Piven Theatre Workshop


For over thirty-five years, the Piven Theatre Workshop has maintained both a professional subscription theater and a nationally acclaimed actors training center for children and adults. As founders, Byrne and Joyce Piven have received the Evanston Arts Council Youth and Education Award, the Evanston Mayors Award for the Arts, the Chicago Drama League’s Crystal Award, and lifetime achievement awards from the University of Chicago, the Chicago Improv Festival, and the Joseph Jefferson Committee. Many know the Piven for its celebrity alumni: John and Joan Cusack, Jeremy Piven, Aidan Quinn, Lili Taylor, Harry Lennix, and many more. However, Piven Theatre Workshop’s greatest value may be to those many students who have taken into their lives and professions an enriched understanding of the human exchange and a greater confidence in themselves.

Artistic Statement: 

Piven Theatre Workshop’s acclaimed program of creative exploration celebrates each individual’s unique voice through an ensemble-based, community-oriented approach to theater training and performance. For over thirty-five years, Piven Theatre has pursued artistic excellence through the organization’s three branches: the training center for children and adults, annually serving 1,000 students with mentorship opportunities for emerging theater professionals and educators; the extensive scholarship and community outreach programs; and the professional Equity theater committed to new works and literary adaptations. The Workshop’s faculty and production teams are all active members of the Chicago theater community, and almost all of the Workshop faculty members are also former Piven students. In reaching out into schools and community centers, we are able to bring a dynamic and creatively challenging experience for all students into existing curricula.

Residency Type: 
Performance Company