The Actors Gymnasium
For more information, photos, or video, contact:
Michelle Higgins
Marketing Manager
New Show Created by Award Winning
Artists & Friends 
EVANSTON, IL - For years, David Catlin and Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi have created award winning theatre as director and choreographer - Lookingglass Alice, Moby Dick, and The Little Prince - that have delighted audiences near and far.

For months they have also been working on a brand new show that sees them performing together on stage as lifelong friends, Marnie & Phil.

Through the spectacular circus wizardry of The Actors Gymnasium, Marnie & Phil: A Circus Love Letter tells a time-spanning, multi-generational story that explores how our friendships stay with us over time, recede, and can come back to save us just when we need them to.
Marnie and Phil met when they were just young circus students, and became instant friends. But when the inevitable twists and turns of fate take them separate ways, they make a promise to always write to each other no matter where they are. As they each somersault through adventures of fame and heartache, and age begins to take its toll on their once nimble physiques, they seek each other out to perform one last show-their long-awaited debut!

A new, original work of circus theatre, Marnie & Phil: A Circus Love Letter is written and directed by Chris Mathews (ensemble member of The House Theatre of Chicago), and features a cast of Actors Gymnasium and Lookingglass favorites including David Catlin (founding ensemble member of Lookingglass), Jeremy Sonkin (Rose and The Rime, Side Show, Princess Mary Demands Your Attention, Some Men), Samuel Taylor (Lookingglass Alice, Back Room Shakespeare Project), Lindsey Noel Whiting (Lookingglass Alice, Lost & Found, The Magical Exploding Boy and The Invisible Circus), Javen Ulambayar (The Magical Exploding Boy and The Invisible Circus, Moby Dick) and AG Artistic Director Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi, as well as the premier students of the Actors Gymnasium Teen Ensemble.

Marnie & Phil: A Circus Love Letter trailer - Actors Gym 2016 Winter Circus
Marnie & Phil: A Circus Love Letter trailer - Actors Gym 2016 Winter Circus

The show features original songs by Lindsey Noel Whiting and music by award-winning Chicago composer Kevin O'Donnell (The House Theatre of Chicago, Andrew Bird), as well as lighting design from Maggie Fullilove-Nugent (The Hypocrites, The Ruffians). Jaw-dropping circus choreography is led by Artistic Director Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi.

The show runs February 13-March 20th with four performances a weekend. Interested patrons can buy tickets here

This show is recommended for kids ages five and above.

Chris Mathews, Writer and Director
Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi, Circus Choreographer 
Tommy Rapley, Dance Choreographer 
Jerica Hucke, Costume Designer
Maggie Fullilove-Nugent, Lighting Designer
Kevin O'Donnell, Composer, Sound Designer
Grace Needlman, Props/Object Designer
Isaac Schoepp, Rigging 

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. Additionally classes are 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