The Evanston-based Piven Theatre Workshop will focus its upcoming 2012-13 season on the theme of “Coming of Age.”

The season includes a premiere of award-winning playwright Polly Stenham’s play Tusk Tusk and concludes with its annual Young People’s Company and Performance Project productions featuring literary adaptations and story theatre.

Tusk Tusk:  Opens on September 12 and runs through October 7.  Artistic Director Jennifer Green returns to the Piven stage to direct the premiere of Tusk Tusk, award-winning playwright Polly Stenham’s striking play about family ties as an uncertain future looms.  Stenham, the youngest playwright ever to be produced at the Royal Court Theatre in London, creates an explosive story of London siblings left to fend for themselves after their bipolar mother goes missing.  The story confronts difficult familial issues with a blunt, poetic voice that speaks directly to a generation facing a world of upheaval and uncertainty.  Piven Theatre Workshop’s long and storied history of serving as an incubator for emerging young talent creates a unique home for this compelling new work.

Young People’s Company:  Opens February 20 and runs through February 24, 2013.  Piven’s renowned advanced youth ensemble comprises sophomore, junior, and senior-aged students who have studied at Piven Theatre Workshop and have advanced to the highest level within the youth programs.   Building on the theme of “Coming of Age”, the students will adapt new literary works in the tradition of story theatre.

Performance Project:  Opens March 11 and runs through March 16, 2013.  Piven’s students in 7th-9th grades comprise the ensemble of Performance Project.  Working with fairy tales and myth, students work for months to adapt stories for the stage.  This year, tales revolving around themes of “Coming of Age” will weave throughout the production.

The theatre is housed at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St. Ticket information is available online or by calling 847-866-8049.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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