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Lab Productions

The Telling Project

October 1 – October 15

With much the same courage demonstrated during their service to our country, local military personnel and family members share their authentic experiences. This production is sure to strengthen our sense of community by opening hearts and minds and facilitating meaningful contact between civilians and those who have served. No one will leave this performance untouched or unchanged. This is a collaboration between The Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute for Mental Health Education at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, The Telling Project based out of Austin Texas and Piven Theatre.


November 2 – November 4

Come laugh with the ladies of Forte Chicago as they show you why too much is never enough in their operatic sketch comedy show “BIG ENTRANCE”! Forte, Chicago’s leading company which intersects improvisation, opera, and sketch comedy is back on stage at Piven, and will feature Forte’s signature operatic comedic sketch work, composition and arrangements by Heidi Joosten, design by Sarah Bendix, and direction by Susan Payne O’Brien.


November 16 – November 18

Santuario|Sanctuary es una obra de teatro documental que explora las migraciones de las mariposas monarcas y los jóvenes que cruzan la frontera entre los Estados Unidos y México. Basado en más de 30 entrevistas recientes con (in)migrantes, monjas, voluntarios, conservacionista, y los cuerpos del orden público en los Estados Unidos de America y México, la obra muestra la complejidad multifacética de la frontera. El desarrollo del proyecto esta patrocinado por la Universidad de Naropa.

Santuario|Sanctuary is a documentary theatre piece exploring the migrations of monarch butterflies and youth across the USA-Mexico border. Based on 30+ interviews with (im)migrants, nuns, volunteers, conservationists, and law enforcement in the USA and Mexico, Santuario|Sanctuary highlights the multifaceted complexity of the border. The development of this production is supported by Naropa University.


January 14 – January 15

LIVED THROUGH THIS, adapted from Anne K. Ream’s memoir of a multi-country journey spent listening to the stories of sexual violence survivors, is a play about HOPE. In it we’re introduced to a community of funny, gorgeous, accomplished, all-too-human women and men who have been shaped, but refuse to be defined, by their histories of sexual violence. Part narrative about the lives lived after we say #MeToo, and part exploration of the ways that survivors learn from one another and rebuild their lives in the wake of violence. LIVED THROUGH THIS is a celebration of a simple belief: that those who have survived rape or abuse are greater than what has been done to them. Featuring the photography of Chicago artist, Patricia Evans and music inspired by the rock ’n roll playlist that was critical to Anne’s own healing, LIVED THROUGH THIS, is a multi-media experience whose time, at last, has come.


March 11 – March 12

In 2008, writer/performer Rukmini Girish moved to from India to the United States. Soon after, her family began to wonder whether she would become an American-Born Confused Desi. As she began to find her place in the Chicago arts community and navigated being Indian, American and queer, she began to wonder what those words really mean. ABCD explores the effects of labeling and how we can build spaces where we can really belong.