"It's our mission to make you laugh!"

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Youth Programming

Youth Programming

Piccolo Theatre hosts youth comedy camps every season.  Taught by Tony Lawry, the camps cover improv, panto, and other comic methods.

Plan Your Visit

Piccolo Theatre is located in Evanston's Main Street Station Shopping District.

Within a few blocks of our theatre are restaurants featuring cuisines which include: American, French, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Mexican, Thai, and a Belgian chocolatier.  

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It's our mission to make you laugh!


Piccolo Theatre is located in Evanston, Illinois. We produce unique stage comedy in the Chicago area.

What else do we do? Nothing. Just the best comedy theater in Chicago.

Our comedy varies greatly, from Shakespeare and other centuries-old classics, to more contemporary pieces and Piccolo Theatre originals.

Piccolo Theatre's criteria for comic theater?

  • The comedy has to be full of energy and vitality;
  • The comedy has to be physical, emotional and intellectual; and
  • The comedy has to illuminate the unity of human nature.

Piccolo Theatre's intimate, 50-seat theater space fuels the energy which drives the energetic, high-speed comedic stage action. The physicality of the performances feels larger than life because of the close proximity between audience and cast.

Yet equally important are the opportunities for subtlety and nuance that, at their best, transform our audience's experience of what comic theater can be.

Piccolo Theatre specializes in the commedia dell'Arte and British Panto styles of theater, though we do not limit ourselves to those traditions.

In our view, commedia dell' Arte and British Panto are living, evolving arts; centuries-old traditions which embrace life's vitality, eroticism, humor and, ultimately, its truth.

Likewise, comic theater itself grows and changes because of the performer's drive to develop the art through research and experimentation.

We at Piccolo Theatre place ourselves firmly within that comedic tradition of research and experimentation. We attract artists who share our reverence of commedia dell' Arte's traditional form, yet actively push the boundaries of the art beyond commedia.

We seek to transform the standard notions of what comedy theatre is and can be.

Please see our commedia dell'Arte and British Panto page for more information.

History of Piccolo Theatre in Chicago and Evanston

In 1996 John Szostek, a Valparaiso University Alumn, was asked to direct Carlo Goldoni's Servant of Two Masters at VU. This show went on to participate in the regional Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. It was given nine awards.

After graduation a group of those student actors went on to become the founding members of Piccolo Theatre. The first Piccolo Theatre performance was at the glorious Cuneo Museum in Vernon Hills, IL. It was a commedia dell'Arte show of select old scenarios from the Renaissance.

After two seasons of performing in other theatres and church gymnasiums Piccolo Theatre moved into their permanent home, inside the  Main Street Metra station.


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