847-866-8049 info@piventheatre.org





The mission of Piven Theatre Workshop is to encourage a process of creative exploration that celebrates each individual’s unique voice through an ensemble-based, community-oriented approach to theatre training and performance.


The Piven Theatre Workshop strives, with both children and adults, to invigorate their students’ natural sense of play through the creative process of theatre. A wide array of games and techniques are employed that open the imagination, encourage players to act on impulse, and focus students’ attention away from themselves and onto their fellow actors, thereby counteracting that self-criticism that is so self-defeating.

In this way, a community is established and an ensemble built. Students are encouraged to take risks and liberate their own individual voices while acquiring the skills to communicate truthfully and whole-heartedly on stage or screen.

A nationally respected training center for over 50 years, Piven Theatre Workshop has been honored with numerous awards and has produced a panoply of celebrated theatre artists such as John  Cusack, Joan Cusack, Jeremy Piven, Shira PivenAidan Quinn, Kate Walsh, Lili Taylor and many more.


Piven has created a thematic framework to guide and connect the wings of our institution: the training center and off-site theatre residencies, the performance lab and main stage productions, the community partnerships and audience development initiatives. As we have explored this thematic model, we have found new ways that theatre can act as a hub for relevant, multigenerational, community-wide art-making and conversation.


Piven Theatre Workshop is committed to the community we live in. Since our birth in 1971, Piven Theatre Workshop has made it a priority to facilitate dialogue and discussion through our work on our stage and in our school. These partnerships are chosen to bring people together and make authentic, substantive connections within our community.

Support Us

Piven Theatre believes that community partnerships are vital to our mission. Our collaborations with other arts organizations, non profits, and businesses, combine the power of the arts with a deep dedication to sharing resources. On average, we give $50,000 in scholarships for programming annually. Additionally, over the past five years, we have shared proceeds and assets that have resulted in over $250,000 in funding for our community partners.

“Once you’ve seen Piven, you can’t imagine why a child (or adult) in the business would want to be anywhere else.”

Penelope Mesic

Chicago Magazine