Joyce Piven & Joan Cusack

March 23rd, 2011

JOYCE PIVEN (Co-Founder / Artistic Director Emeritus) was one of the founding members and leading actresses at Playwrights’ Theatre, the group that spawned Compass Players and Second City.  With Playwright’s Theatre, she played leading roles in Midsummer Nights Dream, The Seagull, The Dybbuk, Round Dance and Caucasian Chalk Circle and studied extensively with Uta Hagen and Mira Rostova. Returning to Chicago, she and husband Byrne Piven helped Paul Sills form the Second City Repertory with Bernie Sahlins and Joyce Sloane as well as (with Sills) the original Story Theatre Company. Ms. Piven played Lady Macbeth in the Piven Theatre’s futuristic Macbeth, Bessie in Wisdom Bridge’s production of Awake And Sing, Lillian Hellman in The Julia Project directed by Shira Piven at New York’s Greenwich Theatre, and most recently appeared in Great Expectations at Piven Theatre and in Lookingglass Theatre’s Hard Times.  Ms. Piven is the Co-Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus of the Piven Theatre Workshop and founding director of the Piven Theatre Workshop‘s famed Young People’s Company.  Ms. Piven has directed Lili Taylor in the revival of Maria Irene Fornes’ Mud at Victory Gardens and she directed the remounting of Orlando at the Actors Gang in Los Angeles. At Piven Theatre, she has directed: Rochelle Distelheim’s Sadie In Love, Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls, Sarah Ruhl’s adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, Brilliant Traces by Cindy Lou Johnson, Speed-the-Plow by David Mamet, Collected Stories by Donald Margulies, Chekhov’s Three Sisters, Chekhov: The Stories, Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice, Festival of Jewish Stories, Chekhov Stories: The Emerging Woman, What Dreams May Come: American Visions Through Jewish Eyes and Two By Pinter.  She recently directed Suffragette Koan by Linda Carson in Los Angeles.  She continues to bridge two cities, Chicago and LA, where her children and grandchildren, Pearl (yes THAT one) and Lili thrive.  With Emmy Award Winning son Jeremy and writer/director daughter Shira, she is dedicated to keeping the Story Theatre method and the Piven Theatre Workshop legacy alive and thriving.

Join host Elysabeth Alfano of Fear No ART behind the scenes in an in-depth conversation with director, actress, and teacher Joyce Piven and actress Joan Cusack.

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