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

Michelle Higgins
Marketing Manager
EVANSTON, IL - Applications for this year's Professional Circus Training Program go live December 9th. The program is designed to prepare students for professional circus performance, or for audition into a multi-year circus program. It is intended for dedicated artists looking to take their circus training and theatrical skills to the next level. 

"I signed up for this program because it's not just about doing the tricks. A big part of the program is you use circus skills to tell a narrative. When I get onstage, it's usually about doing tricks, but I want to do something more creative," says Joe Yonek, current Pro-Training Student, "It brings me together with a group of other people who want to train and grow in their chosen disciplines. Being around others inspires me to train harder and more seriously." 

The 9-month intensive curriculum of the Pro-Training program provides 27 hours per week of premier training in circus arts, dance and physical theatre. Each week, students work on circus skills, stretching and conditioning, dance (classical and modern forms), physical theatre training, and a special topic course. Students also receive one private lesson per week and 2-3 hours of open practice time daily. The program culminates in a capstone performance in May when students will showcase their work.
Aerial arts skills including trapeze, silks, lyra, straps, Spanish web, invented apparatus, and Chinese pole are featured, as well as handbalancing, tumbling, partner acrobatics, juggling, tightwire, and contortion. Study also includes special topics such as rigging and career management. For a taste of what the program looks like from the inside, interested students can check out the weekly vlog,  A Day in the Circus Life .

The Professional Circus Training Program was launched in September 2015 under the direction of Master Teacher Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi. After it's first nine month session, the Actors Gymnasium can say confidently that the program is a resounding success. 

The Actors Gymnasium was created in 1995 by professional physical performers looking for a place to hone their craft and has been a pioneer in Chicago's circus-theatre movement ever since. Celebrated for its longstanding collaborative relationship with Lookingglass Theatre, AG has won awards for artistic excellence from 3Arts, The City of Evanston and the Joseph Jefferson Committee. Multidisciplinary training is a hallmark of AG, and applications are encouraged from those who have additional skills in dance, music, acting, design, original work and more. Complete details on tuition, faculty, schedule, audition deadlines, and more can be found at this link.

The Actors Gymnasium makes it's home in the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, where it has two spaces: a newly renovated Studio space, 900 sq/ft featuring a sprung White Oak dance floor, fully rigged 14ft ceiling, a handstand wall, conditioning ladders and room length 12 ft mirrors. The other space, the Gym is a 3,000 sq/ft gymnasium space that features a 1,600 sq/ft sprung floor, and a fully rigged 24 foot ceiling.

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 our website.