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letter from the director

letter from

the director Dear Piven Community: Welcome to our Fall and Spring schedule for 2012-2013! This year, we are pleased to offer our youth students the convenience of scheduling a full school year of Piven programming as we begin our fall session. As our returning students know, Piven classes are intended to be taken multiple times. Students continuing their studies from the fall will be able to heighten and explore the concepts and skills they developed during the previous session as they welcome new students into their acting ensembles. We invite you to take advantage of this expanded schedule and register for a yearlong Piven experience. As the new session begins, we are also excited to invite the Piven community to our professional season. The season features a diverse range of performances, from an American premiere, to the reimagining of classic tales by a canonical playwright, to new works from our youth and adult students: • The  US Premiere of Tusk Tusk by Polly Stenham Directed by Jennifer Green September 12 – October 7 •A  Salon Performance of The Good Doctor by Neil Simon Directed by Joyce Piven December 7-16

Youth Story Theatre Festival: • The Young People’s Company – featuring original adaptations by our professional youth ensemble. February 20-24 • Performance Project – original adaptations and improvisation by our junior company. March 11-16 •S  pring Showcase – A collection of original scenes devised by our advanced adult studentsMay 2013

At Piven, the work in our classrooms is intrinsically tied to the excellence of our professional theatre wing. This is evident in our season opener Tusk Tusk by award winning British playwright Polly Stenham directed by our Artistic Director Jennifer Green. This is an exciting and edgy play that found its home at Piven because of our international reputation for excellence as a training ground for young actors. Polly Stenham herself is one of the youngest playwrights to have her work produced at the Royal Court Theatre in London. Her latest play centers on the explosive story of London siblings left to fend for themselves after their mother goes missing. The Piven Theatre Workshop’s long and storied history of serving as an incubator for emerging young talent creates a unique home for this compelling new work. Our youth focused programming with the spring performances of our professional youth companies Performance Project and the Young People’s Company (YPC). This year their work will focus on the theme of “Coming of Age.” Workshop students will also take to the professional stage in two other productions this season. Our Artistic Director Emeritus Joyce Piven will be directing a salon performance of Neil Simon’s The Good Doctor in December, featuring students from her adult master class. Finally, we will close the season by highlighting the work of another performance-focused class - our adult Spring Showcase. We look forward to welcoming you to our classrooms and into our theatre as we prepare for another exciting year of educational and artistic programming. Sincerely, M o r v e n H ig g in s Director of Finance, Education and Operations


letter from the director

table of

contents classes for kids: page 4….......... Classes for 4th-8th Graders page 5…..........Classes for Teens and High School page 6….......... Young Adult Performance Ensembles

classes for adults: Page 7….......... Specialty Classes Page 8….......... Adult Beginning and Intermediate Classes Page 9….......... Adult Intermediate and Advanced Classes

additional information: Page 10…........ Information and Policies Page11 …........How to Register

fall 2012 & Spring 2013 4th-8th Grades Fa l l : S e p t e m b e r 1 5 – D e c e m b e r 1 3 s p r i n g : j a n u a r y 1 9 - Ap r i l 1 8

4th, 5th & 6th grade Th e a t r e G a m e s a n d S t o r y Th e a t r e


Come play with us! Learn the games that form the core of the legendary Piven training method. In this class, students will learn to build ensemble, explore improvisation, and adapt and perform stories. We can guarantee that you’ll never see freeze tag the same way again! For new and returning students. Thursdays 4:30 – 6:00pm or Saturdays 12:00 - 1:30pm

a d va n c e d s t o r y t h e a t r e a n d i mp r o v i s a t i o n


Building on the skills developed in Theatre Games and Story Theatre, returning students take the Piven method to the next level! Students develop essential acting skills - being part of an ensemble, listening, and responding to other peoples’ energy - in a challenging and supportive environment. In this class, students explore everything from folk tales to myths to original stories, while learning how to play within an ensemble of actors. For returning students only. Tuesday 4:30 – 6:00pm or Saturdays 9:00 – 10:30am

6th, 7th & 8th grade Improvisation and Scene Study for 6th, 7th, & 8th grade


In this scene study focused class, students use the fun and impulsive play of improvisation to create lively characters and realistic relationships. Students will rehearse scenes from contemporary plays, under the expert direction of their Piven teaching artist. Tuesdays 4:30-6:00pm or Saturdays 9:00-10:30am

7 t h & 8 t h G r a d e t h e at r e C o m b o


Perfect for junior high students looking for a supportive environment to stretch their creative limbs! This class offers a great introduction to Piven’s acclaimed training method and is an ideal choice for students who are new to theatre or who are looking to learn what Piven is all about. Students will learn about improvisation ensembles, Story Theatre, and Scene Study. Get those creative juices flowing and re-learn how to play. Thursdays 4:30 – 6:00pm

Ad va n c e d 7 t h & 8 t h g r a d e t h e a t r e c o m b o


Working intensively within an ensemble, students continue to build their talents in both scene study and story theatre. By recommendation only. Thursdays 4:30 – 6:00pm or Saturdays 10:30am – 12:00pm


fall 2012 & spring 2013: 4th-8th grades

fall 2012 & Spring 2013 Teen and High School Fa l l : S e p t e m b e r 1 5 – D e c e m b e r 1 3 s p r i n g : j a n u a r y 1 9 - Ap r i l 1 8

High School (9th - 12th grade) h i g h s c h o o l t h e at r e c o m b o


A great class for high school students new to Piven-- we’ll use games to build ensemble, explore improvisation, and adapt and perform stories. Come have fun and play improvisation games; see what the legendary Piven training method is all about! Saturdays 10:30am – 12:00pm

high school scene study intensive


This class uses the Piven technique to explore the rehearsal process. Students apply improvisation to characters and relationships in scenes; fully rehearsed scenes are performed at the end of the session! Saturdays 12:00 – 2:00pm

a d va n c e d h i g h s c h o o l s c e n e s t u d y & i mp r o v i s at i o n


This performance–oriented class will work intensively within an ensemble to build skills in ensemble games, improvisation, and scene study. In the fall session, these advanced students will focus on scene work from contemporary plays selected specifically for the ensemble. In the spring, students will turn their attention to original adaptations and story theatre, heightening their directing and ensemble based skills. Because of the ensemble-dependent nature of this class, students must be recommended by a Piven instructor to register and will be allowed no more than two absences. Saturdays 9:00am – 12:00pm, 10 weeks only Fall: September 15 – November 17 | Spring: March 2 – May 4

a u d i t i o n t e c h n i q u e : m o n o l o g u e s f o r t h e s ta g e


Explore adapting our ensemble-driven technique to the art of performing solo. This workshop is the perfect opportunity for high school students hoping to develop their monologue skills and get a leg up on their next audition for school, professional theatre, and conservatory programs. Senior Piven teacher Joanne Underwood will help students gain the emotional insight and confidence necessary to try their hand at the spotlight! FALL ONLY. Saturdays 9:00am – 12:00pm | 2 weeks only, December 1 & 8

high school shakespeare workshop


You can be a Shakespearean actor! Cut through the difficult, heightened language, learn the genius behind the words, feel the natural rhythm, and grasp at true emotion. Guided by one of Piven’s senior teachers, you will explore the Bards language and come away with a fabulous resume builder! SPRING ONLY. Saturdays 9:00am – 12:00pm Six weeks only, January 19th – February 23rd

fall 2012 & spring 2013: high school (9th–12th)


Performance Project & Young People's Company 2013 S e e o u r m o s t a d va n c e d s t u d e n t s p e r f o r m a n d e x p e r i e n c e w h a t S t o r y Th e a t r e i s a l l a b o u t !

Each year, our most dedicated and advanced youth students are selected to join Performance Project, for junior high school students, and the Young People’s Company, for high schoolers. Over the course of the school year, ensemble members participate in an intensive training experience culminating in a week of performances each spring. This festival of original adaptations is a highlight of our professional season! The students in our youth ensemble are long-time Piven students who have perfected the art of using our unique improv games to create new works and exciting literary adaptations. We are truly honored to share their exciting and inspiring work with the community!

Performance Schedule Young People’s Company February 20th – 24th Wednesday – Saturday at 7:30pm Saturday and Sunday at 2:30pm

Performance Project March 11th – 16th Monday and Friday at 7:30pm Tuesday and Thursday at 5:00pm Saturday at 9:30am and 12:00pm

Call the Piven Box Office at 847-966-8049 to reserve tickets or visit for more information.


fall 2012 & spring 2013: performance project & young people’s company

fall 2012

Specialty Classes

p i v e n e mp o w e r m e n t t h r o u g h e n r i c hm e n t p r o g r a m ( p e e p ) with Beth Voitik Through theatre games and improvisation, this exciting class leads an ensemble of adults with developmental disabilities to expand creativity and assist in impulse training. After eight weeks of rehearsal, this lively ensemble puts on a Story Theatre show for family and friends. Wednesdays, 7:00-8:30pm October 3 – December 5 Interested applicants should email For up to date information on all our weekend workshops and specialty classes, please visit our website and  

fall 2012: weekend workshops and specialty classes


fall 2012 Adult Classes i mp r o v i s a t i o n , g a m e s & r i s k t a k i n g ( b a s i c p i v e n )


with Bernie Beck Want to know what Piven is all about? This class allows students to discover the Piven Technique by learning theatre games & improvisation in a fun, supportive, ensemble-based environment. Taught by master teacher Bernard Beck, this class is perfect for all students looking to discover & re-discover their impulsive creativity through our work. Tuesdays 7:30 – 10:30PM Eight Weeks, September 25 – November 13 Open to new and returning students

games, story & scene (basic piven plus text)


with Mikalina Rabinsky Think of this class as Piven 101! Students learn Piven’s core improvisational technique and apply it to scripted stories & scenes. This class focuses on a new theme each session and past themes have included Magical Realism, Family and Relationship, and Stories of the Sea. With instruction from one of our senior teachers, Mikalina Rabinksy, students will create and perform stories by focusing on text exploration, subtext, dialogue and narration. Thursdays 7:00-10:00PM Eight Weeks, September 27 – November 15 Open to new and returning students

b a s i c p i v e n s c e n e s t u d y ( b a s i c / i n t e r m e d i at e p i v e n )

new time!

with Ryan Kitley & Joanne Underwood In this class, students prepare and rehearse scenes from contemporary plays using Piven improvisation and games to deepen characters and relationships. Teaching artists Ryan Kitley and Joanne Underwood explore how we use the impulsiveness of improvisation during the rehearsal process while being restrained by and respectful of a script. Best for students who have taken Improvisation, Games, and Risk Taking or Games, Story, and Scene, but previous experience not required.

Wednesdays 7:00 – 10:00pm Eight Weeks, October 24 – December 19 *No class November 21

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With Ryan Kitley

Previous experience recommended but not required.



fall 2012: adult classes

Tuesdays 10:00am -12:30pm Eight Weeks, September 25 – November 13

With Joanne Underwood

fall 2012 Adult Classes Piven Technique for the Actor (Intermediate/Advanced Piven) $255 with Joanne Underwood Building on the skills developed in our other adult programs, in this advanced class students use Piven improvisation and games to unlock spontaneity and take scene work to the next level. This class is taught long-time Piven teacher Joanne Underwood and intended for students with acting experience and previous Piven course work. Each session has a different focus and this fall the class will focus on best of contemporary playwrights and current Broadway and off-Broadway plays including scenes from God of Carnage, Other Desert Cities, Circle Mirror Transformation, Becky Shaw and Clybourne Park as well as plays by Amy Herzog, David Ives and Sarah Ruhl, among others. Tuesdays 7:00 – 10:00pm Eight Weeks, September 25 – November 13 Returning students or by submission of resume

Master Class in Piven Technique with Joyce Piven (Advanced Piven)


Dedicated students are selected from among our adult population and invited into this master class to continue building their improvisation and ensemble skills. Studying how the games of the Piven technique apply to scripted work, the group will work with scenes or stories centered on a theme. Past themes have included Shakespeare, classical works, & the plays Sarah Ruhl. Mondays 7:00-10:00pm Six Weeks, October 1 – November 12 By invitation only – previous Piven classes required

Interested in spring adult classes? Our Spring 2013 classes will begin the week of February 25th. The full schedule will be available on our website by December 1, 2012.

fall 2012: adult classes


policies S c h o l a r s h i p s & Pay me nt P l a ns: Piven Theatre Workshop is proud to provide financial assistance to any student in need. Please call (847) 866-6597 for scholarship applications & payment plan information. Sp e c i a l N e e d s : Our classes are fairly physical and highly interactive. If your child is not able to participate in these normal class activities with or without reasonable accommodation, please advise. If you need additional information about our classes to make this assessment, please call the workshop at (847) 866-6597. Parents, please keep in mind: Piven Theatre cannot be responsible for children before or after class time. It is the responsibility of the parent to be at the Center on time to pick up their children. Teaching staff is not on site outside of class hours. M a k e - u p C l a s s P o l i c y: No make-up classes are provided for students who miss a class, and no refunds or pro-rating are offered. R e f u n d P o l i c y: A $75.00 non-refundable deposit is included in the cost of each class. Tuition is refundable (minus the $75 deposit) ONLY if the Piven Theatre Workshop is notified by the next business day after the first class of the session. After this day, tuition becomes non-refundable. If you have taken advantage of our Early-Bird Discount offer or Refer-a-Friend offer, tuition is completely non-refundable. You may transfer free of charge to another class in the same session within the first two weeks of class. Students are responsible for notifying the Piven Theatre Workshop that they wish to drop a class; not attending does not constitute an official withdrawal. Classes may be cancelled due to low enrollment. Cancellations may be made at the last minute and students will be notified by phone and/or email. Tuition will be promptly refunded. The Piven Theatre Workshop is committed to providing a safe and positive creative environment for our students, and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, religious affiliation, or any other factor in the registration of students or the hiring of staff. As deemed necessary or desirable by Piven staff, however, Piven Theatre reserves the right to withdraw or refuse registration of, and to expel, any student or students who conduct themselves in a manner that is not conducive to a safe and positive creative environment. Students are expected to be courteous and respectful at all times to other students, Piven teachers, Piven staff, and Piven property. Piven is not responsible for any injuries sustained on its premises.

DISCOUNTS: R e f e r - a - F r i e n d D i s c o unt: Returning students can get $50 off their next class for EACH new friend they refer to the workshop who registers AND get their friend $50 off as well! This offer cannot be combined with any other discounts. Discount not available on Week-Long Intensives, Weekend Workshops, & Master Classes. Don’t see the class you want on the day you need? If you can get 7 other friends, Piven will put together a class on the day and time you need! Call (847) 866-6597 for more information.



how to register benefits for piven students

• Rehearsal space! Students can use our classrooms, as available, to rehearse their work for class (Subject to availability, class schedules, and production schedules.) • Discounted ticket offers to our professional subscription series • Flexible payment plans • One-on-one feedback and recommendations on their next class for every student at the end of their class • Open Performances of their work for family and friends at the end of each session • Fun events, such as staged-reading, panel discussions, parties, and salon performances

calendar notes

• No Class Tuesday, September 25 for Yom Kippur • No Classes Wednesday, November 21 through Sunday, November 24 for Thanksgiving • During our spring youth session, we do not take a spring break. Students come to Piven from all across Northern Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin and from many different school districts. We are unable to coordinate a spring break that will work for all of our students. With this in mind, our spring session runs for 13 classes instead of the usual 12 in order to accommodate absences due to school holidays.

how to register • Visit • Call the Workshop at (847)866-6597 •Stop by the office at: Noyes Cultural Arts Center 927 Noyes St, Suite 110 Evanston, IL 60201

the piven theatre workshop is grateful for the support of:



Piven Fall Brochure  

Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 class descriptions for Piven Theatre Workshop

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