Wednesday, March 9, 2016

World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People Circus Workshop 3/20 & Review of Marnie & Phil: A Circus Love Letter

 Celebrate World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People

Here at ChiIL Mama and ChiIL Live Shows we're passionate about theatre and circus arts. So we're always thrilled to spread the word about excellent opportunities to introduce your children to those worlds. We're also beyond excited that my own daughter, Sage (12), just auditioned for and got cast in Actor's Gym's next show, The Spring Youth Circus! She has performed with CircEsteem for 3 years in the past, but this will be her Actors Gym debut.

Studies prove great benefits to kids who attend theatre. Among other things, they are more compassionate than those who don't. Participating in theatre and circus is fun, and boosts confidence and creativity. We highly recommend both seeing and being in shows!

Parents searching for a way to expose their kids to theatre have a special opportunity this "World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People". The Actors Gymnasium is offering a workshop and show on March 20, 2016 to take part. 

Families can get quality time in a circus class designed for moms, dads, sons, daughters, grandparents to work together to learn basic skills in silk knot, partner acrobatics and rolling globe. This Family Circus Workshop is for participants ages 8 and up. The workshop takes place from 12 to 1 pm, allowing time to grab lunch an get changed before the final 3 pm performance of Marnie & Phil: A Circus Love Letter

REVIEW: Marnie & Phil: A Circus Love Letter is one of our favorite Actor's Gym shows to date, and that's saying something! 

This show is a magical, multigenerational mash up of circus arts, stellar original songs, and an overarching story line that pays tribute to a lifelong friendship. It's a touching tale with plenty to please all ages. 

We especially loved the clowning, aerial arts and the endless progression of letters delivered by unicycle, as Marnie & Phil carried on a long distance, touring friendship that spanned decades. 

We also adored the scenes where Marnie & Phil interact with their young, young adult and elderly selves! They're a pure delight.

Once again, The Actors Gym raises the bar on circus arts training and shows in Chicago, and well beyond. Highly recommended!

Check out our original show photos from Marnie & Phil: A Circus Love Letter below:

A few of our favorites are at the bottom of this feature as well.

Now Back To World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People on 3/20:

The workshop costs $25 per pair and show tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for students, seniors and children under 12. 

About the Instructor:
The workshop is taught by Tommy Tomlins who has been performing circus arts for over half her life. From taking part in circus summer camp shows at age 10 to performing in repeat productions of Lookingglass Theatre's Hephaestus: A Greek Mythology Circus Tale, (2008, 2010), and The Actors Gymnasium's Lost & Found: A Recycled Circus (2011, 2012) and Circuscope (2015), she always knew that circus arts held a special place in her heart. 

At age 14, Tommy was one of the original members of The Actors Gymnasium's Teen Ensemble and performed with that group in and around the Chicago area in both industrial gigs and full-length shows. After leaving the Ensemble, Tommy spent the majority of her time teaching circus and performing arts to children, teens, and adults, and continued to perform throughout the Midwest. 

In 2013, Tommy Tomlins graduated from the New England Center for Circus Arts' Pro-Track program, and in 2015 she excitedly returned to her circus roots at The Actors Gym. She currently teachers students as young as 5 all the way up to the Professional Circus Training Program. In addition to her classes, she is Assistant Director of the Teen Ensemble and the Assistant Circus Choreographer for Marnie & Phil: A Circus Love Story. 

Additional choreography credits include Northwestern Theatre's The Little Prince (2012), The Actors Gymnasium's Secrets, Lies, & Super Spies (2015), and the upcoming Northwestern Theatre production of The Tempest (2016).

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.

Actors Gymnasium classes are taught in a 3,000 sq/ft gymnasium space that features a 1,600 sq/ft sprung floor and a fully rigged 24 foot ceiling. All aerial equipment such as the Aerial Hoop, Spanish Web, aerial silks, static trapeze and more are provided, as well as the equipment for ground skills such as unicycling, juggling, tight wire and gymnastics. Starting Fall Session 2015 additionally classes will be taught in Studio 108, a 900 sq/ft classroom space that features a floating sprung White Oak dance floor, a fully rigged 14 foot ceiling, a handstand wall, conditioning ladders, and room length 12 foot mirrors for aerial work.

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

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