Sullivan Chicago Studio of Performing Arts moves into former Gift Theatre space in Jefferson Park
by BRIAN NADIG
The recently opened Sullivan Chicago Studio of Performing Arts, 4802 N. Milwaukee Ave., seeks to help students perform better on the stage but also improve everyday life skills such as public speaking to confidence-building.
“We are all lifetime learners. … Learning never stops,” said Meg Sullivan who along with her husband Sean Sullivan operate the studio, which was previously located in North Center at 4139 N. Western Ave. The new location is the former storefront theater operated by the Gift Theatre, which is seeking a larger space.
Meg Sullivan said that she and Sean jumped at the opportunity to lease the former Gift, as she and Sean once lived in Jefferson Park and are planning to move their home back into the community.
The studio provides lessons for children and adults in many areas including in acting, voice, piano, guitar, public speaking, dance, ballet and tap. The studio also offers summer camps and coordinates musical theater at Saint Edward School, 4343 W. Sunnyside Ave.
Sean Sullivan said that the focus is to help the clients better express themselves and that the skills learned at the studio, whether acting, music or dance, are geared toward an “expression of self.” He explained that art is about expressing oneself, not trying to be someone you’re not.
“We teach them how to learn for yourself, (and) make it a love for life,” Meg Sullivan said.
Some clients will learn how to play an instrument, perform at a studio recital and then move on to another instrument. “They keep coming back and wanting more,” she said.
Meg’s background includes being a choreographer, conductor, produc- tion manager, vocal and movement coach, and costume designer. She also plays the piano, sings, dances and has a degree from Central Michigan University.
Sean has performed on several television shows, including “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago PD,” and is a carpenter and theatrical instructor. A graduate of Ohio State University, he also plays guitar and is a founding member of the One of the Girls, an Irish-folk, Chicago- style band.
For the Sullivans, teaching is a two-way street, as they continue to learn along with their students. “(Meg) has gained the most, however, by sharing and growing her pas- sions with her students,” the studio Web site said.
For more information, call the studio at 773-754-8389 or visit www.thescspa.com.
(On a side note, the studio space was once a shoe store, and the large “walk-in” style display cases are still along the facade. The studio hopes to eventually put some decorative displays there.)