Our Mission and History

Promethean’s ensemble collaborates to create theatre that fuses simplicity of design with intelligent, passionate storytelling.

In the fall of 2005, a group of theatre artists founded Promethean Theatre Ensemble (PTE) with the goal of creating productions that would emphasize rich, vivid language, imaginative storytelling and pared-down production designs. Over the following 9 years, PTE has evolved into a committed ensemble of artists who work collaboratively to tell resonant stories in a style that prompts audiences to imagine the world of the play alongside its creators. This guiding principle has prompted us to produce both canonical works such as Shakespeare’s Henry V, and Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle, and to create original scripts such a world premier adaptation of The Last Unicorn, and The Light of Love, a self-devised Commedia dell’Arte piece. Though the company has brought in talented new ensemble members from a variety of artistic backgrounds and continues to improve upon its practices and procedures, it always stays true to its roots of valuing language and the collaborative, ensemble-driven creation of stories that will resonate with contemporary, urban audiences.

Education

Our Partnership with Chicago Public Library

Promethean has partnered with the Chicago Public Library’s Teen Volume Reader’s Theatre Troupe. Through montly rehearsals and performances, ensemble members served as mentors to the teens, helping them explore and better understand the world of theatre. We partnered with library staff to plan rehearsal agendas, direct scenes excerpted from teen literature, and lead exercises aimed at improving theatrical skills.

Workshops

Promethean also leads a number of workshops for students throughout the year. Improv workshops give the students a chance to shake off their inhibitions and be themselves on stage. Our Shakespeare workshops help students get past the intimidating aura of the Bard and allow them to see the characters as humans, with lives and feelings and problems similar to everyday life. Through an introduction to text analysis and a fast-paced rehearsal atmosphere, the students are on their feet and performing for their peers as a finale to the workshop.

Reader's Theatre Residencies and Workshops

  • Appropriate for grades: 4-12
  • Residency would run for 5-8 weeks
  • Number of students: 10-30
  • Activities involved: Warm-ups, diction and voice training, script reading, character selection and interpretation, movement workshop, posture and physicality training.
  • Scripts can be chosen by teacher to align with curriculum
  • Outcomes: Students become familiar with the process of preparation and rehearsing, and develop skills in speaking, reading fluency, taking direction, story making, scripting, gesture, and emotional learning in a safe, supportive environment
  • Culminating performance for parents/peers

Shakespeare Workshops

  • Appropriate for grades: K-8
  • Number of students: 10-30
  • Activities involved: Developing choral readings of sonnets or monologues, brief staging of large scenes with many characters, short reenactments of entire plays
  • Outcomes: Students become familiar with Shakespeare and language-focused scripts.  Speaking skills, reading fluency, story making, improvisation, and emotional learning are all addressed and strengthened

Reader's Theatre Teacher Training (Professional Development)

  • Group size: up to 12 teachers, ideally suited for entire-department training
  • For teachers interested in developing Reader’s Theatre skills
  • Activities involved: 3 sessions covering script selection, movement and gesture, projection, warm-ups, posture, diction, and character creation.
  • Outcomes: Teachers become well-versed in Reader’s Theatre and its applications in the classroom. Empowers teachers to start and maintain a Reader’s Theatre program

If you are interested in Promethean’s workshop offerings, please contact Nick.