The Actors Gymnasium
For more information, photos, or video, contact:

Kiana Harris Simon
Director of Marketing & Event Entertainment
Actors Gym Founders Win Public Service Award
Larry DiStasi and Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi Honored  

EVANSTON, IL - The Evanston Chamber of Commerce has awarded The Actors Gymnasium co-founders, Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi and Larry DiStasi, the shared title of Public Service/Non-Profit Person of the Year.


They will be honored at the 92nd Annual Meeting of the Evanston Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, May 1 at the Hilton Orrington Hotel.  A press conference will take place at 4:30pm followed by the event from 5:30-9pm. 
The Actors Gymnasium Circus and Performing Arts School is best known as a place where young people 'learn to fly' - physically, emotionally, intellectually, and creatively.  Founded in 1995 by theatre writer Tony Adler, Chicago actor Carlyle Coash, circus performer Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi and Lookingglass Theatre ensemble member Larry DiStasi, The Actors Gymnasium was established to bring a new physicality to the American Theatre.  For the past 17 years, as Co-Artistic Directors, Sylvia and Larry have been leading the programs of the School - developing curriculum, training teachers, and personally instructing thousands of children and adults in Circus Arts and physical theatre. They sometimes refer to the organization as "a think-and-do-tank for the performing arts."
The curriculum at The Actors Gymnasium fosters development - emotional, social, physical, and artistic - in kids and young adults through  instruction in physical theatre, movement and circus arts. Over 1200 adults and kids from all over the Chicago region go through the programs each year.  So much more than juggling, tumbling, aerial dance, trapeze, and unicycling - the personal rewards and interpersonal skills participants take with them after their time at The Actors Gymnasium are profound.


The Actors Gymnasium also produces high-quality, professional mainstage productions - new works created by Larry DiStasi - which feature some of the most talented and well-respected actors and circus performers from the Chicago area. These critically acclaimed productions continue to grow in popularity each season, bringing thousands of patrons to The Gym every year.  


The 92nd Annual Meeting of the Evanston Chamber of Commerce will be held from 5:30 to 9 pm.  Attendees can register on-line at the Chamber website, or by calling the Chamber at 847-328-1500.  


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Hi - res photos, video and more information are available upon request. 

Contact Kiana Harris Simon:, 847-328-2795


About The Actors Gymnasium

The Actors Gymnasium is dedicated to bringing a new physicality to the American Theatre. Encouraging ground-breaking theatrical exploration, The Actors Gymnasium teaches circus arts, physical theatre and multi-disciplinary performance to children and adults; produces original, daring works of circus-theatre; and serves as a talent resource, providing performance opportunities to our students and innovative professional event entertainment for a wider audience. At The Actors Gymnasium, people Learn To Fly - physically, emotionally, intellectually and creatively.