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2020 Fall Youth Classes

September 12 – December 12

No class Sept 19th for Rosh Hashanah

No class Nov 23-28 for Thanksgiving Week

“It has become clear to me that what the Pivens teach has as much to do with human development as it does with preparation for a life in the theatre.  I am not a teacher.  I am merely a father of five who has watched his children, and many other children, now adults, grow under the extraordinary values given them, in part, through their Piven Theatre Workshop experiences.”

Dick Cusack

Advisory Board Member

3rd-6th Grade Classes

Intro to Piven for 3rd-5th Graders (VIRTUAL)

Saturdays, 11:00am to 12:00pm

2 six-week sessions. Sign up for the full 12 weeks and save!
9/12/20 – 10/24/20 (no class 9/19 for Rosh Hashanah)
10/31/20 – 12/12/20

$175 per session, $300 for the full twelve weeks
5KFall20 (session I)
6KFall20 (session II)

Come play with us! Explore classic Piven games, improv exercises, and storytelling techniques. In this class, students will create original characters, worlds, and plots, and dramatize fairytales, folktales, and children’s literature. Collaborating as an ensemble, students will gain skills as actors, storytellers, creative writers, and readers. A past member of Piven’s youth performing ensembles, a graduate of Northwestern University’s Theatre for Young Audiences program, and a PhD student at the University of Chicago, lead teacher Fiona Maxwell uses her educational background, as well as her research into the origins of story-based drama, to provide a unique learning experience. Join us as we bring stories to life!

Intro to Piven for 3rd-5th Graders (ONSITE)*

Saturdays, 11:00am to 12:00pm

2 six-week sessions. Sign up for the full 12 weeks and save!

9/12/20 – 10/24/20 (no class 9/19 for Rosh Hashanah)
10/31/20 – 12/12/20
$175 per session, $300 for the full twelve weeks
7KFall20 (Session I), 8KFall20 (Session II)

*On-site class availability pending, according to the latest CDC and local government COVID-19 recommendations. On-site class may become virtual.

Perfect for the young student who wants to begin exploring theatre arts in a fun, supportive environment! Students stretch their creative muscles through theatre games while they begin to discover the art of storytelling and improvisation. This class provides the perfect introduction to the Piven training technique!

Dungeons and Dragons with Bec McNamara (VIRTUAL)

Mondays 6:30 to 8:30pm

3KFall20
$250

Enter the universe of D&D with a unique Piven twist. Use improvisation training and character building to make your D&D world come to life, under the instruction of a Master Teacher who moonlights as a Game Master. All experience levels welcome! Let us know if you have any questions about this new offering.

Toy Theatre with Mikalina (VIRTUAL)

Tuesdays 4:30-5:30

4KFall20
$175

Be a director, actor, lighting, sound and set designer! Explore the magic and tradition of object performance. In this class each student will build a small cardboard tabletop proscenium puppet stage and develop a short toy theater performance. Options to make your own puppets, or use existing toys or objects.  The small Zoom screen is the perfect lens for these puppet creations to come to life in this collaborative and supportive new offering. The class cumulates with a performance of each student’s original work. Basic art supplies like tape or glue and recyclables will be needed. 

6th – 8th Grade Classes

6th- 8th Grade Improv, Story, and Scene (VIRTUAL)

 

September 12 – December 12

Saturdays 10am to 11am
10KFall20
$350

Students learn about improvisation ensembles, story theatre, and scene study in this class that explores all that the Piven Technique has to offer. During the Fall Session, class focuses on improvisation as a tool for young actors in scene rehearsals. In the Spring Session, students have the opportunity to explore Story Theatre, Piven’s signature performance form. Open to new and returning students, especially those who are interested in learning about the techniques employed by Piven’s professional-level youth ensembles.

 

6th- 8th Grade Improv, Story, and Scene (ONSITE)

 

September 12 – December 12

Saturdays 10am to 11am
11KFall20
$350

Students learn about improvisation ensembles, story theatre, and scene study in this class that explores all that the Piven Technique has to offer. During the Fall Session, class focuses on improvisation as a tool for young actors in scene rehearsals. In the Spring Session, students have the opportunity to explore Story Theatre, Piven’s signature performance form. Open to new and returning students, especially those who are interested in learning about the techniques employed by Piven’s professional-level youth ensembles.

 

Toy Theatre with Mikalina (VIRTUAL)

Thursdays 4:30-5:30

4KFall20
$175

TBA

Dungeons and Dragons with Bec McNamara (VIRTUAL)

Mondays 6:30 to 8:30pm

3KFall20
$250

Enter the universe of D&D with a unique Piven twist. Use improvisation training and character building to make your D&D world come to life, under the instruction of a Master Teacher who moonlights as a Game Master. All experience levels welcome! Let us know if you have any questions about this new offering.

Advanced Performance Ensemble (Scene Study) (VIRTUAL)

September 12 – December 12

Saturdays, 10am to 12:00pm
9KFall20

$400

Students in grades seven and eight who have been recommended by their Piven instructor for this advanced program have the opportunity to build work that moves from the classroom to the Piven stage. Under the guidance of their senior instructors, students work within their ensemble over the course of twelve weeks to adapt stories into original performance pieces. This invitation-only class will culminate in a performance for families and friends exploring the work students have done over the session. Admission is by invitation or resume submission only.

High School Classes

High School Performance Lab with Morven: Improv & Monologue (VIRTUAL)

October 3 to December 12

Saturdays 10:30am-12:30pm

12KFall20

$400

Join us for an advanced class focused on improv scene work and scripted monologue. Students will build their improv skills and sense of ensemble through classic Piven games adapted for the virtual setting focusing on the key values of embracing spontaneity, developing character, and collaboration. These core skills will serve as a foundation for scripted work focused on monologues hand selected for each student from contemporary plays. Students will come away from the class with a monologue (or two!) prepared for their next audition or college application and stronger improv skills. Based on the group’s interest, the class may also explore writing with exercises focused on sketch comedy and monologue development.

Young People’s Company (High School) (VIRTUAL)

September 12 to December 12

Saturdays 1:30pm-4:30
1KFall20
$450

The most advanced program Piven offers to our youth performers in 10th–12th grades, Young People’s Company has a long history of seeing outstanding performers and artists emerge from its folds. Young People’s Company members typically study with Piven for several years before being invited to join this elite ensemble. Company members are adept in all of the skills that Piven trains actors to value: they are dynamic, surprising performers who are sensitive to the emotional needs of the stories they share with our audiences. After an intensive training and rehearsal process, YPC’s annual week-long festival of world premiere story theatre adaptations is always a highlight of our season. The themes and stories of YPC dovetail with our professional season and help spark community-wide conversations while showcasing the talents of our young artists. By invitation only.

Youth Performance Ensembles

While no actor is ever “done” with training, our performance classes invite students who have exhibited an excellent understanding of the Piven Technique to create works that move from the classroom to the Piven stage. These classes are something that our students aspire to, and often take several years to attain. Invitations to performance ensembles are mailed throughout the summer session.

Performance Project (7th, 8th & 9th Grade) (VIRTUAL)

Performance Project is comprised of Piven’s most advanced students in 7th – 9th grade. Students in this performance troupe study with us for several years before being invited into the ensemble, so they are already well-versed in the Piven Technique and are building the skills necessary to move on to more advanced coursework at the Workshop. Performance Project company members undertake an intensive 9-month training program focused on improvisation, ensemble-building, and crafting Story Theatre adaptations of myths, folktales, fairy tales, and modern short stories. Every winter, Performance Project presents a week-long festival of world premiere adaptations for Piven students as well as the wider community.

By invitation only

Advanced Performance Ensemble (VIRTUAL)

Students in grades seven and eight who have been recommended by their Piven instructor for this advanced program have the opportunity to build work that moves from the classroom to the Piven stage. Under the guidance of their senior instructors, students work within their ensemble over the course of twelve weeks to adapt stories into original performance pieces. This invitation-only class will culminate in a performance for families and friends exploring the work students have done over the session. Admission is by invitation only.

High School Performance Lab (VIRTUAL)

This advanced, performance-oriented program is an intensive experience for actors in grades nine through twelve. Meeting for ten weeks, this class explores the full Piven canon, blending improvisation, theatre games, scene study, adaptation, and directing opportunities within a three-hour intensive class. At the end of the program, students perform the work they’ve explored on the Piven stage for family, friends, and the wider Piven community! This class is open only to high school students and admission is by invitation only.

Young People’s Company (High School) Sketch & Improvisation Performance Ensemble  (VIRTUAL)

The most advanced program Piven offers to our youth performers in 9th–12th grades, Young People’s Company has a long history of fostering the growth of outstanding performers and artists. Young People’s Company members typically study with Piven for several years before being invited to join this elite ensemble. Company members are adept in all of the skills that Piven trains actors to value: they are dynamic, surprising performers who are sensitive to the emotional needs of the stories they share with our audiences. After an intensive training and rehearsal process, this year’s YPC ensemble will present a series of real-time Zoom performances of their Improvisation and Sketch work. The themes and stories of YPC dovetail with our professional season and help spark community-wide conversations while showcasing the talents of our young artists.

By invitation only