Parallel 45’s education program encompasses three areas: seasonal workshops, our year-round intern program and the New Opera Project.

P45’s seasonal workshops, led by professional theatre practitioners and educators from across the country, introduce students to advanced levels of creative play, improvisation, and scene work. Centered around our collaborative approach to storytelling and theatre, our workshops are designed to promote effective communication, develop empathy, inspire confidence and encourage creativity. If you or your organization is interested in learning more about P45’s seasonal workshops, please contact

Our internship program is comprised of pre-professional students who are interested in a hands-on approach to the study of theatre-making. With this method, interns are immersed in all aspects of the theatrical process. From production to administration, the students selected to participate in Parallel 45’s productions are seriously exploring a professional career in the theatre.


Education History

New Opera Project | Interlochen Arts Academy, Co-Produced with Parallel 45

There is a new kind of opera gaining ground around the globe, and Interlochen Arts Academy faculty member and working opera singer Scott Skiba wants his students—and Traverse City—to be a part of it.

This unique event is comprised of work entirely conceived, written, composed, and performed by students at the Interlochen Arts Academy and co-produced with Parallel 45 theatre company. New Opera Project will premiere 3 original short operas “The Lottery”, “Senescence”, and “Yellow’s Bruises”. Performances will be held April 18 and 19 at the InsideOut Gallery in Traverse City.

The evening begins at 7pm as the audience enjoys original chamber music in the gallery. At 8pm, the curtain rises in the theatre on the World Premiere of The New Opera Project. At 9pm, patrons will hear the eclectic popular music of Interlochen’s Singer-Songwriter students while they mingle with the dynamic young artists and performers from around the globe (and some from northern Michigan) eager to share their stories and explain the inspiration behind these original works.

“The idea is to take opera to new audiences in unique, inspiring, and engaging environments.  We want to shatter the myth of opera as out of touch, opulent and irrelevant,” Skiba explains.

Skiba designed the process-based New Opera Project with his Interlochen colleagues, composition faculty member Dr. Cynthia Van Maanen and creative writing instructor Mika Perrine.

Skiba says, “Traverse City is a very ‘in-the-now’ type of place, embracing all sorts of relevant and interesting art, which is what makes it such a great place to live. I think it’s the ideal location to embrace this ‘in-the-now” face of the operatic art form.”

He believes Parallel 45 is the perfect local professional partner to help bring this type of opera theatre to Traverse City. “Parallel 45 takes traditional stories and forms within theatre and reinvents them for today’s audiences. That is exactly what New Opera Project hopes to do here,” says Parallel 45 Board President, Erin Anderson. “This kind of adventurous educational opportunity is exactly in line with our core mission.”

“I want the audience to participate in a unique opera theater experience and to take away the idea that opera is flexible, relevant and meaningful,” he says.  “I believe that, at the very least, these operas broaden the conception of what opera can be,” Skiba says.

Winter Workshop
In Decemeber of 2012, Parallel 45 educators went into the Elk Rapids Public Schools and taught grades 6 through 12 classes in scene study, improvisation, technical design, and magic.  The students spent time getting to know P45 ensemble members, taking classes, as well as shadowing rehearsals for the winter 2012 production of A Christmas Carol in Prose. Many of these students then went on to have successful careers in their various high school theatre programs.