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Off the Street Club

Off the Street Club

Founded in 1900, Off The Street Club is Chicago’s oldest club for boys and girls. They currently serve more than 3,000 kids in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the country, West Garfield Park.

Off The Street Club is a place where kids can truly find hope. Every child seeking a safe place to go is welcome to become a part of OTSC’s social, recreational and academic programming all year long.

Piven Theatre Workshop has partnered with Off the Street Club for nearly 30 years, bringing our signature improv- and theatre games-based training technique to their clubhouse. In our theatre training classes with Off the Street Club, we harness the power of improvised play to create a sense of trust and community in each classroom, giving students experiences that go far beyond performance skills: the joy of creativity, the specificity of communicating verbally and non-verbally in a group, and the bravery of taking healthy risks in a safe environment.

As our longest-running theatre community partnership, we cherish our our friendship with Off The Street Club, its leaders, and the kids who find Casual Joy in the safe place the Club provides.

“The Pivens and their very talented faculty have helped our kids realize that the real distance that they must traverse is the one to the world inside themselves – that world of endless possibilities. Dr. Martin Luther King admonished us to reach out to each other, but especially to the children of our inner cities. The Piven Theatre Workshop has done that in a way that I find inspirational and that Dr. King would find honorable.”

Ralph Campagna

Director, The Off The Street Club of Chicago