Paige Hernandez returns to Portland Ovations! It just looks a lot different than 2012 when she performed her one-woman show Paige in Full for our School-Time Performance Series. That was before my time at Ovations, but I have known Paige for a long time – almost 20 years. We met at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. and I‘ve enjoyed a front-row seat ever since as she’s become an internationally recognized artist and educator. The chance to bring her back to Maine is thrilling.
Paige Hernandez does everything – she’s an actress, a playwright, an educator, a director, an educator, and a producer. She wrote a “Hip Hopera” for The Glimmerglass Festival, she’s directed at the Kennedy Center, and she has lead workshops in India, Singapore, and across the U.S. I’ve been in classrooms and auditoriums with her and have seen the way young people and teachers respond to her energy and knowledge. She has the ability to bring everyone to the room to play no matter where they come from or how they are feeling. That’s why she is here: because even virtually that energy and connection come through the screen.
Creating virtual content for young audiences is certainly a challenge with the variety of children’s TV programming, the pull of YouTube, and the push to limit kids time on screens. Paige commands her own niche amongst all of this. She’s put together something that is a bit theater and a bit after–school special that delves into topics (creativity, collaboration, self-care, dreaming about the future) that every young person should have the chance to explore. This is all possible because of her presence and knowledge of live performance.
As a parent, I know how much we all have a love/hate relationship with screen time but I also know that getting to experience Paige is a true joy. I hope you enjoy these episodes as a family, that they provide a jumping-off point for conversations, and most importantly, that you can remember how good a dance party feels.
Director of Engagement