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.

Loosening up before our 2014 Vermont camp performance

Loosening up before our 2014 Vermont camp performance

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.

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.

We never have -any- fun in theater!

We never have -any- fun in theater!

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

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)

Acting

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)

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

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This is amazing musical theater. Every aspect of these productions is high quality. The songs Torsti writes are wonderful—creative, tuneful and lively. His directing of the students is inspired. His original scripts are cohesive and clever. His ability to work with any and all age groups is impressive. Above all, he can make putting on a musical in this way a joyous occasion for all the cast and crew.
— Kate Winslow
Guys and Dolls  2011

Guys and Dolls  2011

In the Pit Orchestra; I sometimes wish I had three arms

In the Pit Orchestra; I sometimes wish I had three arms

Pre-rehearsal powwow  Oregon Camp 2014

Pre-rehearsal powwow  Oregon Camp 2014

Who needs a theater to be theatrical? Beware the snow sharks of Vermont!

Who needs a theater to be theatrical? Beware the snow sharks of Vermont!

Accordion for Princess and the Pauper 2014   You have to have some fast fingers to keep up with those knights!

Accordion for Princess and the Pauper 2014   You have to have some fast fingers to keep up with those knights!