Meet Director Torsti
I love youth musical theater. I strive to make these camps a space where young people can find self-expression, friendship, fun, self-exploration, challenge, and beauty—and on top of it all, work together to create a special, magical show. I love watching the many sides of a community come together, from actors to volunteers to backstage folks, to make a wonderful experience happen. I sincerely hope the warmth of this camp experience will be a treasure these children can carry with them as they age, to look back upon with happiness whenever they wish.
Further, I take great care in creating Inspirations Theater shows that serve two purposes: to meet young people in interesting, engaging, fun, and pedagogically appropriate ways, and to be entertaining to both children and adults alike.
Past Theater Work
(A detailed list of my past directing, acting, and pit orchestra work is at the bottom of this page.)
I have directed or co-directed fifteen youth productions, composed the songs for four musicals and one short play-with-music, and written or adapted the script for four shows. I have myself acted in four shows and played in the pit band for nine musicals, eight times as musical director / conductor. I have taught drama part-time for eight years, teaching basic and advanced acting, improvisational theater, musical theater, and more traditional drama.
Here are some impressions others have had of me as I've worked with youth productions Torsti as Teacher / Director
Other Past Work / Volunteerism
I have taught middle school history, math, science, English, music, concert band, basic circus arts, and movement education. I have spent summers on Forest Service trail and wilderness crews, taken teams of educators on environmental education projects, and led low-ropes courses for Americorps volunteers. I've taught math overseas in Nepal with the Peace Corps, been a semi-professional dogsitter, and played piano for weddings and at the Portland International Airport.
Education / Training
I initially received a B.A. in Education and Mathematics with a certification to teach Grades 7-12. Later in life I spent 2.5 years in teacher training at the Micha-el Institute for Waldorf Education. I have studied drama as part of a teacher-training program, and taken a number of drama classes from Acting to Improvisational Theater. I have training in conflict resolution and Non-Violent Communication.
Just For Fun
I once decided to take four months to walk across (parts of) the country. Wherever I live I usually have visitation rights at a half dozen houses to play with the dogs who live there. I've played piano at the Portland International Airport, played with 300 other low brass for TubaChristmas concerts, and for three years played keyboard and trombone in a rock-and-roll band.
Directing Youth Productions
All the shows I've done are new adaptations I wrote or co-wrote based on original works by varied authors, except for Arsenic and Old Lace
2018 Six Productions including Midsummer Night’s Dream
2017 Six Productions including Olympus
2016 Four Productions including The Ramayana
2015 Three Productions including The Boy Who Kept A Secret
2014 The Princess and the Pauper (Musical)
2013 Arsenic & Old Lace
2012 Ramayana (Musical)
2011 The Twins of Nottingham Downs
2010 Midsummer Night's Dream (Musical)
2008 The Boy Who Kept A Secret (Musical)
2007 East o' The Sun & West o' The Moon (Play-with-music)
2013 Arsenic and Old Lace
2011 Guys and Dolls
2006 Two Gentlemen of Verona
2002 Puss in Boots
1999 Barbie Get Real
Pit Orchestra (**also music director/conductor)
2018 ** Six Productions including Midsummer Night’s Dream — Piano
2017 ** Six Productions including Olympus — Piano
2016 ** Five Productions including The Ramayana—Piano
2015 ** Three Productions; The Boy Who Kept A Secret—Piano / Accordion
2014 ** The Princess and the Pauper — Piano / Accordion
2014 West Side Story — Baritone Horn
2013 Beauty and the Beast — Accordion
2012 South Pacific — Baritone / Trombone
2012 ** Ramayana — Piano / Baritone / Recorder
2011 The Boyfriend — Baritone / Trombone
2010 Edwin Drood — Baritone
2010 ** Midsummer Night's Dream — Piano / Trombone
2008 ** The Boy Who Kept A Secret — Piano / Accordion