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2020-21 Season


Am I the Only One Here?
AM I THE ONLY ONE HERE covers the performers’ experience with identity, race, their families, and what its like being a high schooler during the pandemic. It’s funny, it’s powerful, it’s personal, and nearly all of the material is generated by the actors themselves.

This show’s run is complete.


On My Magic Keds
Monday, February 10, 5:00 PM
Tuesday, February 11, 5:00 PM
Friday, February 14, 7:30 PM
Saturday, February 15, 9:30 AM
Saturday, February 15, 12:30 PM
Lady's Guide to Mountains
March 13, 2020
The Olympians
Oct 21, 2019 – Oct 22, 2019
Placing Home
November 15 – November 17
You Can Only Take the ACT 12 Times
September 20th to October 6th
Hope Is a Thing with Feathers
December 11 – December 15
November 2019


The Telling Project
Thursday, October 11, 7:30 PM
Friday, October 12, 7:30 PM
Saturday, October 13, 7:30 PM
Sunday, October 14, 3:00 PM
Friday, October 19, 7:30 PM
Saturday, October 20, 7:30 PM
Sunday, October 21, 3:00 PM

Devised by the ensemble
Directed by Alex Mallory

BIg Entrance
Friday, November 2, 7:30 PM
Saturday, November 3, 7:00 PM
Saturday, November 3, 9:00 PM
Sunday, November 4, 2:30 PM

Directed by Susan Payne O’Brien and Sarah Bendix
Musical Direction by Heidi Joosten
Featuring the women of Forte Chicago:
Alex Salas
Alexandra Plattos Sulack
Angela Torres Kauftkan
Amanda Noelle Neal
Laura Smalley
Leah Hungerford
Margaret Izard
Samantha Attaguile
Stage Manager: Nikolaj Sorenson

Friday, November 16, 7:30 PM
Saturday, November 17, 7:30 PM
Sunday, November 18, 2:30 PM
Lived Through This
Monday, January 14, 7:30 PM
Tuesday, January 15, 7:30 PM
May 14-15 2018

Written by Rukmini Girish
Directed by Iris Sowlat

Mad Like Us
May 14-15 2018 Written by Gillian Hemme Directed by Sam Bianchini
YPC presents: I am my story
Performance Project presents: Who Will I Become?


October 3, 2017

By Scott Shallenbarger
Directed by Abby Pierce
Lee: Gillian Hemme
Tyler: Brennan Roche
Male Actor: Tom Schneider
Stage Directions: Rebecca McNamara
Stage Manager: Adia Alli
ber 3, 2017

Variations on a Theme
October 9-10, 2017

Directed by Shannon Ferrante
Will Crouse
Erika Haaland
Erika Hood
Elizabeth Krane
Jerry Ochoa
Jillian Patterson
Chad Patterson
Alison Plott
Drew Shirley
Stage Manager: Alex Bailey Dillon

Story and Sketch
March 24 – April 15, 2017
Curated by Jennifer Green
Stage Manager: Tess Naval
Production Coordinator: Jessica Forella
Improv Ensembles:
Stir Friday Night, Full Body Whisper, Swing Tim Peach, Snow, The Young People’s Company, Adult Showcase Storytellers, PEEP (Piven Enrichment Through Empowerment Program) Improvisers, High School Performance Lab Storytellers, and The Performance Project
Storytellers: Ada Cheng, Nicklin Heap, R.C. Riley, Rita Balzotti, Jacoby Cochran, Margaret Ghielmetti, Steve Glickman, Kevin D’Ambrosio, Arlene Malinowski, Arch Jamjun, Phyllis Porche, Chris Trani, Rebecca Anderson, James Gordon, Ray Lauk
Piven Improvisation Ensemble: Jay Reed, Tom Herman, Tom Schneider, Antora Delong, Kevin D’Ambrosio, Chris Zoubris, Chris Jones, Susan Payne-O’Brien
Forte Chicago presents La La Lady Show
Directed by Susan Payne O’Brien
Designed by Sarah Bendix & Angela Torres-Kutkuhn
Featuring the music of Heidi Joosten
Stage Manager: Tess Naval

Performed and Devised by:
Leah Hungerford as Amy Feuerkind
Margaret Izard as Olga Dongdongovitch
Amanda Noelle Neal as Noelle Obama (no relation)
Alex Salas as Sara Shaylene Smithe
Susan Payne O’Brien as Suzanne Pain O’Ballsy
Alexandra Plattos Sulack as Sheila ShaXakra
Angela Torres-Kutkuhn as Miss Tangela Arorres-Cupcake
Erica Wilens as Estelle Étoile
Heidi Joosten as Miss Andrie O’Barrington

May 14-15 2018

Written and Directed by Juliet Bond
CAST (In order of appearance):
Tre: Devin Patterson
Erin: Sally Kozminski
Joey/Corey Jenkins: Casey Bond
Ellis: Eldridge Shannon
Little Tre: Isaiah Thompson
Little Ellis: Izayah Carr
Little Erin: Harper Hahn
Ms. Applewood/Other Teachers: Zosia Nowak
Chase: Lochlan MacLean
Cheryl: Alexis Dyer
Security Guard/Teacher/Cop: Kevin Bond
Stage Manager, Lighting, and Sound Designer: Marissa Geocaris
Opening music:
Numb 2 by Devin Patterson
Patty Jenkins Party Music:
Sands of Time by Devin Patterson

Whisper Network
June 5, 2018
A new play written and directed by Joan Sergay
Associate directed by Isabel Perry

Featuring: Georgia Bernstein, Anna Civik, Naïma Hebrail Kidjo, Isabella Gerasole, Kayla Griffith, Jessie Pinnick, Isabel Thompson and Talia Weingarten

June 25-26, 2018
Playback: an improvised storytelling troupe
Directed by Scott Shallenbarger
Featuring the Playback Ensemble:
Liz Bell
Antora DeLong
Gillian Hemme
Tom Herman
Avi Lessing
Tom Schneider
Donna Osowski
Ronny Stein
Beth Winer
July 16-17, 2018

EPIC AUDIO WRITERS/PERFORMERS: Maryann, Alashonza, Tifany, Lithia, Sierra, Lisa, Carol, Cynthea, Kenédee, Seanna, Sarah, and Shawnquail
ON STAGE PERFORMERS: Shavodka Jones, Bridget Harris, Josie Gomez, Michael Rodriguez, Maria Moon, Terry Moon
AUDIO RECORDING: Victoria Salazar
SOUND DESIGNERS: Quinn Myers and Cyrus Leddy
DIRECTION and PRODUCTION:Gillian Hemme, Rebecca McNamara, Abby Pierce, Linda Stevenson
STAGE MANAGER: Mason Hammond and Marissa Geocaris

When They Came
January 29-30, 2018
Production Team
Playwright: MT Cozzola
Original story by: Debbie Urbanski
Director: Jacqueline Stone
Choreogapher: Aileen McGroddy
Stage Manager: Marissa Geocaris



The Darling By Anton Checkov
The Darling

By Anton Checkov
June 14, 2017
Adapted and Directed by Joyce Piven
Featuring (in alphabetical order): Antora DeLong, Stephen Fedo, Greg Hirte, Joanne Underwood


March 27-April 15, 2017
Curated by Jennifer Green
Stage Manager: Brendan Stallings
Production Coordinator: Jessica Forella

Improv Ensembles: The Improvised Jane Austen, Forte Chicago, The Young People’s Company, The Performance Project, The High School Improv Ensemble, Adult Improv & Storytelling Showcase: Who is Tom Brokaw?, Saucey Licks, Swing Tim Peach, Snow, Pirates, Cowboys, Dinosaurs, Full Body Whisper, PEEP (Piven Enrichment through Empowerment Program)

Storytellers: Rita Balzotti, Lily Be , Heidi Grandberry, Ada Cheng, Arlene Malinowski, Fiona Maxwell, RC Riley, Susan Stone, Annabella Bhote, Bruno Nobile, Alex Rhind, Alexis Mendelsohn, David Hanson, Lesa Bricker-Reich, Lucia Guridi, Mary Filice, Shannon Wright, Matthew Casson, Tom Tharayil, Sarah Bunger, Margaret Ghielmetti, Valerie Jencks, John Osburn, Lily Aaron, Dejah Dyer, Gillian McNabola, Eve Pinsker, James Janus, John Cola, Mel Ludington, Tiffany Khan, Tommy Christoffel, Elizabeth Gomez, Lauren Huffman, Annalise Raziq, Natalee Hapaniewski, Antoinette Pompe Van Meerdervort, Wyatt Verlen, Abby Diamond, Susan Aarup, Kevin D’Ambrosio, Michael Herzovi,Tammy Rozofsky, Elizabeth Cambridge, Diane Kastiel

Piven Improvisation Ensemble: Jay Reed, Tom Herman, Tom Schneider, Antora Delong, Kevin D’Ambrosio, Chris Zoubris, Chris Jones, Abby Pierce, Catherine Lynch, Donna Osowski. Liz Bell, Erika Clauson

At These Gates
May 24, 2017
Written by Joan Sergay
Directed by Devon Demayo
Family Happiness
November 19-20, 2016
by Leo Tolstoy
Adapted and Directed by Alexis Macnab
Featuring Nicolia Quin Aguirre, Marzenna Bukowska, Emily Lotspich, Emily Nichelson, Maria Stephens, Susan Wingerter


Far Away
April 11, 2017
By Caryl Churchill
Directed by K. Hannah Friedman
Winter Whisper
February 27-28, 2017
Directed by Sarah Bendix & Susan Payne O’Brien
Original Music by Heidi Joosten
Devised and Performed by the Forte Chicago Ensemble

The Divas:
Kristen Bigham / Kierstienne Brööke Cheauxmiérre
Leah Hungerford/ Amy Feurkind
Heidi Joosten/ Miss Andry (Female Composer)
Carolyn Kocsis / Beatrice “Beatch” Plies
Angela Torres Kutkuhn / Tangela Arores Cupcake
Brittany Loewen / Celeste Clearwater
Amanda Noelle Neal / Noelle Obama (no relation)
Alex Salas / Sara Shaileen Smithe
Alexandra Plattos Sulack/ Sheila Shahaah
Erica Wilens/ Estelle Etoile

Red, White & Unblemished
July 31-August 1
An Iphigenia Workshop
The K of D
An urban legend by Laura Schelhardt
October 17-18 2016
Written by Laura Schellhardt
Directed by Rives Collins
Performed by Fiona Maxwell
Sound by Hannah Merens and Connor Zagrans


To the LIghthouse
Jan 28-29, 2017
Written by, Virginia Woolf
Adapted and directed by Stephen Fedo
Wise Women and WItches
June 29-July 7, 2017
Adapted and Directed by Susan Applebaum
By Dael Orlandersmith
A Staged Reading


February 13-March 6, 2016

Curated by Jennifer Green

Improv Ensembles: Improvised Jane Austen, The Young People’s Company, The Performance Project, The High School Improv Ensemble, The Adult Improv & Storytelling Showcase, PEEP (Piven Enrichment through Empowerment Program), Punch Bucket Motel, and the Piven Improv Ensemble featuring Jay Reed, Beth Voitik, Tom Herman, Tom Schneider, Antora Delong, Kevin D’Ambrosio, Chris Zoubris

Swimming in the Shallows
By Adam Bock
September 18-20, 2015

Directed by K. Hannah Friedman
Stage Manager: Petra Cantzler
Casting Assistant: Aly Sklare
The Cast: Joanne Underwood, Matt McNabb, Cassandra Cushman, Sarah Gise, Daniel Chenard, Will Kazda

A Demonstration of Story Process: Myth and Fairy Tale
November 30, 2015
Directors: Joyce Piven & Susan Applebaum
Fight Choreographer: Victor Bayona
Daedelus and Icarus
Directed by Susan Applebaum
Featuring: Aayisha Humphrey, Brent Barnes, Carlos Reyna, Donna Osowski, Jay Reed,
The White Dove
Directed by Joyce Piven
Featuring: Antora DeLong, Beth Voitik, Gillian Hemme, Heidi Katz
The Ensemble: Aayisha Chanel, Antora DeLong, Beth Voitik, Brent Barnes, Carlos Reyna, Donna Osowski, Gillian Hemme, Glo Rolighed, Heidi Katz, Jay Reed, Stephen Fedo, Sarah Bendix


February 7-March 1, 2015
Curated by Jennifer Green

Evanston 2nd Act Players
The Ensemble: Randy Fisher , John N. Frank

Wizards and Oz
The Ensemble: Mary Filice, Chris Jones, Naile Berna Kovuk, Oz Sozen, Didem Tapban, Dilek Yunlu, Chris Zoubris

Grandma’s Recipe
The Ensemble: Mary Filice, Will McNulte, Chris Jones

The Piven Improv Ensemble
The Ensemble: Kyle Chipman, Tina Cooper, Antora Delong, Gillian Hemme, Tom Herman, Catherine Lynch, Becky McNamara, Jay Reed, Glo Rolighed, Tom Schneider, Tim Steinmetz, Beth Voitik, Marc Wilson, Chris Zoubris

The Ensemble: Kyle Albertson, Kristen Bigham, Kira Dills-Desurra, Sam Helmstetter, Carrie Kocsis, Lia Kohl , Rachael Long, Angela Torres-Kutkuhn, Alex Salas, Clarice Warrick

The Ensemble: Tom Herman, Tom Schneider

The Executive People’s Company
Director: Susan Applebaum
The Ensemble: Jeff Broitman, Leslie Brown, Eric Fine, Anwar Khuri, Temple Shepard, Malik Turley, Marc Wilson

Young People’s Company
Director: Catherine Lynch
The Ensemble: Livvie Avrick, Mia Drelich, Kamille Garst, Isabel Isaacson, Justine Ivanov, Bridey Jones, Bailey Lawrence, Hannah Litchman, Olivia Quinn, Ben Ring

Performance Project
Director: Donna Osowski
The Ensemble: Anabella Bhote, Sarah Douglas, Chelsea Erickson, Bruno Nobile, Maya Parks, Rachel Santellano, Frankie Sobel, Mary Xakellis

Junior Company
Director: Catherine Lynch
The Ensemble: Talia Alpert, Gabi Bellows, Delaney Ehrhardt, Natalee Hapaniewski, Taylor Martin, Gavin Mills, Taylor Schmidt, Taylor Topczewski


Eight Minutes, Eight People, Anything
October 25-27, 2013

The Ensemble
Aayisha Chanel, Allison Hendrix, Antora DeLong, Becky McNamara, Beth Voitik, Brent Barnes, Carolyn Crimi, Catherine Lynch, Chris Zoubris, Eldridge Shannon, Gillian Hemme, Glo Rolighed, Heidi Katz, Jay Reed, Joanne Underwood, John Dalton, Kelly Connolly, Liz Bell, Marc Wilson, Nicholia Aguirre, Rebecca Kling, Renee Jackson, Ronny Stein, Sara Cardon, Sarah Bendix, Seth Davis, Susan Applebaum, Teresa Veramendi, Timothy Steinmetz, Tina Cooper, Tom Herman, Tom Schneider

The Directors
Jennifer Green
Tom Herman
Stage Manager
Lucy Carr

Improvised Jane Austen
November 2-3, 2013
With independent heroines, misunderstood suitors, meddling mothers, and charming cads, Improvised Jane Austen creates a Regency love story on the spot!

The Ensemble
Allison Black, Kate Parker, Katie Nixon, Melissa Fricke, Robin Hellman, Sarah Mobley, Sophie Long, Ticha Guillaud, Emily Friedrick, Erica Toy, Juliana Brecher, Lilliana Winkworth, Phoebe Stonebraker

2 Groups, 20 Minutes, Anything
April 18-19, 2014

The Ensemble
Susan Applebaum, Sarah Bendix, Kyle Chipman, Tina Cooper, Antora DeLong, Gillian Hemme, Tom Herman, Catherine Lynch, Jay Reed, Glo Rolighed, Tom Schneider, Tim Steinmetz, Joanne Underwood, Beth Voltik, Marc Wilson, Chris Zoubris

The Directors
Jennifer Green
Tom Herman

Stage Manager
Lucy Carr


The Good Doctor
by Neil Simon
December 8-16, 2012

Directed by Joyce Piven
Assistant Director: Mick Weber
Violence Design: Jeff McLane
Music Arrangements: Shira Piven
Production Manager, Rehearsal Stage Manager: Jessica Forella
Stage Manager: K. Hannah Friedman
The Cast: Ravi Batista, Aayisha Chanel, Billy Dec, Stephen Fedo, Maya Friedler, Heidi Katz, Catherine Lynch, Tom Schneider, Daniel Smith, Nathan Williams, and Marc Wilson


Piven Lab Productions Archive
The Good Doctor
November 15, 2010

By Jenny Rachel Weiner, 2010 Kennedy Center National Student Playwriting Award recipient

Director:  Michael Moran

Developed at Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa and at Boston University, The Dreamland Tree is about a man who grows a garden in his stomach.

Cities of Light
November 16, 2010

Performed and written by Rebecca Joy Fletcher

Cities of Light premiered in 2009 as part of New York City’s Festival of Jewish Theater and Ideas.


July 10-August 2, 2009

Within Every Story, There’s Another Story
Created by Jonathan Pitts
Directed by Nick Johne
Featuring: Tale Berntsen, Matt Klingler, Tawny Newsome, Jonathan Pitts, Jenn SavaRyan, Jeremy Schaefer, Jonathan Wagner, Kelly Williams, and Joe Yau.

Production Staff:
Co-Producers: Jonathan Pitts & Jennifer Sultz
Director: Nick Johne
Assistant Director: Jennifer Green
Musical Director: Jonathan Wagner
Assistant Musical Director: Matt Herzau
Lighting Designer: John Kearns
Production Manager: Jodi Gottberg
Stage Manager: Emelia Zuckerman
Graphic Design: Clayton Smith


Holiday Storybox for Young Audiences
December 13-21, 2008


365 Days / 365 Plays: Week 14


February 16 -17, 2007
By Suzan-Lori Parks
Produced by Andrew Bennett
Company Director: Jennifer Green

The Largest Theatrical Collaboration in U.S. History
The world premiere of this play cycle will be performed as a year-long national festival simultaneously in major cities and communities around the country. From November 13, 2006 to November 12, 2007 over 600 theatres in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Denver, Seattle, San Francisco, Austin, Washington D.C., Chicago, Minneapolis, the Carolinas, Mississippi River towns, and university campuses will create the largest theatrical collaboration in U.S. history.

Directed by Sarah Bendix

Mr. Lincoln – Nathan Drackett, Mrs. Lincoln – Allan Aquino, Mystic Friend – Jessica Carleton, Colored Mid-wife – Angelique Mukandamage

Directed by Stephen Fedo


Man – Neal Grofman, Woman – Irit Levit, Farmer – Tom Herman

Ensemble – Carrie Graham, Nik Mitsef, Max Mora,  Adam Ruben, Beth Voitik, Emelia Zuckerman

Directed by Scott Shallenbarger


Woman – Staci Beth Green, Man – Allan Aquino, Bleeding Man – Neal Grofman

Directed by Mikalina Rabinsky

Woman 1 – Arielle Nobile, Woman 2 – Susan Payne, Man 1 – Michael Quinn, Man 2 – Michael Lebowitz

Directed by Dieterich Gray

Allan Aquino, Jessica Carleton, Maya Friedler, Carrie Graham, Staci Beth Green, Irit Levit, Nik Mitseff, Max Mora, Adam Ruben, Beth Voitik, and Emelia Zuckerman.

Directed by Susan Payne

Woman – Maya Friedler, Secret Service – Tom Herman, Michael Quinn, Michael Lebowitz, Rich People – Carrie Graham, Donna Osowski,  Beth Voitik, Emelia Zuckerman, Presidents – Allan Aquino, Nathan Drackett, Neal Grofman, Nik Mitseff, Max Mora, Adam Ruben

Directed by Angelique Mukandamage

Woman – Donna Osowski, Man – Nathan Drackett, Secret Service – Tom Herman, Max Mora, Adam Ruben, Presidents – Allan Aquino, Maya Friedler, Carrie Graham, Neal Grofman, Beth Voitik, Emelia Zuckerman


Festival of New Works


In This Body
July 14-16, 2006
Created and Directed by Kira Silverstein
Featuring the Boston University Body Project Ensemble
An entertaining exploration of the complex range of relationships eight young women from Boston University have with their bodies. The stories are written by the individuals performing them. From eating disorders, to women’s health, self-acceptance, a death in the family, each tale is filled with honesty and courage.
by Scott Shallenbarger

January 21, 2006

Featuring: Bernard Beck, Maya Friedler, David Gray, Larry Grimm, Seamus McMahon, Jamie Parker, Adam Ruben, Jarrett Sleeper

A homecoming story explodes with buried anger, sorrow, and secrets revealed as the generations attempt to find common ground. The collision of past and present creates a spiritual avalanche forcing each character to redefine their beliefs about religion and love in order to hold on to the most sacred gift of all: family.

by Jennifer Barclay

February  6, 2006

Directed by Marty Higgenbotham

The Cast: Dale Rivera, Kelly Lynn Hogan, Tara Sullivan

A hostage, an amnesiac, and a zealous psychotherapist fight for the right to own the identity they need and the memories they want.

The Method
by Jeff McLane

February 10, 2006

Directed by Jeff McLane

The Cast: Jeff McLane , Paul Dunckel, Sarah Hayes, Larry Grimm,Tom Lally, Tom Herman, Jamie Parker, John Wojcik

Follow the ridiculous adventure of a struggling actor trying to find a connection he feels he has lost with his art. There’s a new “Method” class in town and this actor is in for a very bizarre, frightening and funny adventure.


Piven Lab Productions Archive
Two Plays
May 13, 2005
Written and Directed by Shira Piven
February 11-12, 2005
By Sean Cooper
Director: Jennifer Green
Stage Manager: Elizabeth Grantner
Cast: Larry Grimm, Craige Christensen, Brooks Darrah, Paul Dunckel
Cast: David Gray & Justine Scarpa
April 24-25, 2005
By Jennifer Barclay
Director: Scott Shallenbarger
Stage Manager: Elizabeth Grantner
Cast: F. David Roth, Marcia Reinhard, Niki William, Chris McLinden, Paul Dunckel
The Human Capacity is a drama set in East Berlin before and after the fall of the Wall. It follows the journey of a Stasi officer as he seeks redemption from the woman whose life he shattered. The play is a searing look into a society and a family in turmoil, and an exploration of the human capacities for cruelty, perseverance, and forgiveness.
Duet in the Bushes
Cast: Shira Piven & Larry Grimm
By Emilie Beck
March 5-6, 2005
Director: Jennifer Green
Stage Manager: Elizabeth Grantner
Featuring: Bernard Beck
While an elderly Jewish man struggles with the loss of memory, he is haunted by the things he cannot forget.
By Hans Christian Andersen
January 28 – February 6, 2005
Conceived, adapted and directed by Sarah Bendix and Mikalina Majewski
Developed and Performed by: Amber Allen, Cynthia Castiglione, Amy Cranch, Lukas deGruyl, Ricardo Gamboa, Graeme Hinde, Shadana Patterson, Carly Schwinghamer, and Eliza Shin. Original music by Corbett Lunsford.

Through puppetry, Story Theatre, and moments of vaudevillian mischievousness, this original adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s dark tale explores a sinister splinter from the devil’s mirror embedded in the eyes and the heart of a young boy and the unexpected journey that ensues.


March 18th-21, 2004
Produced by Next Theatre, compiled and edited by Next Theatre Artistic Director Jason Loewith Directed by Jessica Thebus
Using actual diaries, letters and emails written by Jewish, Arab and Christian residents of Jerusalem this is a kaleidoscopic journey through the past five years of the Middle East conflict.
April 3-4, 2004
By Dick Cusack
Directed by Jennifer Green.
The last work of playwright Dick Cusack, this whimsical journey to the future of space exploration is a hilarious and scathing look at our militarily-fixated society.
April 9-10, 2004
By Sarah Ruhl
Directed by Jessica Thebus
Mathilda is a Brazilian maid who hates cleaning houses and likes telling jokes. Lane is a doctor who’s life is imploding. A meditation on love, medicine, and the humors by Piven alum and award-winning playwright Sarah Ruhl.


Piven Theatre's New Play Reading Series
Piven Theatre’s New Play Reading Series
January & February, 2003
Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl, a re-telling of the classic myth of Orpheus & Eurydice
Blindness by Jodi Kanter, adapted from the novel by Nobel Prize winner Jose Saramago
Alighting Home by Ann Noble
March 4-7, 2003
By and performed by Michael West
Directed by Annie Ryan, Music by Vincent Docherty, and featuring the voice of Angela’s Ashes, Andrew Bennett.