In 2017, we began a collaboration with Kids Rank, with support from Citi, to create a program that would serve the children of active service members and veterans. Our goal was to learn community and family building skills, other listening skills, taking risks and how to be present in the moment, all through the Piven training technique. Children in military families have to move frequently. This results in frequently changing schools and environments. It is our goal to help them forge friendships amongst themselves and within the larger community. Through our ensemble and skill-based theatre techniques, we hope to provide our players with the skills to navigate their world.
Over the years our mission of empowering military children with theatre has remained the same, but the vehicle for how it is communicated has evolved. We not only want to provide the kids with tangible acknowledgments but also encourage them to recognize their own strengths within.
For more information about Kids Rank, visit them at: http://www.kidsrank.org/
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Through Citi Salutes, a company-wide initiative led by Citi Community Development and employees across the firm, Citi collaborates with national and local organizations that support employment, financial education and housing for veterans and military families.
Piven Theatre’s collaboration with Citi Salutes supports the children of active service men and women and helps provide soldiers with the skills necessary to transition from the military into the civilian workforce.
For more information about Citi Salutes, visit them at: http://www.citigroup.com/citi/citizen/community/citisalutes/index.html
“For Those Who Served” by Monica Kass Rogers • October 9, 2017
A new pilot program at Evanston’s Piven Theatre Workshop welcomes kids of military families.
Andrew Washington and Jnya Ikner join hands and spin at the center of Piven Theatre Workshop’s stage, chanting “hairdresser, dentist, chef, hairdresser…” until a signal from acting teacher Aayisha Humphrey halts them in imaginary “hairdresser” poses. One more signal from Humphrey and they’re in motion again, improvising a very-funny scene involving customers with ridiculous hair and even more ridiculous demands. The audience laughs and applauds. Watching, you’d think these kids had been acting for years.
But in fact, both 11-year old Washington and 12-year-old Ikner are new to theater, as are the other 10 kids in Piven Theatre’s Evanston pilot program for veteran and military families.