to play piano.  I also enjoy putting on my own
shows at home.  And directing!  Especially directing my triplet siblings
and my older brother.

What do you like about acting? I like that you get to move a lot.  And be
someone different than who you are.

What character are you playing in The Circus Ship? What do you want people
to know about your character?  Simon the python.  I want people to know he
is very good at tying knots.  And picking them.

What do you want people to know about our show?  That it’s great and they
should come see it!  Please.  🙂

Apprentice Director Spotlight: Zoë

Name: Zoë 

Age: 13

Grade: 7

Where do you go to school? I go to King Middle School

How many shows have you been in at the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine? I have acted in 10 shows, but I have worked backstage for many more shows.

What do you do when you aren’t doing a play at the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine? I play soccer, lacrosse, box lacrosse, and hang out with my friends. I also write, read books, and go to school.

What do you like about acting? I like the sense of community that happens when a group of people get together to do something they love. I also like the outlet acting gives me for string emotions.

What character are you playing in The Circus Ship? What do you want people to know about your character? I am the apprentice director for this show. I want people, especially other kids, to know that there are other ways to be involved with shows besides acting.

What do you want people to know about our show? I think the show is really funny and touching. The animals have personalities that we can relate to, and I’ve learn so much about human nature during rehearsals.

Save the Date! The 2016 Annual Auction is coming soon!

Join the Museum & Theatre from 6 – 10pm on May 13, 2016 at the Portland Company on Fore Street in Portland for an evening of great company, delicious food and drink, and terrific auction items! We’ll be shaking things up a bit this year and we would love to have you join us as a guest, donor, or sponsor for what we hope will be our best event yet!

This year’s theme is “Every Child is an Artist” and to celebrate, we’ll be featuring children’s art as part of our art auction. Of course we’ll also have all the fabulous live and silent auction items our guests have come to expect.

We’re also thrilled to announce that our honorary chairs for Auction 2016 are Chris and Lori Van Dusen. Chris is a nationally recognized children’s book author and illustrator who lives here in Maine with his wife Lori. His first book, Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee, was the inspiration for our outdoor adventure exhibit and his book, Circus Ship, will be adapted for the stage by our own Reba Short and produced here at the Museum & Theatre in April, 2016.

Stay tuned for details on Auction 2016. Tickets ($50 per person/$450 for a block of 10) will be on sale in March, and sponsorships are available now!

For information on sponsorships, or to donate and item to the auction, contact the Development department at or (207) 828-1234 ext. 242.