Filament’s Holiday Special

Christmas-Card-Image-for-Email copy 2014

Come join Filament Theatre Ensemble for Filament Theatre’s 3rd Annual Holiday Special.

Help us celebrate our first full season in our new home with treats, drinks, live music, and Chicago’s newest and happiest holiday tradition, a screening of Charlie Brown’s Christmas and How The Grinch Stole Christmas, brought to life by some of our favorite actors and musicians.

You won’t want to miss this wonderful night of friends, music, and revelry! Doors open at 7pm, performances begin at 8pm. Bring the whole family!

Tickets will be available soon!!

Filament Celebrates Six Corners’ Heritage

The Filament Theatre Ensemble will revisit the heritage of the Six Corners Shopping District with Crossing Six Corners: Sears Stories on October 12 at 5:00pm. Filament will join in the celebration of the Six Corners Sears’ 75th anniversary with this original piece crafted from resident interviews and research.

Presented in a series of scenes, monologues, and original songs, Crossing Six Corners: Sears Stories creates a performance mosaic of the iconic Six Corners commercial center. From its opening in October 1938, Sears has been an anchor business for the Six Corners Shopping District. “We interviewed one man who is 95 years old. He was 20 and coming back from working downtown during the opening celebration. He remembered the streets being so packed the streetcar couldn’t get through,” says Julie Ritchey, Filament’s artistic director. “To Six Corners, Sears is more than just a department store. It’s a symbol of a bygone way of life, and of the changing economic landscape of the last several decades.”

Crossing Six Corners: Sears Stories is the second in Filament’s series of Crossing Six Corners heritage projects. The first premiered in February, 2013, and was presented to sold-out audiences over the course of a weekend. Filament will continue to work closely with the neighborhoods surrounding Six Corners to collect oral history, personal stories, and research for performance for the neighborhood. In addition to Crossing Six Corners: Sears Stories, the Six Corners District is commemorating the 75th anniversary with a sculpture unveiling, Forgotten Chicago tours of Sears, and more.

Crossing Six Corners: Sears Stories is adapted and directed by Filament Artistic Director, Julie Ritchey, and features Ensemble Members Christian Libonati and Lindsey Dorcus and Guest Artists Lina Chambers, Bryce Gangel, Ian Jerome, Ryan Westwood, and more.

The performance is free, and will take place on October 12 at 5:00p, at Filament’s new space: 4041 North Milwaukee Ave. Tickets will only be available at the theater starting 30 minutes prior to showtime. Donations are welcome and will contribute to the upcoming build-out of Filament’s performing arts venue. For more information visit: or call (773) 270-1660.


NAME: Crossing Six Corners: Sears Stories

DATE: October 12 @ 5:00pm

LOCATION: 4041 North Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, IL 60641

PRICE: Free. Donations welcome. No reservations. Doors open 30 minutes prior to showtime.

CONTACT:; (773) 270-1660


Chicago Artists Month

Jeff-Semmerling-PortraitThe Filament Theatre Ensemble is proud to make its contribution to the 18th annual Chicago Artists Month this October with special events by master mask maker Jeff Semmerling and the mask making students of Inside Out Art Studio.

In celebration of the 10th anniversary of Inside Out Art Studio, and in anticipation of their move to the Portage Lofts Arts Building in November, Filament will host a dazzling display of hand-crafted masks by master artists Jeff Semmerling and Sonja Schaefer, and the best of ten years of Inside Out adult student work. On Friday, October 4 from 6-10pm, Saturday, October 5 from 12-9pm, and Sunday, October 6 from 12-5pm, these masks will be on display in the Filament Theatre space in the Portage Lofts Arts Building at 4041 North Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago. In addition, Jeff will perform “The Magic of Masks”, a presentation of his masks and how masks are used around the world to entertain and compel audiences. These performances will be held on October 4 at 8pm, October 5 at 8pm, and October 6 at 3pm, and have a suggested donation of $15. The mask exhibit is free.

Semmerling & Schaefer Mask Studios was established in 1986. They are known the world over by opera and dance companies, theatres, and serious maskers for making “the finest, most comfortable hand-made masks anywhere.” Semmerling & Schaefer masks will be available for purchase at Filament on weekends throughout the month of October. Please see for sales times.

Inside Out Art Studio, established by Donna Lurie and Jeff Semmerling in 2003, offers world-class instruction in most physical art forms. Their instructors are practicing artists who bring their passion for the arts to their work as teachers. Classes, workshops, and even art parties are offered by Inside Out Art Studios year-round.

Those attending the mask exhibit on Saturday, October 5 can hear live bluegrass music starting at 5pm, performed by Sweet Fanny Adams. And those attending on Sunday, October 6 will be able to experience Celestial Bodies, a 30-minute interactive sci-fi exercise video featuring 30 Chicago artists, starting at 2pm. These performances are also a suggested donation of $15.

These artists and events are part of the Filament Theatre Ensemble’s ongoing special programming in and around its new home at 4041 North Milwaukee Avenue in Portage Park. All proceeds from donations go to help fund the build-out of the Filament theatre space. The Filament Theatre Ensemble does theatre in a folk tradition, with an emphasis on community, imagination, and sustainability, and they are pleased to contribute to the 18th annual Chicago Artists Month with the richly imaginative work of Jeff Semmerling, Sonja Schaefer, and Inside Out Arts Studio.



NAME: Chicago Artists Month


Mask Display: Friday, October 4 from 6-10pm, Saturday, October 5 from 12-9pm, and Sunday, October 6 from 12-5pm

Magic of Masks: October 4 at 8pm, October 5 at 8pm, and October 6 at 3pm

Sweet Fanny Adams: October 5 at 5pm

Celestial Bodies: October 6 at 2pm

LOCATION: Filament Theatre/Portage Lofts Arts Building: 4041 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, 60641.

PRICE: $15 suggested donation for all performances. Mask exhibit is free of charge. No reservations.