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How Do You Define Home?
Piven Theatre Workshop's 2017-2018 Season: HOME

This season, Piven Theatre Workshop is exploring what it means to find, create, or leave Home. Each of the 12 productions in our season touch this theme in some way, and several are linked to our wider outreach programming, providing the opportunity for more conversations and more ways to get involved in the Piven community. We hope you will join us for productions in the Lab and on our main stage alike!

You can read more about the inspiration for the Home season in Artistic Director Jennifer Green's Letter to the Community.

Excited about the upcoming Piven Season? Want to save money on your tickets? Purchase a Flex Pass and you'll receive 10 tickets for just $75. Regular-price tickets range anywhere from $10-$35, so your $75 Flex Pass is a 25%-78% savings per ticket! To purchase a Flex Pass, call 847 866 8049 or email Carolyne at Carolyne@piventheatre.org.

Or, purchase individual tickets using the button below:

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Upcoming Productions


A Lab @ Piven Performance
by Scott Shallenbarger & directed by Abby Pierce.

What is the definition of home when there is no house, family, or country to call your own?
Lee and Tyler have been soul-mates since childhood when they clawed their way out of a blue-collar town, went to college, and built career success. Then, at thirty years old, a series of events capsized Lee into homelessness. Tyler does his best to help her navigate the arduous circumstances while juggling his responsibilities as teacher and new father. Together, they propel the audience into a hyper-energized, meta-theatrical landscape. One dotted with humor, psychological pain, and a rollercoaster of turns stretching the limits of their friendship. They struggle to relate for the first time in their lives. Will this chasm separate them forever? And if lifelong friends struggle to find common ground because of economic differences, how can a divided America?

Tuesday, October 3 at 7:30pm

Variations on a Theme

A Lab @ Piven Devised Performance
Directed by Erika Haaland

This evening of vignettes will explore the idea of HOME through music, movement, text, and ensemble driven physical theatre. Embodying the spirit of collaboration, our ensemble will build the piece drawing from individual backgrounds and group experiences unique to our artists.

Monday, October 9 and Tuesday, October 10 at 7:30pm

Story & Sketch:
Piven's Improv, Story Telling, and Sketch Comedy Festival

Join us for the next generation of Piven's improv series! This year, we're combining improv, solo storytelling, and sketch comedy into one exciting festival. Including performances from professional improvisers and solo storytellers, adult students, youth students, PEEP members, and more, Story & Sketch celebrates all the ways we tell stories. On Saturday evenings, invited guests and Lab @ Piven alums Forte Chicago will perform stories through the mediums of opera and improvisation at 7:30pm, followed by the professional Piven improvisers at 9:30pm.

October 27 - November 19
Fridays at 7:30pm
Saturdays Forte Chicago at 7:30pm, Story &
Sketch at 9:30pm
Sundays at 2:30pm

My Home is Far Away

Presented by the Young People's Company

For 45 years, Piven's acclaimed Young People's Company has performed original story theatre adaptations. This season, they share stories of finding your home anywhere in the world.

December 6 - 10
Wednesday - Saturday at 7:30
Saturday and Sunday at 2:30

Ringing True

A Lab @ Piven Performance
By Rebecca Joy Fletcher.

Rebecca gets the best con of her life; it's a brass wedding ring, but it leads her to find true gold. Bossy Parisian rock stars, ancient Talmud rabbis, singing cowboys: many guides appear on Rebecca's journey home. Ringing True is a one-woman musical the Miami Herald called a “tour de force” and “an intimate and mystical night of theater.”

Monday, January 22 and Tuesday January 23 at 7:30pm

When They Came

A Lab @ Piven Performance
By MT Cozzola & directed by Jackie Stone.

In When They Came, the citizens of a typical American town recover from the loss of a group of aliens who had come to them in need of a home. The citizens defend their actions, interrogate each other, and reveal their deepest hopes and fears as they seek to explain, as a community, how their hospitable intentions resulted in disaster. Part sci-fi fantasy and part story theatre, this experimental piece explores what it means to be human. When the desire to embrace a new immigrant population conflicts with the desire to protect familiar traditions, what do we choose? Can we have both?

Monday January 29 and Tuesday January 30 at 7:30pm

I Am My Neighborhood

Presented by Performance Project

For 45 years, the young artists of Piven's Performance Project have performed original story theatre adaptations. This season, they share stories of belonging and finding our home in our community.

February 12 - 17
Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday at 5:00pm
Friday at 7:30pm
Saturday at 9:30am and 12:30pm

The Evanston Project (To Be Announced)

A World Premiere by Tania Richard
Directed by Tim Rhoze
Co-Commissioned by Piven Theatre Workshop and Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre

In collaboration with venerated Evanston theatre company Fleetwood-Jourdain, The Evanston Project is creating our capstone performance for the 2017 - 2018 season. This World Premiere play will explore Evanston's history of redlining and racial segregation, and the stories of the Evanston African-American community and their struggle to find home in the mid-20th century.

April 21 - May 20
Previews April 19 & 20
Thursdays - Saturdays at 7:30pm
Sundays at 2:30pm


A Lab @ Piven Performance
Written and directed by Juliet Bond.

When teenager Erin McCallister receives an unexpected package in the mail, truths are revealed that force her to examine her own culpability in a series of injustices she'd chosen not to see for almost her entire life.

Affluenza is a work in progress that seeks to explore the relationships between race, privilege, and individual responsibility.

Monday, May 14 and Tuesday, May 15 at 7:30pm

At These Gates

A Lab @ Piven Performance
by Joan Sergay

During the perilous journey from war-torn Syria to France, two women find their paths inextricably linked. In Joan Sergay’s new drama, At These Gates, Amira and Samar discover the lengths they will go to escape Syria’s conflict, trek across dangerous borders, and seek refuge on a continent that refuses to be their home.

Monday, June 4 and Tuesday,
June 5 at 7:30pm


A Lab @ Piven Devised Performance.
Directed by Scott Shallenbarger

Interactive and spontaneous, playback theatre bases its material on the stories of the community. Performances are carried out by a team of actors, emcee (called the conductor), and musician. As the show begins, audience members respond to questions from the conductor, then watch as actors and musician create brief theatre pieces on the spot. Later, volunteers from the audience come to the stage to tell longer stories, choosing actors to play the main roles. Although performances often focus on a theme of interest or concern, the performers follow no narrative agenda, but bring their dramatic skills and their humanity to embodying on the stage the concerns and experiences of audience members.

Monday, June 25 and Tuesday, June 26 at 7:30pm

Doorway: Stories from Division 4

A Lab @ Piven Devised Performance by the Piven Ensemble at Cook County Jail

Doorway launches from original creative writing, verbatim text, and improvised narration to tell stories of home and away (and the spaces between). Both the script development and the direction of the performance are guided from within Piven’s ensemble of women at Cook County Jail.

Monday, July 16 and Tuesday, July 17 at 7:30pm