The Walkabout Theater Company, whose co-artistic director Thom Pasculli teaches movement at the Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department, is presenting the world premiere of its latest physical-theatre piece, Storm, running June 25-28 at Links Hall at Constellation, 3111 N. Western, Chicago. Storm is a collaboration between Walkabout and Moon Fool, an international theatre and music exchange based in the United Kingdom. Storm is a fierce, futuristic re-imagining of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, in which a cast of international and Chicago performers weave together original live music, singing, theatre, acrobatics, and movement to capture the wild battle between humanity and nature. For tickets, click here or call 773-271-0824.
Following the run of Storm, Pasculli and his fellow Walkabout artists will participate in Physical Festival Chicago, an international event co-hosted by the Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department. The festival takes place July 7-12, with workshops at Columbia College Chicago, 916 S. Wabash, Room 226, and performances at Links Hall at Constellation.
Walkabout’s workshop on Wednesday, July 8 (10 AM-1 PM), “Walkabout Physical Training,” will include physical gesture, tumbling, and partner acrobatics aimed at increasing agility, presence and imaginative engagement. The workshop will include vocal training techniques and chorus work aimed at developing ensemble harmonies and deep listening. The other Physical Festival workshops include “The Universal Stage” with Single Shoe Productions (consisting of British, Portuguese, and American artists), focusing on non-verbal storytelling; “Lateral Strategies” with the Spanish company DeCollage, geared towards opening up a space for creative collaboration; and “Space, Body and Imagination” with Washington, D.C.-based artist David Gaines, combining physical and improv exercises. The cost is $50 per workshop–or a $175 pass for all four workshops.
The Physical Festival’s performance schedule includes Walkabout’s The Wild, a devised performance created using Walkabout’s model of laboratory theatre–a process of creating work that emphasizes the actor as author, develops a practice of actor training, and cultivates visceral experience. Beginning with the mythic figure of Dionysus and the work of playwright Charles Mee, the Walkabout ensemble gathered a collage of theatrical research including American and Bulgarian folk music, barbershop quartet standards, choreography from Bob Fosse and West African dance, pagan parade costumes, and text from Chekhov and Euripides. Using these sources, ensemble improvisations, and original work by the actors, The Wild was created as an exploration of savagery, civilization, worship, boundaries, tearing something apart and attempting to put it back together again.
Also being performed at Physical Festival Chicago are A Little Business at The Big Top, by David Gaines from Washington, D.C.; Crazy Glue, by Single Shoe Productions, a joint venture of British, Portuguese, and American artists; and Popol Is Gone, by the Spanish company DeCollage. All performances take place at Links Hall at Constellation, 3111 N. Western. Chicago. For tickets and more information, click here or call 773-281-0824. Tickets are $10-$12 per show or $35 for a festival pass.