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Theatre Department Fall Circus Showcase

Two shows on Friday, December 2nd! 4:45PM and 7PM.

Circus Project Overview

An actor’s primary instrument for expression is their body. It then becomes of the utmost importance for the actor to gain full access to the capabilities of this instrument.

The tangible skills acquired studying Circus offer young actors essential movement components including proper skeletal alignment, specificity of gestural language, and core strength training. In addition, actors learning Circus skills acquire cooperative skills including weight sharing, establishment of trust, and a variety of communication modes, both verbal and nonverbal.

As you watch this showcase performance, we invite you to take in the concrete skills our students have worked so hard to master during this process.

Prodigy Institute

Funds from the Prodigy Institute afforded Theatre Department students the opportunity to work with Master Circus Teacher Sylvia Hernandez-Destasi at The Actor’s Gymnasium in Evanston.

Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi is a second-generation circus performer who grew up touring with various circuses across the country. Highlights of her performing career include a three-year tour with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and competing in the Circus World Championships in London, England. In 1990, Sylvia moved to Chicago where she began teaching and choreographing circus arts. She teamed up with Lookingglass Theatre Company and ultimately earned three Joseph Jefferson Awards for her circus choreography in The Baron in The Trees (1999), Hard Times (2002), and Lookingglass Alice (2005).

To date, Sylvia has worked on 12 Lookingglass Theatre productions in Chicago and on tour across the country. Other theater credits include Marriot Theater Lincolnshire (where she won her fourth Jeff Award in 2007 for All Night Strut), The Mercury Theater, Chicago Children’s Theatre, and Steppenwolf Theatre. Sylvia is a Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of The Actors Gymnasium where she enjoys splitting her time as a circus teacher, act creator, and choreographer for circus productions such as Lost and Found: A Recycled Circus, Skooled, The Magical Exploding Boy and the Invisible Circus.

Other Guest Artists for this project included Actor’s Gymnasium instructors Javen Ulambayar and Flora Bare and The Chicago Academy for the Arts Dance Department Alum Kevin Beverley ‘08, now appearing in the new Cirque Du Soleil show VOLTA.



Earlier Event: November 28
Music Department Fall Jazz Concert
Later Event: December 6
Pat Rusk's Lunch Hour Singing Recital