Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi and Larry DiStasi after she received the 3Arts Award for Design. Photo from Actors Gymnasium

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On Sept. 19, Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi will be honored as the recipient of the Illinois Theatre Association’s 2015 Award. Aimee-Lynn Newlan, executive director of the Illinois Theatre Association said, “Each year the Illinois Theatre Association recognizes both individuals and organizations for their significant contributions of promoting quality theatre throughout the state of Illinois. Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi was nominated by the Illinois theatre community, approved by ITA’s divisional representatives, and accepted by ITA’s Board of Directors. We are thrilled to provide this much-deserved recognition.”

Ms. Hernandez-DiStasi has received the 3Arts Award for Design, four Joseph Jefferson Awards, including a Special Achievement Award for her circus choreography of “Lookingglass Alice,” which has toured nationally and been seen by more than 100,000 people.

In addition to her usual involvement as The Actors Gymnasium’s artistic director, overseeing all classes, events and productions, Ms. Hernandez-DiStasi is program director for the Professional Circus Training Program which launches its inaugural year in September.

She continues to provide circus choreography for productions throughout Chicago and this year will be returning to the Actors Gymnasium stage to feature in the annual winter circus alongside David Catlin and Lindsey Noel Whiting under the direction of Chris Mathews. She will not be able to attend the ceremony on Sept. 19, because “Lookingglass Alice” will be opening in Denver.

On Sept. 3, Actors Gymnasium signaled the launch of its 20th season with a ribbon-cutting for Studio 108.

Actors Gymnasium converted the studio from a cubicle-bound office space into a professional teaching studio for circus and performing arts.

With this new space, Actors Gymnasium will launch a pilot program for students with special needs, adding new classes in juggling and intermediate aerial skills, and expanding early childhood development classes.

Studio 108 will also act as the home training space for the new Professional Circus Training Program and dance and rehearsal space for Actors Gymnasium’s nine annual shows.