About Performance Project

Performance Project theatre company is comprised of Piven’s most advanced students in 6th – 8th grade. Students in this performance troupe typically study with us for several years before being invited into the ensemble, so they are already well-versed in the Piven Technique and are building the skills necessary to move on to more advanced coursework at the Workshop. Piven Performance Project company members undertake an intensive 5-month training program focused on improvisation, ensemble-building, and crafting Story Theatre adaptations of myths, folk talks, fairytales, and modern short stories. Every winter, the Performance Project theatre company presents a weekend long festival of world premiere adaptations for Piven students as well as the wider community.


Elsa and the Evil Wizard

Directed by Donna Osowski



Directed by Joanne Underwood

Piven Theatre Workshop

The Piven Theatre Workshop strives, with both children and adults, to invigorate their students’ natural sense of play through the creative process of theatre. A wide array of games and techniques are employed that open the imagination, encourage players to act on impulse, and focus students’ attention away from themselves and onto their fellow actors, thereby counteracting that self-criticism that is so self-defeating.

In this way, a community is established and an ensemble built. Students are encouraged to take risks and liberate their own individual voices while acquiring the skills to communicate truthfully and whole-heartedly on stage or screen.

A nationally respected training center for over 50 years, Piven Theatre Workshop has been honored with numerous awards and has produced a panoply of celebrated theatre artists such as John  Cusack, Joan Cusack, Jeremy Piven, Shira PIvenAidan Quinn, Kate Walsh, Lili Taylor and many more.