Our online application for the Egg Theatre Leadership Academy is live! Apply now for Summer 2017.


The future of the arts is our future.

Art in our schools is under constant threat, from systemic and curricular challenges, and funding cuts. Theatre especially bears the full brunt of public education's abandonment of creativity as a priority in our schools because of its cost and complexity. This is in spite of its proven contribution to the success and well-being of every student with whom it comes in contact.

After decades of failed strategies, it's time to rethink our approach to ensuring the long-term health of arts education in our public schools, starting with theatre. Isinglass is committed to researching, developing and piloting innovative alternatives that tackle the issue from every angle, and that see measurable and long-term results.


Egg theatre leadership academy

Zoe and Gavin rehearse for the class of 2015's serialized work, All's Faire, which would go on to be produced professionally by Action/Adventure Theatre.

A holistic, rigorous seven-week summer theatre academy designed to transform a small group of dedicated high school students into artists and advocates. 

The program's unique approach to theatre education begins with the premise that empowering a teen with entrepreneurial leadership skills and a passion for the performing arts will have a transformative impact on their entire community.  

Each summer, a group of Portland’s most prominent theatre artists from companies such as Artists Repertory Theatre, Third Rail Repertory Theatre, CoHo Productions, the Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble, among others, guide a cohort of up to twelve high school students through a rigorous and intense immersion in the world of producing theatre, with the goal of instilling skills and awakening new ideas which they can then take back to their schools and use to create new artistic opportunities with, and for, their peers. 

The class of 2014 learning about design in Portland Center Stage's costume shop.

The class of 2014 learning about design in Portland Center Stage's costume shop.

The program runs from mid-June to early August over seven weeks, with classes eight hours a day, five days a week, featuring hands-on expert instruction the artistic, administrative and leadership skills required to be a producer of and advocate for theatre. Students study marketing best practices, business best practices and the inner workings of professional theatre companies. 


Learn by doing

The summer features 11 productions, independently produced by the students with a cast of young professional performers.  In the first production, during Week Four, each student mounts their own ten-minute play, and under faculty supervision must manage every aspect of production from directing and design to budgeting and scheduling.

During the second production, the focus shifts from individual skill-building to creative collaboration, with the entire class working together to conceptualize, design and craft an original fully-staged production from the ground up.  Students assume all the roles of a professional production team, utilizing the skills they have learned in every area of the theatrical process.  

The Egg experience culminates with a project or program conceived by each student which they will complete in their own school the following academic year, drawing on what they've learned to enrich their entire community.

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Needs-blind admissions

We are committed to improving the presence of performing arts in all schools in the Portland metro area, especially where there is little to no programming. In order to ensure access to all students, regardless of socio-economic status, Egg tuition is charged on a sliding scale based on a family's ability to pay. Each year more than 80% of students receive some reduction, with more than 20% attending for free. We are able to provide this tuition relief thanks to the generosity of our donors and partnering organizations.

Admissions to Egg are 100% needs-blind.

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Interested in joining our next class of student leaders? Explore what it means to participate in the most comprehensive theatre education program in Portland.

Questions about the program and whether it's right for your teen? Take a look at how we support our students and hear from other Egg parents about their experience with Isinglass.

Want to host an Egg program in your city? Find out how Isinglass works with theatre organizations and school systems to implement impactful, outcome-oriented education programs.

Theatre Education Sustainability Fund

If there's a theatre funding shortage in our public schools, why not just raise the funds?

Theatre teachers in public schools are under assault. They operate with far too little money from their districts (sometimes as little as $0.50 per student per semester) and are in danger of having their programs gutted and relegated to after-school activities. The state of arts in the USA's education system is desperate. 

How we solve the problem

Isinglass is partnering with Artslandia magazine to spearhead an effort to equitably fund every public high school's theatre and performing arts programs through small donations made through mobile texting. By recruiting the people who benefit from a robust, holistic public education - the citizens of Portland themselves - we can quickly provide funding at a level unprecedented in a school system of our size.

How it works:

  • You give a one-time $5 donation to the fund by texting a number. The charge shows up on your mobile bill. Corporate sponsors match your donation.
  • Twice a year we equally divide the amount to each of the nine high schools in Portland Public Schools, earmarked for theatre production and the performing arts.

It's that simple.

The fact is, political efforts have failed. Now's the time for us to rise up and demand that our kids get the arts education they deserve. If we raise enough to donate $50,000 (10,000 donations) to each school, Portland will have the best funded high school theatre programs in the nation. Any monies over $450,000 (45,000 donations) are put in an endowment to ensure the continued funding of arts education.

How you can help

We're looking for

  • a non-profit with more than a $500,000 budget to sponsor our mobile giving plan
  • media partners to carry our message
  • corporate sponsors to match funds raised

If you are interested in helping us achieve our goals, please contact us at fund@isin.glass