THE RAVELING – Presented by Walkabout Theater Co. and Guild of the Goat

Cooper Forsman with the ensemble cast of Walkabout Theater Company’s world premiere of THE RAVELING. Photo by Matthew Gregory Hollis.

THE RAVELING is not like the usual theatre production I am used to seeing. Is that bad? No. It depends on how you perceive the performance. 

Walkabout Theater Company presents the world premiere of THE RAVELING, co-created with Delhi-based theater Guild of the Goat and Toronto vocalist Fides Krucker, playing September 25 – October 13, 2019 at Victory Garden Theater’s Prince Charitable Trust Hall, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago.  

(bottom) Anastacia Narrajos with (top, l to r) Nigel BrownDana MurphyCooper Forsman and Anirudh Nair in Walkabout Theater Company’s world premiere of THE RAVELING. Photo by Matthew Gregory Hollis.

Directed by Walkabout’s Artistic Director Thom Pasculli, THE RAVELING is created and performed by Walkabout ensemble members Nigel Brown, McCambridge Dowd-Whipple, Cooper Forsman, Dana Murphy and Katie Mazzini, with Anastacia Narrajos and Guild of the Goat ensemble members Anirudh Nair and Amba Suhasini K Jhala.

In THE RAVELING, each family member follows the thread of an old story, an inherent lie, a childhood promise, or a shared fantasy that leads them from homeleaving to homecoming and back again. The family’s reality is stretched across decades of myth and misadventures.  The stories are inspired by true personal narratives of the performers. There is a living question for the ensemble in tracing something of where they each come from and asking what is needed for them to come together. What is the work of coming undone?

(front) Anastacia Narrajos with (back, l to r) Anirudh NairDana Murphy and Nigel Brown in Walkabout Theater Company’s world premiere of THE RAVELING. Photo by Matthew Gregory Hollis.

The performance space is intimate with the performers interacting with the audience upon arrival with the offer of a cup of tea. The space, felt welcoming and it felt as if you were sitting in someone’s home. Throughout the presentation, the actors moved around and though the audience was not involved, I did feel included in the storytelling. 

Unfortunately for me I felt lost and did not completely understand the messages of homeleaving and homecoming. While this may have not been the cup of tea for me, it may be for you. 

(front center) Dana Murphy with (back, l to r) Nigel BrownAnastacia Narrajos and Anirudh Nair in Walkabout Theater Company’s world premiere of THE RAVELING. Photo by Matthew Gregory Hollis.

THE RAVELING was developed in residence at the Chicago Performance Lab at the University of Chicago (2018) and at Links Hall (2019), and was presented in the Chicago Physical Theater Festival in 2019. Walkabout programming is funded in part by the The MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events CityArts, the Illinois Arts Council and the National Endowment of the Arts.

(front to back) McCambridge Dowd-Whipple and Cooper Forsman in Walkabout Theater Company’s world premiere of THE RAVELING. Photo by Matthew Gregory Hollis

Curtain Times: Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm; Sundays at 2:30 pm. Runtime is 1 hour with no intermission.

Tickets: Regular run: $25. Students/industry: $15. Tickets are currently available at walkabout theater or victory gardens or by calling (773) 871-3000 or in person at the Victory Gardens Box Office.

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