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Current Season

Our 2019/2020 Season: RESILIENCE

It is with great pride we announce Piven Theatre Workshop’s 2019–2020 season of art, activism, and community conversation: The Resilience Season. (Read more about why we chose this theme.)

God Help Us!

Left vs Right! Conservative vs. Liberal! Red vs. Blue!

Maybe only the Lord can bring us together in this hilarious and insightful entertainment, where the debate gets hot and the passion gets hotter. GOD – legendary actor, Ed Asner – is a wise, cantankerous and wildly funny deity who confronts two political pundits with a romantic history: Lawrence (a liberal lad) and Leslie (a conservative gal). He is not at all pleased with our politics or what we’ve done to his Creation. GOD HELP US! speaks to audiences of all political persuasions with one essential argument: that we have to listen to each other so that we can all live – and laugh – together.





Sat. Oct 31st 2020, 6:00 pm

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 why children can’t remain children. Learn more about Runaways auditions here.

May 1, 2, 8, and 9 at 7:30pm
May 3 and 10 at 2:30pm

On My Magic Keds

For almost 50 years, the young artists of Piven’s acclaimed Performance Project ensemble have performed original story theatre adaptations meditating on important community themes. This year, as part of the Resilience Season, they will share stories about the courage, hope and the transformations that resilience can bring about.

This show’s run is complete.

A Lady’s Guide to Mountains

In their quest to be allowed to climb, gain recognition, and survive the most dangerous peaks, female mountain climbers have repeatedly redefined strength, resilience, and what it means to be a woman. A LADY’S GUIDE TO MOUNTAINS explores that history, from roughly 1800 to today, beginning with Henriette D’Angeville’s ascent of Mont Blanc and culminating with Erin Parisi’s current quest to be the first openly trans woman to complete the Seven Summits.
This show’s run is complete.

Black Ballerina Written by Stephen Fedo and TIm Rhoze

A collaboration between Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre, Piven Theatre Workshop, Dear Evanston and Dance Center Evanston

As a young Black Ballerina dreams of fulfilling her passion to dance the iconic roles in the world of classical ballet she has to confront the realities of discrimination, harassment, and broken promises while fighting for the right to dance. Teeming with original music and choreographed ballet performances, Black Ballerina is a gift to everyone.

This show’s run is complete.

A Man and His Prostate Starring Ed Asner and Written by ED. Weinberger

Based on a true-life experience, a man discovers his inner self in more ways than one. A near tragedy is masterfully transformed into a one-man comedy, perfectly portrayed by Ed Asner in his hilarious visit to the hospital in preparation for surgery he doesn’t want.
This show’s run is complete.

The Olympians

Forged in the hostile environments of the Jim Crow Era and Nazi Germany, James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, and Hannah Arendt emerged as Olympians of American 20th-century thought. During the heat of the Civil Rights Movement, they grappled with a dangerous question: what is the role of love in politics? In her new play, The Olympians, Lisa Scott draws on their thoughts to explore the question anew.

This show’s run is complete.

Placing Home

Placing Home explores the range of experiences individuals and families hold within the adoption community. Members of the adoption triad navigate complicated and uncharted territory relating to family, identity and home. What role does resilience play in their lives? We invite you to witness the joy, grief, and complexity of adoption through an intimate staged reading of stories collected from members of this community.

This show’s run is complete.

You Can Only Take the A.C.T. 12 Times

After a hit run at Chicago’s Greenhouse Theatre, critically acclaimed actor/writer Tracy Egan brings her hilarious one-woman show about the high stakes absurdity of the college application process to Evanston’s Piven Theatre Workshop.  Egan plays 15 characters in the comedy, exploring the way different families navigate the roller-coaster end of high school. Directed by Rengin Altay, YOU CAN ONLY TAKE THE A.C.T. 12 TIMES runs three weeks only, September 20th to October 6th.

*On Friday, September 27, we will be having an ETHS talkback with Yolanda Kim. $5 of every ticket sold that night will be given to ETHS. On Friday, October 4, $5 from every ticket sold will go to support the Evanston Dance Ensemble.

This show’s run is complete.

Hope Is a Thing with Feathers

For almost 50 years, the young artists of Piven’s acclaimed Young People’s Company have performed original story theatre adaptations meditating on important community themes. This year, as part of the Resilience Season, they will share stories about the courage, hope and the transformations that resilience can bring about.

This show’s run is complete.


Open Class Sharing

The public is invited to attend this special DE-CRUIT class in which participating veterans will present speeches from Shakespeare and personal narratives in front of a live audience. The DE-CRUIT® curriculum was specifically designed for military veterans by Army veteran and professional actor Stephan Wolfert in order to assist military veterans unwire their military training and reintegrate into society. At its core DE-CRUIT is the process of interweaving personal writings with Veteran-related Shakespeare texts, applying stage skills for life-skills and completing the communalization of trauma within their community. The open class is an important component of this work and we welcome you to join us.

Sunday, January 26, 2:30 PM