How to Bring Clarity and Creativity to Your Everyday Life: Piven Theatre

Whether you’re a salesman, a teacher, or an aspiring actor, Piven Theatre Workshop has a class for you.

“Our classes help anyone communicate, from children learning to make eye contact, to a social worker who needs to learn to work with kids who are non-verbal,” says Leslie Brown, Executive Director. “Our classes start with groups of students working to build ensembles and celebrates every individual’s unique voice.”

For more than 40 years, Piven has been a nationally respected acting school and professional theatre. The Workshop pursues its mission through three branches of the organization: a training center for children and adults that serves more than 1,000 students annually with mentorship opportunities for emerging theatre artists and educators, extensive scholarship and community outreach programs, and a professional theatre committed to new works and literary adaptations.

“Piven not only provided me with a unique approach to theatre, it also offered an interesting approach to life,” says Piven alumna Lynn Gettleman of Evanston. “The games and techniques taught at Piven are based upon group interactions that help develop creativity, clarity of expression, a sense of humor, and sensitivity to the ideas and emotions of those around you. After six years of training at Piven, I found myself equipped with skills that enabled me to adapt to a variety of situations.”

From 7 p.m.-11 p.m. on Sat., June 23, Piven will host its annual benefit at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St., in Evanston, where it will thank its hometown for 40 years of support.

A VIP champagne reception will be held at 6 p.m. with Jeremy Piven, who’s currently in production playing the lead role in the British series, Mr. Selfridge. The event features dinner and performances by ensemble members of Piven’s renowned Young People’s Company and Performance Project, a silent auction, and dancing in the upstairs gallery.

Piven will honor Evanston mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl for her commitment to the arts in Evanston and for her work in developing a new partnership with Piven to expand and renovate its facilities.

Funds raised at the event will help provide $30,000 in scholarships for students, and to fund other programs, such as PITE for adults with disabilities, in which every student receives a full scholarship.