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Winter/Spring Youth Classes

Winter 2020 Classes

January 28 – April 18

Now at the Community House in Winnetka!
In addition to our onsite offerings in Evanston, we are excited to offer classes for preschoolers and 2nd-4th graders at the Community House.  Register for our Winnetka preschool through 4th grade classes today!

3rd-6th Grade Classes

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

Jan 28 to April 13

TUESDAYS • 4:30-5:30PM

$275

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!

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

SATURDAYS, 9:00 – 10:00 AM

$150 per 6-week session (Feb 1 to March 7 OR March 14 to April 18)

$275 for all 12 weeks (Feb 1 to April 18)

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!

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

Saturdays • 12:00 – 1:30pm

$350

Feb 1 to April 18

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.

4th-6th Grade Advanced Theatre Games & Story Theatre

SATURDAYS • 12:30 – 2:00pm

$350

Feb 1 to April 18

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. By instructor recommendation or resume submission.

6th – 8th Grade Classes

Empowering Girls’ Voices: Exploring Shakespeare’s As You Like It

WEDNESDAYS • 5:00 – 7:00pm

8 Weeks!

February 26 to April 15

$375

Join us for a class where we encourage girls to share their voices. Master Piven teacher Joanne Underwood will work with an ensemble of girl-identifying students to apply the Piven technique to scene work and Shakespearean language. Class will culminate in an Open Workshop-style performance of the ensemble’s adaptation on April 15th at 7pm.

6th – 8th Grade Improvisation & Scene Study

SATURDAYS • 9:00 – 10:30am

$350

Feb 1 to April 18

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 3 new and returning students, especially those who are interested in learning about the techniques employed by Piven’s professional-level youth ensembles.

Advanced Performance Ensemble

SATURDAYS • 9:00am – 11:00pm 

Feb 1 to April 18

Spring Final Performance: Saturday, April 18 at 10:00am $375

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.

AUDITION-ONLY: RUNAWAYS

(HIGH SCHOOL & MIDDLE SCHOOL)

By audition only.

Audition Bootcamp: February 22

Auditions: March 7 and March 8

Callbacks: March 14

Performances May 1 to May 10

$750

We are thrilled to announce our first ever youth musical, Runaways by Elizabeth Swados.

Runaways is a collection of songs, dances, and spoken word pieces performed by children who have run away from their homes. Initially created from interviews with homeless children and those in orphanages, Elizabeth Swados weaves songs about personal struggle and the world at large through the eyes of youth in New York City in the ’70s. The show blends different musical styles, from pop to hip-hop and jazz to reggae, while asking where children go when they run away. For more information, check out our Audition page!

Scholarships and Payment Plans are available.

High School Classes

AUDITION-ONLY: RUNAWAYS

(HIGH SCHOOL & MIDDLE SCHOOL)

By audition only.

Audition Bootcamp: February 22

Auditions: March 7 and March 8

Callbacks: March 14

Performances May 1 to May 10

$750

We are thrilled to announce our first ever youth musical, Runaways by Elizabeth Swados.

Runaways is a collection of songs, dances, and spoken word pieces performed by children who have run away from their homes. Initially created from interviews with homeless children and those in orphanages, Elizabeth Swados weaves songs about personal struggle and the world at large through the eyes of youth in New York City in the ’70s. The show blends different musical styles, from pop to hip-hop and jazz to reggae, while asking where children go when they run away. For more information, check out our Audition page!

Scholarships and Payment Plans are available.

College Prep and Audition Technique with Lynn Baber 

SATURDAYS • 1:30 to 3:30pm

6 Weeks, Feb 22 to March 28 

$295

Do you dream of taking your study of acting to the next level? Does the process feel overwhelming and scary? Casting director, educator, and college counselor Lynn Baber is here to help! Join Piven Theatre Workshop to learn how to select the right monologues for you, gain valuable audition technique instruction, and learn about the research that goes into finding the program that will be right for you!

High School Performance Lab 

SATURDAYS • 10:30am – 1:30pm 10 weeks only

February 1 – April 4, Final Performance: Saturday, April 4th at 2:00pm

$400

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 or resume submission only.

High School Scene Study

MONDAYS, 5:00 to 6:30 PM

February 4 to April 7

$300

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.

YPC Directors’ Institute

Rehearsals: SATURDAYS, 2:00pm – 5:00pm April 11 – May 16

Open Workshop: May 16, 4:00pm

$350

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 sideby-side to generate and workshop new material—some of which may be further developed for the YPC 2020 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.

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) 

Performances February 10 – February 15

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

SATURDAYS • 9:00am – 11:00pm 

Fall Final Performance: Saturday, December 14 at 10:00am $375

Spring Final Performance: Saturday, April 18 at 10:00am $375

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

SATURDAYS • 10:30am – 1:30pm 10 weeks only

Fall: October 5 – December 14, Fall Final Performance: Saturday, December 14th at 12:30pm $400

Spring: February 1 – April 4, Final Performance: Saturday, April 4th at 2:00pm $400

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 or resume submission only.

Young People’s Company (High School) 

Performances December 11-15

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.

“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