Shakespeare and Dance Classes!



Preparatory classes for our summer production of As You Like It. Actors new and experienced with Shakespeare will benefit with this refresher course as we work on voice, language, prose, blank verse, character and monologues.

April will be a introductory class. 7-8:45 pm , Thursdays (April 7, 14, 28 & May 5th.)   May classes will be more advanced.     ( May 12, 19, 26th) Ages 13 and up. (includes adults!)   Sign up for one month or two. Sign up today @

$20 per month. Taught by: Susan Scott

EMAIL: to sign up today! 


for ages 9-12:

Get to know about William Shakespeare, his times and what makes him to greatest playwright of all time. Actors will learn the basics of language through play and his plays.

THURSDAYS: 6:15-7:30. 

Taught by Mallory Spanjer and assisted by Susan Scott


Beginning Ballet:


An ideal class for any actor wanting to improve dance skills and begin their dance foundation:

Tuesdays,  from 4-5pm, April-May

$40 per month or $60 for two months

Ages 5-10

Taught by Elizabeth Laurent

EMAIL: to sign up today!

Classes held at The Olympic Gym Yoga Room, 23500 SE Stark St, Gresham, OR 97030


Dance for  Theatre:


For any serious actor who wants to learn basic dance movements from Broadway to Shakespeare.

Ages: 10-18

Coming in May!  Thursdays: time TBA (either 4-5pm or 8-9 pm)


Taught by Elizabeth Laurent

EMAIL: to sign up today!

Classes held at The Olympic Gym Yoga Room, 23500 SE Stark St, Gresham, OR 97030

Meet the Teachers:

11261845_10152992827322737_2107884912342666346_nSusan Scott, is the Artistic Director at Black Swan. She has directed theatre for 18 years, with prior experience at Gresham Little Theatre, Corbett High School’s Young Shakespeare Players and five years as director and founder of Corbett Children’s Theatre. She has lead several theatre trips to the U.K. over the past 12 years where actors participated in theatre classes at RADA, The Old Vic and the RSC.  Susan has received extra training at OSF in teaching Shakespeare as well as studying Shakespeare extensively as a English Literature major at Brigham Young University and as a life passion.



Mallory Spanjer, has been a director’s assistant at Black Swan on and off over the past four years . She was also an actor, Susan directed for 8 years and most recently was Witch 1 in Black Swan’s cast of MacBeth. She has a great love of Shakespeare and sharing the beauty of his plays wIth new actors.  Mallory has her B.A. in History from Seattle Pacific University and her Masters in Modern History from York University in the U.K.  Mallory will be teaching the Introduction to Shakespeare class. 


DSCN0987Elizabeth Laurent, is the choreographer /dance instructor at Black Swan.  She has choreographed 8 plays at Black Swan.  She and her family recently moved back to the Portland area from Salt Lake City, Utah.  Elizabeth also was a past actor of Susan Scott’s and was most recently seen as the older Wendy in Black Swan’s Peter Pan.  She has also received extensive ballet training  for 16 years in the Portland area as well as at Western Oregon University.  Elizabeth has her B.A. in Theatre from Southern Virginia University.  She has taught ballet and a variety of other dance classes in Virginia and Utah over the past seven years.












artworks-000013031282-vu58x1-original.jpgWilliam Shakespeare’s delightful comedy…. August 3-6th
Under the stars at Lewis & Clark State Park

In commemoration of Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary of his death, “ALL THE WORLD IS A STAGE”.  All past and  present actors  directed  by Susan Scott, are invited to audition for this incredible event. New actors are welcome too!

Auditions for 14 and up. Video auditions, followed by callbacks on June 4th. 

Cast size: 20

*This is a semi-professional production as actors will be paid based on ticket sales, so VERY COMPETITIVE AUDITIONS. Actors will be paid based on ticket sales. Because of this, auditions are based on not only a quality audition piece but work ethic, discipline and rehearsal attendance.

Rehearsals begin July 6th and will be 3-4 X weekly and will work around work schedules. 
* 6-13 year olds will be invited to audition for a Shakespeare Pre show. 


Audition video needs to have the following:

~An introduction of yourself, with name and age.

~a Shakespeare monologue no longer than 1 minutes and 30 seconds. 

PLUS: All actors must fill out this questionnaire by clicking HERE: no later then JUNE 1st. 


Duke Frederick, usurper, father to Celia
Duke Senior, the real Duke, father to Rosalind
Orlando- the lover, loves Rosalind
Touchstone- The fool 
Jacques, the melancholy
Silvius, the pathetic lover of Phebe
Corin (a shepherd)/ Jaques de Boys (Orlando’s brother)
Oliver (the mean brother to Orlando/ Forester
William (slow-thinker)/ Second Lord to Frederick
Charles (wrestler)/ Amiens (Duke’s singer)

Rosalind, the heroine, loves Orlando
Celia, her sweet cousin
Phebe, the heartbreaker of Silvius
Audrey, the honest but slow thinking maiden
Adama, faithful old servant to Orlando
Hymen, Goddess of marriage
First page/First Lod- Will sing
Second page, sings
LeBeau (servant to Frederick/Olivia Martext (airhead minister)
First Lord/ Denise (servant to Oliver)

For actors under age 14:
There will be roles as dancers at the wedding in the last scene and roles available in the pre show. The pre-show will introduce the play, Shakespeare and perform one short scene. 

We will only cast 20 actors total. If not cast, we need volunteer positions filled for costuming, assistants, backstage help and set up if interested.


The MacBeth Experiment Worked!


Ellie Leach as Lady Macbeth and Blake Dunbar as MacBeth.

Black Swan decided to try something new this summer and not only perform outside, at night, but rehearse it in only three and a half weeks!  We also blended older, experienced actors once directed by Susan Scott,  with Black Swan actors where many were new to Shakespeare.  This cast of 21 dedicated  actors, had all summer to learn lines and met occasionally to get extra training and text help.

As a further incentive to create a semi-professional setting, actors all were paid off the proceeds of MacBeth ticket sales.  It was an intensive experience that took dedication, discipline and focus for all the actors. Next summer, we plan to produce another Shakespeare play at Lewis and Clark State Park. Stay tuned for when and what play!

A few kind compliments from audience members who attended MacBeth:

We all loved Macbeth! That magical outdoor setting was the perfect spot, and all of the actors did really well in bringing the story to life. It’s my new favorite production of Macbeth. (The others I’ve seen have been dark and confusing and dull). Thank you!!!!” – Alisha Christianson

Josie Lattin, Mallory Spanjer and Annalee Nock as The Weird Sisters/Witches.

“I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the performance on opening night. Despite rain, thunder, wind, and freight trains going by, the actors carried on and pulled off a tremendous job with this amazing play. We could hear every word of the script and the acting was splendid. A big shout-out to Blake’s stage fighting choreography – very convincing – and the youngest of the cast were as professional and talented as all the others. Great job everyone, and if you haven’t seen it yet, don’t miss the upcoming performances! – Margaret Groves


“We LOVED the show! . Everyone did a fabulous job. The youngest MacDuff child was very convincing and the guy who played MacBeth…Wow. So fun seeing Young Shakespeare Player actors  under the lights once again.” -Doreen Button

Jessica Messmann as The Porter.

“The setting was perfect and the acting really top-notch…. This play was totally amazing. I was awestruck by what these kids can do – great job director, Susan!” – Nancy Collins


At Lewis and Clark State Park.


Elizabeth Laurent as Lady MacDuff and Sydney Holwege and Elanor Laurent as MacDuff children.

Meet the Cast of MacBeth


Blake Dunbar: MACBETH, Blake is a recent graduate of Clackamas High School. He’s been acting since the age of nine. He’s performed in 11 Black Swan plays, and many productions at Clackamas High School. He also was a part of the August Wilson, Red Door Project for the past two years and participated in The Old Vic Theatre’s Old Vic, New Voices workshop with Black Swan actors in London, UK.


Ellie Leach: LADY MACBETH. Ellie is a recent graduate of Barlow High School. She will be attending Southern Oregon University this September, majoring in Acting Performance.  This will be her sixth Black Swan performance. She has also performed in plays at Barlow HS, winning the solo monologue category at state for Barlow. She has also participated in a workshop at Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford Upon Avon, UK  with other Black Swan actors.


Alec Anderson: MACDUFF, Alec will be a senior at Barlow HS in September. This is his second Black Swan play. He has been acting since he was ten and has performed in many plays at Barlow High School.


Jason Rathbone: BANQUO– Jason will be a senior at Barlow high school this fall. He hopes to attend Boston College next year.  He has been acting since the age of ten and performed in five Black Swan plays as well as at Barlow.


Mallory Spanjer: WITCH 1– Mallory is a recent Masters graduate of History at York University, in UK. She has not only assisted at Black Swan on and off for several years but performed in plays at Corbett Children’s Theatre and Young Shakespeare Players since the age of nine. This is her first play in eight years.


Annalee Nock: WITCH 2, Annalee is a recent graduate of Barlow High School. She will be attending University of Oregon in September.  She has been performing since the age of 10 and recently at Barlow HS and three productions with Black Swan.


Josie Lattin: WITCH 3. Josie is ten years old and has been acting for a year and a half. She has amazing skills with memorizing lines and loves theatre.  This will be her fourth Black Swan play.


Tyler Messenger: MALCOLM/MURDERER Tyler will be a junior at Reynolds High School. He has been performing since he was 12. This will be his third Black Swan play. He has also performed in many plays at Reynolds High School.


Chandler Duncan: ROSS. Chandler will be a junior at Reynolds High School. This will be his second Black Swan performance. He also performs in plays at Reynolds High School.


Elizabeth Laurent: LADY MACDUFF. Elizabeth is the Black Swan choreographer. She is also a ballet teacher and the mother of two little girls and married to cast member, Tyler.  She has her B.A. in Theatre from Southern Virginia University. She has performed in plays since the age of nine with CCT, Young Shakespeare Players and at university. She also participated in an intensive Theatre workshop at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London while in high school.


Adam Carsner: LENNOX, Adam will be a freshmen at Gresham HS. This is his third Black Swan play and has loved taking on acting this past year.


Caitlin Spanjer: CAPTAIN/OLD WOMAN/HECATE- Caitlin is a middle school teacher at Lewis & Clark Montesorri. She is a graduate of Seattle Pacific University. She has not only assisted at Black Swan on and off for several years but performed in plays at Corbett Children’s Theatre and Young Shakespeare Players since the age of nine. This is her first play in eight years.


Ian Scott: ANGUS/MURDERER/SIWARD. Ian recently returned from serving a two year mission for the LDS church. This fall, he will return to BYU-I to study Fine Arts.  He has been an occasional actor since the age of four, and performed in four Black Swan plays. He also has done the poster design and set art work for this production.


Tyler Laurent, DUNCAN. Tyler is a graduate of Southern Virginia University. He is currently a surgical tech, and applying to Physician’s Assistant schools. He performed in a few plays at CCT and Young Shakespeare Players as well as a play at SVU. He is a daddy to two little girls and married to fellow actor, Elizabeth.


Jessica Messmann: PORTER/DOCTOR, Jessica is a graduate of Southern Virginia University. She has been an AVID teacher for the past three years in Minneapolis and most recently became a mother to a sweet baby boy and is married.  She has been acting since the age of eight and performed in many plays at CCT, Young Shakespeare Players and small performances in college.  She also participated in an intensive Theatre workshop at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London while in high school.


Julianne Ratbone: GENTLEWOMAN/MESSENGER– Julianne will be a senior at Barlow HS. She hopes to attend USC next fall. She has been acting since age ten and performed in many plays at Barlow and three shows with Black Swan.


Natalie Southard: ENGLISH DOCTOR/MURDERER/MESSENGER– Natalie will be a junior at Centennial HS. This will be her first Black Swan play. She performed in plays at Centennial as well.


Kaden Moss, DONALBAIN/YOUNG SIWARD, Kaden will be a freshman at Centennial HS.  He has been performing since the age of eight at Black Swan. This will be his 7th Black Swan performance.


Sydney Holwege: YOUNG MACDUFF/APPARITION, Sydney is 11 years old and started performing last January. Sydney loves acting and this will be her 4th Black Swan production.


Chase Wright: FLEANCE/APPARITION. Chase is seven years old. This will be his second Black Swan play and loves being on stage.


Elanor Laurent: MACDUFF CHILD/APPARITION. Elanor is 4 1/2 years old. This is her second Black Swan play and loves memorizing lines and acting.

MacBeth announced as the play to open the 2015-16 season:

macbeth poster copy

7:30 pm, September 2,3 & 4th, 2015

Under the stars, and next to the forest

at Lewis & Clark State Park Troutdale, Oregon




Starring Black Swan actors from age 4-27 years old, it’s an event not to be missed!  The play, set in medieval Scotland will include dancing and drumming.    Seating is general admission but all will be seated in chairs in a outdoor, theatre-in-the-round setting.  NOT RECOMMENDED FOR CHILDREN UNDER 6.  Directed by: Susan Scott


Ellie Leach on Mrs. Beauregarde, Theatre and the UK:

IMG_2617Sam Barlow high school senior, Ellie Leach is busy rehearsing and studying up on her latest role as Mrs. Beauregarde (Violet’s mother) in Black Swan’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  This will be Ellie’s 4th play with Black Swan Theatre and her first with a predominantly younger cast. Ellie says she’s learned that, “Mrs. Beauregarde is very obsessed with self image and how she appears to others around her. But along the way, her focus on materialistic things ultimate distracts her from being the parent Violet needs.”

Of all Roald Dahl’s zany children’s stories, she loves Matilda and especially the new musical version of the book by the Royal Shakespeare Company as she thinks it’s, “ a musical theatre masterpiece.”

Ellie as Helena (with Lucas Buchanan as Lysander) in  A Midsummer's Night Dream." - November 2013

In “A Midsummer’s Night Dream”

Last fall, she played Helena in Black Swan’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream and fell in love with Shakepeare and his plays. “Shakespeare is my favorite theatre genre because it demands for you to grow as an individual as you dive into your character and play with the language. You learn, and as an young aspiring actor, I want to learn as much as I can and Shakespeare is the ultimate teacher,” says Ellie.


London-Ellie, posing as Matilda before the show.

This past summer, Ellie was one of nine Black Swan actors that spent over two weeks in UK for a theatre trip. When asked what she enjoyed most about the trip she responded  with. “EVERYTHING! But, if we have to get down to details, by far experiencing theatre. I have never been so moved and immersed in theatre like I was while in London. I found a culture that appreciated theatre arts the way I do and it changed my view on everything. It was evident that the plays I was seeing are the best live theatre in the world. It something that changed me for the rest of my life.”

Ellie plans to pursue theatre at Southern Oregon University in fall 2015 and hopes to continue with performing arts throughout her life, be it in the classroom or on stage. Don’t miss this chance to see Ellie as she nails the role of Mrs. Beauregarde while entertaining and making us  laugh at the same time.