Portland Action Theatre is a supportive space to explore, play, and take risks. Mary and Nathaniel are sensitive and skilled teachers, and I felt welcome to bring my whole self to class. I always left feeling enlivened and connected both to the group, myself, and the mystery connecting us all. One day, I came to one class feeling deep grief over the state of the world. I barely made it to the studio and wasn’t sure I should even be there given my emotional overwhelm. But I felt safe enough to share what I was feeling with the group, and Mary, Nathaniel and the other students supported me where I was. Through the course of the afternoon, I was able to play, connect with joy and curiosity, and witness others in their creativity and expression. At the end of class, I was filled with gratitude for Action Theatre practice and the people in that room. I left feeling more resourced for life.

– 2023 Beginner Class Student

Action Theater with Mary and Nathaniel reinvigorated my relationship to my personal and professional movement practices. When I took their beginner class I quickly fell in love with the form and it was the highlight of each week for me. Mary and Nathaniel seem to teach from a place of joy and curiosity, and their support of one another’s process came through in their support of the group process as well. After studying dance in college and dabbling in it since then, I had lost some of my excitement and joy in moving over the years.  The AT class with Mary and Nathaniel brought it back to me, and then some. I found the practices to be impactful in my client work as a therapist, in my relationships, and in my movement explorations and performance art. I feel it informs my ability to be Human and Present within my movements themselves and directly in my interactions with others. I am certain that action theater will be a part of my life for years to come, thanks to these amazing humans and their community offerings.

– Emily Haygeman, PhD, empowerwhoyouare.com

Mary and Nathaniel are masters of their craft and very fun to explore with. I found their workshop accessible for beginners. And I discovered many tools with which to deepen my own practice. I wholeheartedly encourage any inkling you have to join in and play.

– Carla Grant

Nathaniel and Mary Rose teach Action Theater with great energy,
knowledge, creativity and verve. They create a wonderful and safe
space in which to explore the delight of the Action Theater
improvisational world.

– Doug Kagel

Mary Rose is a compassionate teacher and a passionate performer. She has a remarkable grasp of her craft and teaches with skill, empathy and a unique perspective. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have worked with her.

– Domeka Parker

Nathaniel Holder has a gentle presence but also a deep skillset and huge expressive range in the art of physical theater improvisation. But more than that, he has an uncommon facility with teaching these skills through Action Theater in a way that meets the level of every student and draws each person easefully into the challenge of expanding their own skills.

– Dan Reed Miller

Mary Rose is that rare kind of teacher who combines comprehensive knowledge with both precise specificity in instruction and feedback and the kind of easygoing and positive demeanor in which there really are “no mistakes”, just welcome space for expansion of skills and expressive capacities. The practice of Action Theater has contributed hugely over the last decade to the growth of my own expressive capacities and skills, and Mary’s enthusiastic and highly skilled teaching is the single biggest reason why.

– Dan Reed Miller