The Actors Gymnasium
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Kiana Harris Simon
Director of Marketing & Event Entertainment
Local Youth Ensemble to Perform Shakespeare with a Circus Twist

EVANSTON, IL- The Actors Gymnasium presents the third annual Fall Youth Circus, A Circus Night's Dream.

The Actors Gymnasium Youth Circus is a performance-based training program that culminates in a fully-produced, original show. This intensive experience includes high-quality training in drama, dance, aerial and circus arts - not to mention collaboration, verbal communication, listening skills, problem solving, and other social skills that are invaluable. The Youth Circus is one of The Actors Gymnasium's most popular ticketed events each year.  

Students in 5th grade or higher are eligible to audition, and students in 8th grade or higher take part in writing the script. The original script evolves from the characters each participant creates during workshops early in the rehearsal process. 

To ensure a broad education in circus and performing arts, The Actors Gymnasium brings in instructors who specialize in dance and drama, while Co-Artistic Director Sylvia Hernandez DiStasi teaches circus and aerial skills that include juggling, tumbling, trapeze, tightwire, stilts and more.  

"Youth Circus is such a lucky opportunity, one we definitely don't take for granted. Where else can kids be part of the development and execution of a complete work of performance art with such a uniquely talented team of teachers and artists... and to truly feel like part of the 'team' throughout the process." says parent and board member Lauren Sinai.

The show opens November 8th and runs for two weekends with three shows each weekend. Tickets are available now and can be purchased at For group reservations and general questions call 847-328-2795. The on-location box office opens 1.5 hours prior to the start of each performance.

About A Circus Night's Dream: Fall Youth Circus:

Written/Directed by Chris Mathews 
Circus Choreography by Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi 
Dance Choreography by Topeka Ellis 
Assistant Directed by Alex Tey 
Assistant Circus Choreography by Akemi Berry

A marriage, a circus, and Nature itself,
All hang in thrall to love's suspended health,
While the King and Queen of forces unseen
Do quarrel as mortals through a midnight dream.

Chris Mathews (House Theatre, Barrel of Monkeys), a creative team from Chicago's professional theatre community, and the outstanding young performers from The Actors Gymnasium add their own fantastic spins and twirls in an original, acrobatic adaptation of Shakespeare's most imaginative comedy.

Featuring: Maddy A., Nico A., Abbi B., Sofia B., Alice C., Griffin D., Alexa D., Eva D., Molly F., Noah F., Emma I., Lia K., Mia K., Sean L., Rebecca M., Simone N., Allie P., Eric P., Caroline P.. Ella R., Grace S., Brendan S., Maggie S., Claire T., Issy W., and Macey W.

About Chris Matthews, Youth Circus Director:
Chris Mathews is a company member with The House Theatre of Chicago where he performs, writes, and does any little thing in between. With Jake Minton and Nathan Allen, he has written Dave DaVinci Saves the Universe (Jeff Nomination, New Play), The Sparrow (Jeff Award, New Play), and Rose and the Rime. Chris is also an ensemble member with Barrel of Monkeys, an outreach program that teaches creative writing to students in Chicago Public Schools, then performs the stories the kids write as short plays. He has also performed with The Actors Gymnasium and Lookingglass. Chris also does motion capture work for WB Games within the Mortal Kombat franchise (Johnny Cage, Reptile), and others (Batman). Chris graduated from the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University.



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. 

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