Sullivan Chicago Studio of Performing Arts moves into former Gift Theater space in Jefferson Park


The newly opened Sullivan Chicago Studio of Performing Arts, 4802 N. Milwaukee Ave., seeks to help students perform better on stage, but also to improve life skills such as public speaking to strengthen the trust.

“We are all lifelong learners. … The learning never stops,” said Meg Sullivan, who along with husband Sean Sullivan operates the studio, which was previously located in North Central at 4139 N. Western Ave. The new location is the former storefront theater operated by the Gift Theatre, which is looking for a larger space.

Meg Sullivan said she and Sean jumped at the chance to rent the old gift, as she and Sean once lived in Jefferson Park and planned to relocate their home to the community.

The studio offers classes for children and adults in many areas, including acting, voice, piano, guitar, public speaking, dance, ballet, and tap dancing. The studio also offers summer camps and coordinates musical theater at Saint Edward School, 4343 W. Sunnyside Ave.

Sean Sullivan said the goal is to help clients better express themselves and that the skills learned at the studio, whether it’s acting, music or dance, are geared towards an “expression of self”. He explained that art is about expressing yourself, not trying to be someone you’re not.

“We’re teaching them to learn on your own (and) make it a lifelong love,” Meg Sullivan said.

Some clients will learn to play one instrument, perform in a studio recital, and then move on to another instrument. “They keep coming back and wanting more,” she said.

Among her background, Meg has been a choreographer, conductor, production manager, vocal and movement coach, and costume designer. She also plays the piano, sings, dances and is a graduate of Central Michigan University.

Sean has acted in several television shows, including “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago PD”, and is a carpenter and a theater teacher. A graduate of Ohio State University, he also plays guitar and is a founding member of One of the Girls, a Chicago-style Irish folk band.

For the Sullivans, teaching is a two-way street, as they continue to learn with their students. “(Meg) gained the most, however, by sharing and growing her passions with her students,” the studio’s website said.

For more information, call the studio at 773-754-8389 or visit

(As a side note, the studio space was once a shoe store, and the large “walk-in” style display cases still line the facade. The studio eventually hopes to put decorative displays there.)