The Right Brain Initiative


Artist Details

Marjorie Anderson


Book this artist using the Residency Request Form


  • Students will use theater to gain a deep understanding of the chosen curriculum.  To be able to perform for an audience, students become thoroughly familiar with their subject matter and its story.


  • Students will be active participants in the rehearsal process.  They will experiment, exchange ideas, question, laugh and learn.


  • Students discover the power of their bodies and voices to transmit meaning through theatrical conventions.


  • Students learn to work collaboratively on practical problem solving.


  • Students take pride and ownership of their project, and become accountable for their work.


  • Students will learn to approach complex language without fear.


With over 25 years of experience in theater, dance and opera, and over 13 years working in Portland area schools, I bring a depth of knowledge and variety of skills to the school environment. Curriculum integrated theater residencies and productions teach performance skills, creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration that inspires and strengthens the classroom experience.










Theater is a great way to grapple with difficult subjects that do not have definitive answers and are more complex than list of facts. Recent 8th grade workshops dealt with Civil Rights, perceptions and misperceptions, identity and stereotypes. Using wide ranging and challenging texts, movement, improvisation, and elements of design, we can explore topics that may be better experienced viscerally and physically than from behind a desk.


The Revolutionary War
Students use comedy, scripted scenes, dance, language from the Declaration of Independence and music from American musical theater to explore the facts, themes and emotional truths behind the American Revolution. The resulting mini performance is highly entertaining and a springboard for extended lessons and talking points for both performers and audience.


The Oregon Trail
Students learn ensemble building exercises and use their own ideas to improvise scenes and scenarios about the Oregon Trail. Throughout the process, questioning and discussion, students learn key facts about the Oregon Trail that are incorporated into their mini scenes. Given a simple theatrical framework, students create their own original Oregon Trail performance piece, learning the basics of theater along the way.


Shakespeare: Middle School preparation for Oregon Shakespeare Festival Field Trips
Using on-their-feet games and story telling activities, students learn the plots, major themes and characters of plays to be viewed. Studying and rehearsing scenes, students experience first hand the creative process, make artistic choices, learn to analyze complicated text, and dig deep into characterization. This preparation before performances creates engaged audience members and gives students a fuller theatrical experience. Guided discussion after performances extends the experience and results in surprisingly deep critical thinking.


Other Residency topics have included the Civil Rights Movement, The Iliad and the Odyssey, Native American Legends, Experimental Theater and Fairy Tales. Residencies often conclude with students sharing their work in progress with another class, giving everyone the opportunity to experience performing, for talk-back and reflection.


Civil Rights Movement (6th grade, core text: Lions of Little Rock), Shakespeare, Oregon Trail (4th grade), Perceptions and Stereotypes, (8th grade, sample core texts: Neither Wolf Nor Dog, Fences, Vietgone, Peerless)


Space: Can move from classroom to classroom.


Sessions:  I prefer to sessions to be back-to-back (for example 3-5 days in a row).  Please schedule 10 minutes between sessions.  I can teach up to 4 classes per day.


Travel: Mileage will be charged at the IRS rate for schools outside of 15 mile radius from Right Brain office in downtown Portland.


Breaks:  Prefer 30 minute break for lunch.  Breaks longer than 90 minutes will be billed at $25 per hour.


Supplies: Sometimes use common schools supplies, such as paper, markers, tape etc.


Technology: Speakers


$65 per residency session, preparation hour, and planning hour. Most residencies require at least one hour of preparation time per grade level.

$100 Teacher Workshop

Full productions or class plays can be negotiated into a single all-inclusive fee.

Materials and Supplies:  Most workshop and residency supplies should be under $50.  Larger productions and class plays can have variable production budgets, to be decided on with the school in initial planning meetings.

Mileage:  For travel outside the 15-mile radius of Right Brain’s downtown Portland office, travel to school is reimbursed per mile based on the applicable IRS standard Mileage Rate.

Space:  A large open space to work in is best for theater residencies.  An empty classroom, gym or stage are all great, but we can also work in a classroom with desks pushed back.



Questions? Contact your Right Brain Coach.


503-225-5900 x229




Jeff Gentile


(503) 916-5600

Roseway Heights School

7th grade

Chris Salter


(503) 844-1090

Imlay School

5th grade

Beth Straub


(503) 916-5600

Roseway Heights School

6th grade

FAQ Arts