Auditions: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

01/08/2015 | 3-5pm
We’re looking for talented young actors to be part of the cast of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory this winter. No experience required, and newcomers are welcome! Please come anytime between 3-5pm with a one minute monologue prepared. The winter production will run February 13-22. Actors must be available for rehearsal in January and February.

For more information, contact Reba Short at 828-1234 x247. Click here for more info about auditions

Our Own “Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D,” Julie Civiello


A heartfelt congrats to our friend Julie Civiello, who will be making her debut on the ABC TV Series “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” tonight, 3.4.14.

As reported by our friends at the Portland Press Herald, Julie, who has been working towards a big break in LA over the past few years, got her start as an actress at the Children’s Theatre of Maine.
Ms. Civiello was a big part of our Theatre and played roles in productions such as “Romeo & Juliet” and “Our Town.” Our friends at the Portland Phoenix were effusive about her when reviewing Children’s Theatre of Maine productions. Editor Jeff Inglis wrote, “Julie Civiello… is sensitive and strong in the role of the 14-year-old lover… Civiello reaches deep into her own heart, tugging at Romeo and the audience as she struggles between love and duty.”
Also in the Phoenix, Megan Grumbling wrote, “The red-haired Civiello is nothing less than luminous. She has utterly natural movements and presence, an expressive face, and a melodic, far-ranging voice. She is a true and radiant talent, and I hope we’ll see more of her on Portland’s stages in the years to come.”
We are so proud of Julie and all the work she has put in to make her own success happen. We are honored to have her as a friend. Please read the article over at the Portland Press Herald!
Are you interested in getting your own start in acting? We’re looking for young actors between the ages of 8 and 17 to bring Cinderella: The World’s Favorite Fairy Tale to life for younger children. If you are interested in performing on our stage, please prepare a one minute monologue and arrive between 3pm and 5pm this Thursday, March 6th. No acting experience is required; newcomers are welcome.
For more information call 828-1234 x247 or email

Thank You, Reba!

Beauty and the Beast dancing
Emma as Bella and Gabe Walker as the prince in Beauty and the Beast.

Emma Cooper is an actor who first appeared on the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine stage last fall as Bella in Beauty and the Beast. In the past year, she’s spent countless hours here rehearsing and performing with friends and peers under the guidance of our Theatre Artistic Director, Reba Short. Emma wrote this essay for a school assignment this spring and shared it with Reba and the actors in the Youth Voices on Stage project (learn more about it here or here). Reba was very moved and shared it with me, and I wanted to share it with you – Emma writes so eloquently of the very special experience our actors have here. If you or someone you know would like to have an experience like Emma’s, we have an audition workshop this week and auditions for Little Red Riding Hood next Wednesday, June 8.

Emma writes:

When you’re a child magic is everywhere. Things become what they aren’t. A boulder becomes a fortress for a fairy army, a bumble bee a fairy prince’s noble steed. Mermaids frolic in the frothy waves at the beach and terrible monsters lurk in woods. Anything is possible. You can fly, become invisible and even become a cat. It all happens. Then, a strange phenomenon called “growing up” occurs. 

Boulders begin to look like really big rocks. Bumble bees become foul pests who sting. The waves don’t seem that imposing and the mermaids are really just loose pieces of seaweed. Flying, it happens, but it’s expensive. Where does all the magic go? We become cynical and hardened. We don’t stop to smell the flowers and to marvel at the beautiful world we live in. Everything has to be fast, grown-up, scientific and chic. 

Reba with Rabbit cast
Reba (standing, left) with members of the cast of The Rabbit Who Wanted Red Wings.

I get tired of this. This fast moving society we live in. I want to stop and smell the flowers, to marvel at a rock, see the good in a bumble bee! But it’s hard to unravel yourself. To get off of Faceook and sit outside, to stop thinking about your future and be awed by the present. 

I’ve found someone who helps me do this, a grown-up none the less. Her name is Reba Short and she is the director of the Children’s Theater of Maine. When I heard about acting in your shows, I was thrilled. It’s hard to find theaters that do straight shows, non-musicals, for teens in Maine. I remember thinking “I’m so excited; this will look great on college applications! And, I’m getting experience for an acting career!” That IS true and it’s one of the perks of the theater. But when I participated in my first show, Beauty and the Beast, I realized that that wasn’t what I valued the most. I began to marvel again. That childlike wonder came back. I found myself questioning if an angsty prince-turned-Beast really DID live in the woods. Were those mermaids I saw smiling at me? Wait, are those troll tracks?! Smell these flowers! That was the most rewarding thing you could have ever given me Reba.

I remember one time in Beauty and the Beast. Gabe was having a hard time doing the characterization during a scene. You decided that we had to sing our lines out to each other. The combination was one of Phantom of the Opera meets Beauty and the Beast meets a couple of bad singers. It was one of the most outrageous things I’ve ever done and I thank you for it!

Emma in a Youth Voices Onstage workshop at East End Community School
Emma at East End Community School leading a group discussion as part of the Youth Voices Onstage project.

In the Youth Voices project that we’ve been doing it’s such a pleasure to work with you. I know that you’ve taught us all to question our actions. When we go into schools the little kids adore you. They hang on to your every word, mesmerized. I know you’re probably going to say that you’re the one that is supposed to be thanking us, because we’re really the people who do the acting. You’re wrong. Without you this project would have not been possible. You’ve not only helped these little kids to do acts of kindness, you’ve helped us. You’ve made it so that we could all heal from wounds that were inflicted upon us by mean things people have done or said. I think I can speak for all of us when I say that working with you on this has been such a pleasure and honor.

We are so blessed to have you in our lives. You’ve taught us to see the fortress in a boulder, the smiling mermaids in the waves, to stop and smell the flowers. To cherish life and everything in it. To slow down and be awed. To find magic in the world. And most important of all to imagine and hope.


Saturday June 13th, 2009
10 am -12 pm.

The Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine announces the Portland premier of Tomato Plant Girl: July 2009!

The play sends kids an imaginative message about the importance of holding one’s own and communing with the natural world.

The three characters in the story are: Little Girl, Bossy Friend, and Tomato Plant Girl.

We will cast 3 to 6 girls, age 10 to 16 to be part of this very special production.

Auditions for TPG are Saturday June 13th, 2009.

10 am -12 pm.

If you plan to audition please come prepared with a monologue about a minute in length.

Plan to stay whole 2 hours, and be ready to read “sides” or parts of the script.

FMI and a rehearsal calendar please contact Reba Short,

Theatre Artistic Director

(207) 828-1234 ext 247