847-866-8049 info@piventheatre.org

2023 Fall Youth Classes

Fall 2023 Classes Start September 9!

No classes for Thanksgiving Week

Please read class descriptions to learn about on-site and virtual offerings, as well as recommended age groups for each course. Email education@piventheatre.org with any questions or give us a call at (847)866-6597.

*We will be following the latest CDC advice for on-site classes. 

“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 Grade and Up

Intro to Piven for 3rd-5th Graders 

Saturdays, 9:00am to 10:00am

13 weeks

Sat, Sep 9, 2023 – Dec 9, 2023 (no class Thanksgiving Week)


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!

6th Grade and Up

7th/8th Grade Performance Ensemble – Improv, Story, and Scene

Saturdays, 10:00am to 11:30am

13 weeks

Sat, Sep 9, 2023 – Dec 9, 2023 (no class Thanksgiving Week)



Designed for both new and returning students, this class explores all aspects of what the Piven method has to offer. Young actors develop essential acting and performance skills while preparing for an open performance. For returning and new students who wish to unlock their creative impulses and find new ways to collaborate.


Performance Project 

Wednesdays, 4:30pm to 7:30pm

Wed, Sep 20, 2023 – Feb 21, 2023

(No class Thanksgiving week, No class Dec 20, Jan 3)
Class resumes January 10

Performance Project is comprised of Piven’s most advanced students in 6th – 8th 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.


Class Requirements

  • By invitation only.

High School Classes

High School Performance Lab 

Saturdays, 11:30am to 1:30pm

10 weeks

Sat, Sept 30, 2023 – Dec 9, 2023 (no class Thanksgiving Week)


This process-oriented class introduces the full Piven technique to young actors. Blending improvisation, theatre games, adaptation, and scene study opportunities, students develop essential collaborative skills and work with senior level instructors. This class requires a strong commitment from all participants and is open to new and returning high school students. 


Young People’s Company 

Saturdays, 1:30pm to 4:30pm

Sep 16, 2023 – Feb 3, 2024 (no class Saturday, Nov 25, Dec 23, Dec 30)



The most advanced program Piven offers to our youth performers in 9th-12th grade, 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.


Class Requirements

  • By invitation only.