The youth circus program at Actors Gymnasium explores Shakespeare with a production of “A Circus Night’s Dream” at the Noyes Center in Evanston.

The youth circus is a performance-based training program that culminates in a fully-produced, original show.  

Students in 5th grade or higher are eligible to audition, and students in 8th grade or higher take part in writing the script. The original script evolves from the characters each participant creates during workshops early in the rehearsal process. 

To ensure a broad education in circus and performing arts, The Actors Gymnasium brings in instructors who specialize in dance and drama, while Co-Artistic Director Sylvia Hernandez DiStasi teaches circus and aerial skills that include juggling, tumbling, trapeze, tightwire, stilts and more.

“Youth Circus is such a lucky opportunity, one we definitely don’t take for granted. Where else can kids be part of the development and execution of a complete work of performance art with such a uniquely talented team of teachers and artists… and to truly feel like part of the ‘team’ throughout the process.” says parent and board member Lauren Sinai.

The show opens Nov. 8 and runs for two weekends with three shows each weekend. Tickets are available now and can be purchased online.

The show, written and directed by Chris Mathews, lets the young performers add their own fantastic spins and twirls in an original, acrobatic adaptation of Shakespeare’s most imaginative comedy. 


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

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Leave a comment

The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *