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!!

Vocalist, Ingrid Lucia, Chicago, New Orleans, Swing, Jazz

Vocalist Ingrid Lucia

Vocalist, Ingrid Lucia, Chicago, New Orleans, Swing, JazzThe Filament Theatre Ensemble is presenting a one-night-only concert appearance by renowned New Orleans songbird Ingrid Lucia on Sunday, November 24 starting at 7pm at the Filament Theatre space. Admission is free of charge, with a $10 suggested donation welcome.

The performance story of Ingrid Lucia begins with her father David Pearlman, aka “Poppa Neutrino”. A compadre and contemporary of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, et. al, he was one of the greatest manifestations of Kerouac’s “On The Road” ideal; an artist, adventurer, tinkerer, and all-around personality of unmatched wanderlust. The subject of a book (The Happiest Man In The World, Random House, 2007) and a 2005 article in The New Yorker, Pearlman formed a family band in the early ’80s with his wife and five children called the Flying Neutrinos. During much of this time their home life was spent traveling on a series of rafts built out of recycled junk, and performing for whoever would have them, before eventually settling, semi-permanently, in New Orleans.

It was from this decidedly unusual environment that Ingrid Lucia’s musical career sprang forth. Though she started as a dancer, music quickly took over. She went to New York, bounced between record deals, came back to New Orleans, and re-immersed herself in the city’s musical traditions. She was caught up in the swing revival trend of the late ’90s after forming her own version of The Flying Neutrinos and, with them and on her own, has released nine albums, most recently Living The Life, released in October. She is also the leader of the New Orleans Nightingales, featuring twenty other New Orleans-based female vocalists. Her sound combines trad jazz, blues, vocal, and a variety of other Big Easy roots music influences, and her songs convey a breadth of perspective gained from a life spent “on the road”.

Ingrid Lucia will be performing current and past originals as well as standards with her longtime guitarist and songwriting partner John Fohl. Fohl is himself a veteran of ’90s swing revival, having played on the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies’ 1998 platinum album Zoot Suit Riot. He is one of the most in-demand musicians in New Orleans and has worked with Bo Diddley, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Pinetop Perkins, and many others.

Ingrid Lucia in concert is part of the Filament Theatre Ensemble’s ongoing special programming in its new home at 4041 North Milwaukee Avenue in Portage Park. All proceeds from donations will go to Filament to help fund the build-out of their theatre.

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.