The Actors Gymnasium
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"One of a Kind" Local Designer Wins Major Award

EVANSTON, IL- The Actors Gymnasium is pleased to announce that Co-Artistic Director and Master Teacher Sylvia Hernandez Distasi has been awarded the 3Arts Designer Award. 


The awards are given out for Dance, Music, Theater, Teaching Arts, and Visual Arts and provide longterm support for women artists, artists of color, and artists with disabilities in Chicago. More information about the amazing work 3Arts supports can be found here.

"All of us at the Actors Gymnasium are extremely proud and excited for Sylvia. Her unique ability to choreograph circus skills to tell a story, to stun an audience, and to stretch her performers' abilities is why she is a gem in the Chicago theatre community. Because of her enthusiasm for circus arts and physical theatre, Sylvia has encouraged hundreds of performers to juggle, spin, flip, and fly. One of ten to receive it; one of a 

kind to all of us," said The Actors Gymnasium Board President Sam Fishkin.
Hernandez-DiStasi is a second generation circus performer who grew up touring with various circuses, including the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and also performed at The Circus World Championships in London, England.

Sylvia is a co-founder of The Actors Gymnasium and an Artistic Associate of The Lookingglass Theatre Company. Sylvia has won four Joseph Jefferson Awards, including a Special Achievement Award for her circus choreography of Lookingglass Alice which has toured nationally and been seen by over 100,000 people. Other theater credits include The Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Children's Theater, Marriott Theater, and Steppenwolf.


The coming year looks to be a busy one for Hernandez-DiStasi. On top of her usual involvement in act creation for The Actors Gymnasium's theatrical season and acting as master teacher overseeing all classes, camps and workshops at The Actors 

Gymnaisum, she will provide circus choreography for Lookingglass Theatre's remount of the critically acclaimed Lookingglass Alice and their June production of Moby Dick. She is also providing circus choreography and coaching for the Illinois High School Association 2015 All-State Production of Pippin, a year long process; while developing a pro track program set to start in the Fall of 2015 at The Actors Gymnasium.