Ongoing Classes at Orcas Center

Orcas Center hosts a number of different educational opportunities for those looking to expand their knowledge of the arts. Look below to see current offerings and get in touch with instructors for further information on meeting times, specific locations, and costs.

Painting with Terry Johnson

Terry Johnson is once again offering his course in painting at the Orcas Center. This course is open to beginning to advanced painters with established drawing skills (drawing skills being a necessary part of learning to paint). Currently, the course is full. Openings are expected in the January/February course of 2022. The course is 4 hrs on Tuesdays, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., for eight weeks. Tuition is $400.00.
Terry Johnson is a professor (Cornish College) who has been teaching this same course for over 40 years. Johnson is still an active painter and brings his painting skills to his students in the classroom. Interested parties are encouraged to stop by and witness the classroom endeavors. For more information contact Terry at, or visit his website:

Yoga with Patsy Stephens

Combining a series of breathing exercises and gentle postures, Patsy Stephens will guide you to relaxation in this all-level class. Following the Iyengar tradition, students will learn to improve their strength, alignment, and balance.

Patsy’s yoga class meets on Mondays & Wednesdays in the Madrona Room from 8:30 am to 10 am, with the exception of the third Wednesday of the month when it meets from 8am to 9am. There are no classes during the month of August, but instruction will resume September 4th. 

For more information please contact Patsy at 360-376-2599 or email

Island Aerial Acrobatics

The Island Aerial Acrobatics program creates a fun and safe environment to explore aerial movement and develop skills. Structured classes and performance opportunities help students find their limits and conquer fears. In performances, students master aerial routines and develop stage presence. Current schedule and rates can be found on their website: You can contact them for more information at

Join Anthony the Dancer, Tiffany Loney and Stephanie Moss to explore various styles of dance in “The Shack in the Back” (our new dance studio in the warehouse!) Classes include: Salsa, Lyrical Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Pointe, Modern, Hip-Hop, World and more. Current schedule can be found on their website:

Youth classes available! Sign up for youth classes is through Parks & Rec.

Adult Acting Program – Ages 15+

Spring Adult Acting Program – 10 weekly Sunday classes, 11am-1pm, Jan.19th–April 5th 2020 – $100 (scholarships available)

Adults and young adults (ages 16+) expand their capacity to embody other characters through more challenging material and exercises.  Emphasis during these classes focuses on honesty, vulnerability, truthfulness, and empathy, and then put all this energy into a physical, playable action.  Curriculum will consist of script analysis, character development, scene work, improvisation, body and voice techniques, and performance. We will focus on developing craft and technique from the Western “the inside out” perspective (Stanislavsky, Strausberg, etc.) as well as with physical theatre techniques, using an Eastern “outside in” (Tadashi Suzuki, Anne Bogart’s Viewpoints, etc.) approach. The class will culminate in an informal presentation for friends and family of the class.  For more information contact

Fall Directing Program

Two sessions: September – December 2019; January – May 2020

Registration is FREE!

Contact to register.

The Director Program at Orcas Center aims to create opportunity for new or experienced directors. There will be two 10-week sessions, facilitated by Robert Hall running September – December 2019 and then January – May 2020.

All interested participants will meet once a week for an open discussion and exploration to share ideas on various aspects of directing. These sessions are not a traditional classroom experience.  Play Selection, Vision, Casting, Staging, Props/Costume/Set Design, as well as Lighting and Sound Design are the suggested topics for discussion .

In addition to the weekly conversation, participants will be encouraged to observe at least one other director each week to help fuel discussion. At the end of the first session in January, participants will have an opportunity to direct scenes in conjunction with the Acting Program. For participants in the second session running January through May, (or if you have previous directing experience) you will have an opportunity to direct a black box production, wholly supported by the Orcas Center.

This opportunity to explore directing through a collaborative process is in large part guided by you! For more information, contact Robert Hall at, or come to the Role-Out on September 8th.

Fall Lighting Program

Two sessions: September – December 2019; January – May 2020

Registration is FREE!

Contact to register.

This lighting course consists of a comprehensive discussion on the instruments we have, how they work, and what they do. We’ll also discuss the fundamentals of light and shadow, color and intensity, balance, changing focus and mood. We’ll cover how we use light to enhance the creative process, to tell a story expressing emotion, pace and intent. Cues, Plots, and Schedules are also covered along with the production process of working with directors in rehearsal and performance.

Dates and times of class will be determined by student’s availability. For more information contact

Lesson 1 and 2 – Know the stage , Know the instruments
– the students will tour the stage, and become familiar with the hanging light plot, the instruments, the parts of the instruments, how to hang an instrument, how to change a bulb, how to focus an instrument, and how to gel an instrument.

Lesson 3 and 4 – The use of light, shadow, intensity, and balance
– the student will learn the basics of lighting the stage using frontal light, side lighting, back lighting, and down light and its effects.
exercise – each student will have the opportunity to create a ‘look’ onstage using each of these elements

Lesson 5 and 6 – The use of color
– The student will understand the use of color, and the effective give use of color in a theatrical context.
– The student will observe and identify the effects of light in nature and artificial environments and understand the process of recreating these effects on stage.
exercise – The student will recreate a natural or artificial environment using light and color

Lesson 7 and 8 – The relationship between light and color and emotion.
– The student will explore the use of color and emotion and its use in a theatrical context.
exercise – each student will be given a scene from a play. Using only light – their task is to tell the story.

Lesson 9 and 10 – Developing a basic lighting design.
– Each student will be given a one act play to develop a lighting design. ( the same play )
– Each student will present a design and their concepts utilizing the ideas discussed in class and execute the design for discussion.

Youth Acting Program – Ages 8-15

Spring Youth Acting Program – weekly Wednesday classes, 3:30-4:30, Jan.15th–May 3rd 2020 – $100 (scholarships available)

Youth (ages 8-15) interested in the performing arts need a gentle, personal on-ramp to meet them where they are.  Emphasis during these classes focuses on a willingness to play, pretend, imagine, empathize, and dream, and then put all this energy into a physical, playable action.  Curriculum will consist of theatre games, acting exercises, improvisation, basic acting and voice techniques, and beginning scene work. The classes will expand and culminate in a performance on Center Stage in May based on Shel Silverstein’s “Where the Sidewalk Ends”.  Show dates: April 30 – May 3.  For more information contact

Garden Club

In addition to educating and encouraging members, The Garden Club works to promote community conservation and provides support for garden-related activities. The Garden Club meets the 3rd Wednesday of the month in the Madrona Room at 10 am September – June. Nine meetings feature presentations by expert speakers on a variety of garden topics, followed by a small social hour with coffee, tea, as well as sweet and savory snacks. The June meeting is a picnic, followed by the annual Garden tour.

For topics and membership options, visit their website:

Tech Theatre Classes at Orcas Center

Jake Perrine periodically presents Technical Theatre workshops at Orcas Center.  They are open to the public, and designed for hobbyists and budding professionals who want to improve their understanding of how sound, video, and theatre lighting works. Tuition is typically a sliding scale suggested donation donation to Orcas Center, and an interest in volunteering at Orcas Center in the future! Future classes will be posted here, and you can also email Jake to be put on the list for notification of upcoming classes.