• The Actors Gymnasium The Actors Gymnasium


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Mission Statement

The Actors Gymnasium Mission Statement

The Actors Gymnasium is a think-and-do tank for the performing arts. Through classes, workshops, performances, and collaborations with other artists, The Actors Gymnasium attempts to:

  • expand the conventional theater vocabulary to include unconventional skills;
  • encourage new investigations, collaborations, and creations; and
  • create a community of performing artists capable of doing anything demanded of them, or anything they demand of themselves.

The Actors Gymnasium Vision Statement

Since 1995, The Actors Gymnasium has been guided by the vision of a revitalized American theatre: one with performances as thrilling as a rock concert, as invigorating as the circus and as mesmerizing as a fireworks display.

We believe that highly trained performers create great theatre. We also believe that theatre artists who combine performance disciplines such as dance, music, circus acrobatics and puppetry, take theatre to its greatest heights, while discovering its deepest
truths. To that end, we have dedicated ourselves to the education of multi-skilled, theatre artists.

We believe that this multi-disciplinary study can provide our students not only with healthy careers, but also a foundation for lifelong learning; creativity and confidence in
their life-pursuits; and a holistic appreciation for the fine arts.

We are inspired both by children and adult students who thrive in an environment of self-exploration, and by the artistic achievement of groundbreaking organizations such as Cirque du Soleil, the Lookingglass Theatre Company, and Pilobolus Dance Theatre.

At The Actors Gymnasium people learn to fly - physically, emotionally, intellectually, and creatively.


The Actors Gymnasium in a nutshell: With more and more of the theater work created in this country evolving as multi-disciplinary work (dance-theater, circus-theater, puppet-theater, clown-theater, etc.) the need for multi-talented performers is growing every day. Performers want and need multi-disciplinary training. The Actors Gymnasium provides it and more. The Actors Gymnasium was incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation under the laws of the State of Illinois in 1995.

Founders and Artistic Directors, Larry DiStasi and Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi, are active creators, performers and teachers of physical theater art. Their critically acclaimed collaborations with Lookingglass Theatre (La Luna Muda, The Baron in the Trees, Hard Times and Lookingglass Alice) have been recognized with Joseph Jefferson recommendations, nominations and awards. They have created and produced over a dozen shows, including the highly inventive Flying Griffin Circus, described as "down-home magic" in the Chicago Reader.



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