Performance Project Creative

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Joanne Underwood
Joanne Underwood is a senior teacher at the Piven Theatre, where she has taught a wide range of classes to both children and adults. She appeared as Cordelia in King Lear starring Byrne Piven and Florina in Mad Forest (2003 After Dark Award: Best Ensemble) and numerous other productions at the Piven Theatre, greasy joan and company, and Raven Theatre and has studied acting with the Moscow Art Theatre, Shakespeare & Company, and the Chicago Shakespeare Company. She has taught acting workshops at many schools and organizations throughout the Chicagoland area such as Lifeline Theatre, Roosevelt University, Columbia College, and Dance Center of Evanston. In addition, Joanne is a psychotherapist in private practice in Evanston and leads creativity workshops.
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Donna Osowski
Donna Osowski is one of our senior acting teachers, having taught classes in games, story and improvisation to children and adults. She has directed a variety of fairy tales and literary pieces for the Performance Project at Piven for 14 years. She most recently appeared on the Piven stage in Dead Man Walking, staged readings of Far Away and To the Lighthouse, and she has performed in the Piven Improv series Anytime Anywhere. Other credits include Jewish Stories (Piven) and Summer and Smoke (The Den Theatre). She has a degree in theatre from Illinois State University. In her spare time, she loves exploring Chicago and the lakefront via bicycle, and snapping a few photos along the way.
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Production Stage Manager
Anna Walker
Anna Walker (Stage Manager) is excited to work with Piven Theatre Workshop! Previous credits include Marys Seacole (Griffin Theatre Company), Side by Side by Sondheim (Otterbein Summer Theatre), The Heidi Chronicles, and A Lie of the Mind. Otterbein University graduate. Congratulations to the cast and crew!
Scenic Designer
Anna Petersen
Anna is a Scenic artist based in Chicago IL. She received her degree in Art, Media, and Design from DePaul University. Some of her most recent credits include Issac’s Eye, Antigone, Emma’s Child, and The Birthday Party.
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Lighting Designer
Emma Linnae
Emma Linnae (They/Them) is a Chicago-based lighting designer for theater, dance, and live performances whose recent designs include: Still Dreaming of A White Christmas (Cornwell's Dinner Theater), A Midsummer Night's Dream (ECC Arts Center) and Magic Tree House; A Ghost Tale for Mr.Dickens (Raue Center Of The Arts).

Piven Staff


Byrne & Joyce Piven

Artistic Director Emeritus

Joyce Piven

Artistic Director 

Jennifer Green

Education Manager

Donna Osowski

Development Director

Juliet Bond

Literary Manager

Stephen Fedo

Production Manager

 Mia Maccarella