At The Actors Gymnasium, people Learn To Fly – physically, emotionally, and creatively. 

The Actors Gymnasium was founded in 1995 and has grown to become one of the nation’s premiere circus and performing arts training centers.

We are dedicated to bringing a new physicality to the American Theatre, through developing physical performers and encouraging ground-breaking theatrical exploration.

We promote our core values of creativity, community, and courage across three program areas:

1. Teaching circus arts and performance skills both onsite at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, and offsite at a dozen or more community locations.

Our Professional Training Program and Summer Circus Intensive and serve artists from across the United States and beyond.

Weekly classes for students of all ages and experience levels reach over 1,000 students per year, while our summer and winter camps engage over 200 youth aged 9–14.

Kids Class


2. Producing original and daring circus-theatre productions, including nine productions a year at Noyes.

Our shows provide students with invaluable performance opportunities, and the annual premiere of our Winter Circus features professional circus artists alongside our up-and-coming young performers.

We also collaborate with theaters ranging from local Chicago storefronts to major regional companies. This past season, Lookingglass’s Moby Dick toured to three Tony-Award-winning theatres: The Alliance (Atlanta), Arena Stage (DC) and South Coast Repertory (CA). The rolling world premiere of The Magic Play started at The Goodman before opening at Olney Theater (VA). We also collaborated with Chicago Children’s Theatre on The Year I Didn’t Go to School.



3. Showcasing professional artists by providing award-winning and awe-inspiring entertainment for corporate and other special events.

We provide entertainment at events ranging from private weddings to major public parades, and everything in between. These events help support our mission by raising the profile of Chicago’s circus community and introducing people to this vital and exciting art form.

“Even as an audience member, the work you do inspires me into metaphorical flight. Every performance or class I’ve witnessed lights me up and jump starts my imagination and drive. Thank you for flying lessons.”

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