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Online Classes for Youth

The Artist’s Journey: Creative Thinking and Engaged Expression
with Morven Higgins, Director of the Young People’s Company

Tuesday lessons and Thursday workshops
7:00 to 8:00 PM
April 14th to May 7th, 4 weeks


Channel your sense of play and possibility into a creative process designed for these ever-changing times.

Each week, students will have the opportunity to engage in guided reflection, grounded in texts like The Artist’s Way, on Tuesdays. On Thursdays, students will share and workshop pieces of art they are creating – scripts, college essays, paintings, original songs, and more. We invite students to use this class as a way to digest their experiences in these turbulent times and to channel their energy into a creative project. 

Artists from all disciplines are welcome. Open to current high school students and recent high school graduates. 

Virtual Directors’ Institute
with Morven Higgins, Director of the Young People’s Company

Saturdays, 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM
April 25th to May 30th


As artists, few things are more powerful than each of our unique voices. No one sees the world quite like you do so no one can tell a story the same way you would.

The opportunity to take the Director’s Institute online will allow us to dive deep into our point of view as directors and creators while offering us exciting new opportunities to innovate. How can we use technology to tell stories?

  • What does one act play look like on twitter?

  • 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?

We’ll also touch on the design team that makes theatre possible, exploring how a director’s vision shapes scenic, costume, and sound design. This will open up opportunities for students to show their directorial point of view by coming up with design concepts for a piece of their choice.

Through the class, each student will have the chance to direct a monologue (this could be from a play, a poem, a song, an interpretive dance, etc.) and determine their own capstone piece (this could include directing a scene, creating a video, or putting together a costume design concept–whatever our brilliant artists come up with!) under the mentorship of their teacher.

Activities may include:

  • Exploring the director’s point of view – How does our perspective, world view, style impact our work? We’ll look at classic tales from new perspectives.

  • Engaging the design team — Hear from professional theater designers about how they approach their work and engage with directors to create the world of the play.

  • Monologue project – Each participant shares the solo performance piece they directed.

  • What do you think? — Each artist has their own style. Something one person loves, another might loathe. Together we’ll explore a few contemporary plays and learn how to articulate our take on them.

  • Learning from the masters — We’ll explore short texts and remarks from noted directors to see how they approach their work.

  • Unveiling our capstone projects!

Necessity is the mother of invention and we can’t wait to see how our dynamic youth students’ creativity flourishes!

Intro to Piven for 3rd-5th Graders
with Fiona Maxwell, Drama Historian and UChicago PhD student

Saturdays, 9:00 to 10:00AM
April 4th to May 2nd, 5 weeks


Perfect for the young student who wants to begin exploring theatre arts in a fun and 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! Fiona has been hard at work adapting games for the virtual stage, and she can’t wait to share this new mode of learning with your young artist.