847-866-8049 info@piventheatre.org

2021 Winter/Spring
Youth Classes

January 30 – April 24

No classes March 29 to April 3 for Spring Break

“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

Jan 30 to March 6th (Session I)
March 13 to April 24 (Session II)

$175 per session, $300 for the full twelve weeks
5ksp21/6ksp21

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!

Puppetry & Performance for the Zoom Stage (VIRTUAL)

Tuesdays 4:30-5:30

February 9 to March 16 (Session I)
April 6 to May 11 (Session II)

7ksp21
$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)

 

January 30 – April 24

Saturdays 10am to 11am
4ksp21
$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.

 

The Midsummer Project (VIRTUAL)

February 10 – May 9

for 6th-10th graders

We invite you to join us for a special Virtual Shakespeare Performance this spring. Your ensemble will explore an adaptation of one of our favorite comedies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, starting in February, and your semester will culminate in Zoom performances in May. Students will play multiple roles, and characters will be played by multiple actors. The ensemble will blend scene work with story theatre elements in a vibrant, lively show. We hope you will join us! 

By invitation or audition submission* 

Wednesdays, with additional rehearsals on select Tuesdays and Thursdays
4:30pm to 6:30pm
Tech Week: May 3 to 6
Shows: Saturday, May 8 and Sunday, May 9 at 2:30pm

 $500

*We are asking that students who are new to Piven send us a short 1-3 minute recording of a short personal narrative reflecting on a theme of the play – e.g. navigating changes in friendships, feeling left out, putting on a play,  discovering a talent, trying something new, or taking a risk. Returning students who have not taken a class with us for a while are welcome to submit a short personal story, too! Please have fun with it. It’s just to help us learn more about you and what characters might be the best fit for you. Please share the video via a Google Drive link and send an email with the link to ghemme@piventheatre.org. Let us know if you have any questions!

 

Advanced Performance Ensemble (Scene Study) (VIRTUAL)

January 30 – April 24

Saturdays, 10am to 12:00pm
2KSp21

$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)

February 13 – April 24

Saturdays 10:30am-12:30pm

8ksp21

$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.

The Midsummer Project (VIRTUAL)

February 10 – May 9

 

for 6th-10th graders

 

We invite you to join us for a special Virtual Shakespeare Performance this spring. Your ensemble will explore an adaptation of one of our favorite comedies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, starting in February, and your semester will culminate in Zoom performances in May. Students will play multiple roles, and characters will be played by multiple actors. The ensemble will blend scene work with story theatre elements in a vibrant, lively show. We hope you will join us! 

 

By invitation or audition submission* 

 

Wednesdays, with additional rehearsals on select Tuesdays and Thursdays
4:30pm to 6:30pm
Tech Week: May 3 to 6
Shows: Saturday, May 8 and Sunday, May 9 at 2:30pm

 

 $500

 

 

*We are asking that students who are new to Piven send us a short 1-3 minute recording of a short personal narrative reflecting on a theme of the play – e.g. navigating changes in friendships, feeling left out, putting on a play,  discovering a talent, trying something new, or taking a risk. Returning students who have not taken a class with us for a while are welcome to submit a short personal story, too! Please have fun with it. It’s just to help us learn more about you and what characters might be the best fit for you. Please share the video via a Google Drive link and send an email with the link to ghemme@piventheatre.org. Let us know if you have any questions!

 

YPC Directors’ Institute presents: The Spring Show
with Morven Higgins, Director of the Young People’s Company
current students and college-age YPC alums are invited to join us

Saturdays, 1pm to 3pm
Feb 13 to April 24

Final Performance: April 24
$450

Under the leadership of YPC Director, Morven Higgins, students will approach theatrical and on-camera material from the point-of-view of a director. This collaboration-forward program is a dynamic learning opportunity for any aspiring theatre artist, where students will have the chance to work in small and large groups to generate and workshop new material. Open to advanced students by teacher recommendation or resume submission.

Working (largely) virtually, will provide us with new ways to innovate and explore how we can use technology to tell stories:

  • How can you capture an entire fairytale in a TikTok video?
  • Could a budding relationship take root through Marcopolo?
  • How can we use the resources we do have–the world outside the theatre–to tell stories in new ways? Could you adapt Romeo and Juliet for the world of social distancing or explore other classic plays?
  • Could a radio play or fairytale or poetry reading capture the magic of theatre through voice alone?

The virtual setting will also allow us to engage YPCers and alumni outside of the Chicago area and recent YPC grads of college age are welcome to join the class as directors or players to further enrich our work.

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.

Advanced Performance Ensemble (Scene Study) (VIRTUAL)

January 30 – April 24

Saturdays, 10am to 12:00pm
2KSp21

$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 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.

The Midsummer Project (VIRTUAL)

February 10 – May 9

for 6th-10th graders

We invite you to join us for a special Virtual Shakespeare Performance this spring. Your ensemble will explore an adaptation of one of our favorite comedies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, starting in February, and your semester will culminate in Zoom performances in May. Students will play multiple roles, and characters will be played by multiple actors. The ensemble will blend scene work with story theatre elements in a vibrant, lively show. We hope you will join us! 

By invitation or audition submission* 

Wednesdays, with additional rehearsals on select Tuesdays and Thursdays
4:30pm to 6:30pm
Tech Week: May 3 to 6
Shows: Saturday, May 8 and Sunday, May 9 at 2:30pm

 $500

*We are asking that students who are new to Piven send us a short 1-3 minute recording of a short personal narrative reflecting on a theme of the play – e.g. navigating changes in friendships, feeling left out, putting on a play,  discovering a talent, trying something new, or taking a risk. Returning students who have not taken a class with us for a while are welcome to submit a short personal story, too! Please have fun with it. It’s just to help us learn more about you and what characters might be the best fit for you. Please share the video via a Google Drive link and send an email with the link to ghemme@piventheatre.org. Let us know if you have any questions!