The Actors Gymnasium
For more information, photos, or video, contact:
Michelle Higgins
Marketing Manager
Circus Community Successful Celebrates
20th Anniversary
EVANSTON, IL - The Actors Gymnasium held it's Soaring 20's Anniversary Gala on April 16 at 27 Live. Students, staff and alumni from the past 20 years came out to enjoy circus aerial acts, contortionists, and acrobats, raising over $10,000 in outreach, programming, and scholarships. The event was emceed by House Theatre's Chris Mathews and featured a surprise video from Teen Ensemble alumni who couldn't attend thanking Artist Director Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi.

"It was lovely to see so many people who have been supporting us for so long celebrating along side some new friends. It's our community that makes everything we do possible. We are so incredibly lucky and grateful." says Hernandez-DiStasi.

Actors Gymnasium is the recipient of, among others, the 2009 Evanston Mayor's Award for the Arts, the 2012 Evanston Chamber of Commerce Public Service/Non-Profit Award and two time winners of the NACE ISES Chicago Excellence (NICE) Award for Best Interactive Entertainment. It serves over 3,000 students per year, puts on six productions annually and provides award winning event entertainment talent all over the Chicagoland area.
Chicago performer Adeoye Mabior Mabogunje (Thornton,CO) with The House Theatre of Chicago Company member and Gala emcee Chris Mathews (Chicago). Photo by Bordeaux Studios.
Marnie & Phil: A Circus Love Letter cast member Sadie Sims and mother Heidi Stillman (Evanston), Artistic Director of Lookingglass Theatre. Photo by Bordeaux Studios.
Original Teen Ensemble members Tommy Tomlins (Evanston), Emily Fishkin (Evanston), and Rose Falvey (Mokena) embrace Artistic Director Sylvia (Evanston) during her surprise video tribute from Teen Ensemble members past and present. Photo by Diante Thomas
Professional Circus Training Program students Zoe Boyer (Evanston) and Joey C Heyworth (Raleigh, NC) show off the hand balancing skills they've learned in their 20's inspired act. Photo by Diante Thomas


The Actors Gymnasium is located at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes Street, Evanston, IL - just off of the Noyes purple line 'L' stop. The Noyes Cultural Arts Center is owned by the City of Evanston and home to over 20 artists and arts organizations offering music, theater, and visual arts programs and studios. The galleries exhibit local artists, with exhibitions changing every two months.

Actors Gymnasium classes are taught in a 3,000 sq/ft gymnasium space that features a 1,600 sq/ft sprung floor and a fully rigged 24 foot ceiling. All aerial equipment such as the Aerial Hoop, Spanish Web, aerial silks, static trapeze and more are provided, as well as the equipment for ground skills such as unicycling, juggling, tight wire and gymnastics. Starting Fall Session 2015 additionally classes will be taught in Studio 108, a 900 sq/ft classroom space that features a floating sprung White Oak dance floor, a fully rigged 14 foot ceiling, a handstand wall, conditioning ladders, and room length 12 foot mirrors for aerial work.

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, and creatively. For more information, please visit