Theater Workshop at Hull-House with Aretha Sills

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Jane Addams Hull-House Museum

800 South Halsted Street

Chicago, IL 60607

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Aretha Sills will lead a three-hour introductory workshop exploring the groundbreaking exercises and concepts of her grandmother Viola Spolin’s book, Improvisation for the Theater. Everyone who wishes to play is invited to attend! Museum and theater educators are strongly encouraged to join us.

FREE with RSVP
Improvisational and Theater Games
No experience is necessary
9:00 AM Check-in with refreshments

Originator of theater games and mother of the modern improvisational theater movement, Viola Spolin’s legacy began here at Hull-House. Born in Chicago, Spolin studied to be a social worker at Neva Boyd's Recreational Training School, creating innovative theater games to teach drama to immigrants and children. Boyd’s theory of play and Progressive-era philosophies greatly influenced Spolin's work, which continues to inspire her son Paul Sills, co-founder of the first improvisational theater companies in the United States, including Compass Theater, Story Theater and The Second City. Chicago’s long tradition of ensemble work and community-centered theater can be traced directly back to Spolin and her legacy.

Aretha Sills is the granddaughter of Viola Spolin.  She studied theater games for many years with her father, director Paul Sills (creator/director of The Second City and Story Theater), and has conducted workshops for Paul Sills’ Wisconsin Theater Game Center, Bard College, Stella Adler Studio of Acting, Stockholm International School, Sarah Lawrence College and Northwestern University. She has worked with Tony and Emmy Award winning actors and has trained faculty from Northwestern, DePaul, Columbia College, The Second City, The Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science and many other institutions and schools.  She is the Associate Director of Sills/Spolin Theater Works and she directs The Predicament Players.

Participatory Arts: Crafting Social Change (September 6, 2018 to July 28, 2019) is a multidisciplinary exhibition that explores the Hull-House Social Settlement's influence on visual and performing arts in Chicago and beyond through historical and contemporary practices: bookbinding, the origins of art therapy, ceramics, theater and performance. The exhibition features artworks and artifacts from the Museum and the Special Collections at the University of Illinois at Chicago—many of which have rarely, if ever, been publicly displayed. Participatory Arts is a part of Art Design Chicago, a city-wide initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art. Learn more at hullhousemuseum.org

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Jane Addams Hull-House Museum

800 South Halsted Street

Chicago, IL 60607

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