Thanking the foundations that helped us put on “New Clothes!”

By now, we hope you’ve heard all about our ongoing shows in the Dress Up Theatre, Cinderella and The Emperor’s New Clothes. But have you heard of the New Clothes Collaboration?

Cast members of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” participate in a peer critique, while "Cinderella" musician Jeffrey Sheerer looks on.

When these two shows were selected many months ago, we thought of so many ways all kinds of artists in our community could make valuable contributions. Having professional musicians, costume designers and playwrights contribute their expertise would not only yield great shows on our stage, but would provide our young actors with a unique opportunity to explore their talents under the mentorship of working artists. We developed a proposal for the New Clothes Collaboration: pairing young actors with guest artists from Portland’s thriving theatre community to design, direct, score, rehearse and perform Cinderella and The Emperor’s New Clothes.

The "Cinderella" royals. Sebastian Grimm as Andre, Gabe Walker as Prince Louis and Elias Grimm as the King.

Thanks to the support of the Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust, the Morton-Kelly Charitable Trust and the Simmons Foundation, we were able to make this dream a reality! Our casts (all under fifteen years old!) have worked closely with director Claire Guyer, choreographer Gretchen Berg, costume designer Christina Klein, lighting designer Nicole Sirois and musicians Jeffrey Sheerer, Gregory Reed and Shawn Cole to bring scripts by Michele Livermore Wigton to life on our stage.

We’re so grateful for the generosity of the Burnham, Morton-Kelly and Simmons foundations for making this project possible. We’d also like to tip our hats to our show sponsors: the Neudek family (Debby, Tom and Alexandra); Andrucki & Mitchell Family Law of Lewiston; and Sudzie Autowash of Scarborough.

As anyone who has caught the shows can tell you, the New Clothes Collaboration yielded magical results!

Be sure to catch both shows, playing alternating weekends through March 21st. Shows are selling out, so click here to get your tickets in advance!