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Piven opens Holiday Storybox

Piven Theater is going unscripted.

Piven opens Holiday Storybox, an act of improvised storytelling on Saturday.

The show runs this weekend and next weekend on Saturdays at 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. and Sundays at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tickets are $10.

The show is in conjunction with the Chicago Improv Festival, which for years has been performing Storybox Theater, a show for adult audiences but, unlike its predecessor, Piven Theater is taking the act to all ages.

Using just wooden sticks and clothing for props, the actors of Holiday Storybox build a one-act tale from a young audience member’s suggestion. For 45-minutes, the story unfolds with multicultural holiday themes that take the characters through a series of settings and events. Piven Theater collaborated to assemble the show that features eight veteran improvisation actors from the Storybox Ensemble.

Inspired by the Tony award-winning Broadway show “Story Theater”, Jonathan Pitts created and developed Storybox, which debuted in 2003, and later, Piven put a spin on it for the holidays.

Piven has not been the only to welcome the act. Since its creation, Storybox has morphed into three different versions that have been performed over 200 times in a many theaters. Other than the holiday and long adult versions, Storybox also performs a 20 to 30 minute recreation of classic story tales. Piven will welcome the adult version for a month in the spring.

Directed by Storybox core member Nick Johne, actors include Ravi Batista, Tusiime Jackson, Elise Lammers, Matt Klingler, Jonathan Pitts, Jenn SavaRyan, Jeremy Schaefer and Kelly Williams.

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