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Spring Youth Classes

Spring 2018 Classes

January 28-April 17

No class March 25-March 30 for Spring Break

Class Spotlight

NEW PROGRAM for 7th-9th graders! Empowering Girls’ Voices: Exploring Song with Susan Payne-O’Brien 

Quick Look

Join us for a class where we encourage girls to sing loud and proud! Master Piven teacher and accomplished opera director Susan Payne-O’Brien will coach girl-identifying students to share their voices confidently while exploring signature Piven performance tools: theatre games, improvisation, and story theatre. Class will culminate with a never-before-seen devised musical theatre piece created by the ensemble.

Spring Only!
Mondays •4:30-6:00pm $455

NEW PROGRAM! High School Solo Performance and Writing Workshop

Quick Look

Teens gain confidence in their artistic voice in this class designed to teach students methods for shaping their personal stories into performance pieces. Incorporating writing exercises, guided improvisation and theatre games training, and solo performance workshops, this class will encourage students to embrace their own personal narratives developing trust in their creative impulses. Highlighting Piven’s mission to celebrate each individual’s unique voice, this class will culminate with a special Open Workshop performance sharing students’ work with family, friends, and the wider community.

Wednesdays • 4:30-7:30pm • 4 weeks only, February 27-March 20. Special Open Workshop Performance at 7:30pm on March 20.


3rd-8th Grade Classes

3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade Intro to Piven

Quick Look

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!

Tuesdays • 4:30-5:30pm $265

4th, 5th, and 6th Grade Theatre Games and Story Theatre

Quick Look

Come play with us! Students learn vital acting skills while learning to build ensemble, explore improvisation, and adapt and perform stories. Open to new and returning students who wish to unlock their creative impulses and find new ways to share their voices.

Thursdays • 4:30-6:00pm or Saturdays • 12-1:30pm $355

4th, 5th, and 6th Grade Advanced Story Theatre and Improvisation

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Building on the skills developed in Theatre Games and Story Theatre, returning advanced students take the Piven method to the next level. Students develop essential acting skills—being part of an ensemble, listening, and responding to other people’s energy—in a challenging and supportive environment.  Students explore everything from folk tales and myths to original improvised stories while learning how to work within an ensemble of actors.

For returning students only. By instructor recommendation.

Saturdays • 12:30-2:00pm $355

Improvisation and Scene Study for 6th, 7th & 8th Grade

Quick Look

In this scene study focused class, students use the fun and impulsive play of improvisation to create lively characters and realistic relationships. Students rehearse scenes from contemporary plays under the expert direction of their Piven teaching artist. Open to new and returning students, and perfect for those who wish to learn how Piven’s training can heighten their performances in school, community, and professional plays.

Saturdays • 9:00-10:30am $355

Advanced 6th, 7th, & 8th Grade Scene Study

Quick Look

Advanced students learn how the Piven Technique can bring their scene work to the next level. By training creative impulses through signature Piven theatre games and exercises, students in this program learn to capture the spontaneity of improvisation in scripted work while developing truthful performances.  Students rehearse scenes from contemporary plays, under the expert direction of their Piven teaching artist.

By instructor recommendation or submission of resume.

Tuesdays • 4:30-6:00pm/ $355

7th & 8th Grade Improv, Story, and Scene with Artistic Director Jennifer Green

Quick Look

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 under the instruction of Master Teacher and Artistic Director Jennifer Green.

Thursdays • 4:30-6:00pm $355

“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

High School Classes

High School Core Acting Skills: Improv, Theatre Games, and Scene

Quick Look

Learn the games that form the core of the legendary Piven training method! Students are introduced to vital acting skills while learning to build an ensemble and explore improvisation. Students use signature Piven theatre games and improvisation exercises to create dynamic and fun improvised pieces within a close-knit, cohesive ensemble.

Saturdays • 10:00am-12:00pm • 6 weeks only, November 3- December 15 $275

High School Intermediate/Advanced Scene Study Intensive

Quick Look

Explore improvisation as a tool for the actor! This is a great class for high school students new to Piven and for experienced actors who want to expand their improv skills. Students use games to build ensemble and explore improvisation, while also learning to apply the Piven Technique to scene work to bring spontaneity, deeper relationships, and realistic characterization to scenes from contemporary plays.

Saturdays• 2:00pm-5:00pm• 6 weeks only, February 2 – March 9 $325

On-Camera Technique for High Schoolers

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Gain valuable experience in front of the camera! Learn how to apply the spontaneity and lively play of the Piven Technique to the world of acting and auditioning for film and television.

Saturdays • 2:00-5:00pm • 6 weeks only, March 16-April 27 $325

YPC Directors’ Institute

Quick Look

Join us for this exciting opportunity to work with members of the Young People’s Company, Piven’s professional youth ensemble for students in grades 10-12, to workshop brand new story theatre adaptations. This directing and collaborating-focused program is an invaluable learning opportunity for any aspiring theatre artist, where students will have the chance to work side-by-side to generate and workshop new material—some of which may be further developed for the YPC 2019 show! High school students who have enrolled in 3 out of the 5 available high school classes or completed at least one session of High School Performance Lab are eligible to participate in Directors’ Institute.

Rehearsals: Saturdays, April 20-May 25, 2:00-5:00pm

Open Workshop: May 25, 5:00pm

Cost: $355

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)

Quick Look

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

Performances February 11-February 16

Advanced Performance Ensemble

Quick Look

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.

Saturdays • 9am – 11am
Fall Final Performance: Saturday, December 15 at 10am $375
Spring Final Performance: Saturday, April 27 at 10am $375

High School Performance Lab

Quick Look

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.

Fall: Saturdays • 10:30am – 1:30pm 10 weeks only, October 6 – December 15

Spring: Saturdays • 10:30am – 1:30pm 10 weeks only, February 2 – April 13

Fall Final Performance: Saturday, December 15th at 12:30pm $395

Spring Final Performance: Saturday, April 13th at 2:00pm $395

Young People’s Company (High School)

Quick Look

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

Performances December 11-16