A noiseless, patient spider,
I mark’d, where, on a little promontory, it stood, isolated;
Mark’d how, to explore the vacant, vast surrounding,
It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself;
Ever unreeling them–ever tirelessly speeding them.
And you, O my Soul, where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing,–seeking the spheres, to connect them;
Till the bridge you will need, be form’d–till the ductile anchor hold;
Till the gossamer thread you fling, catch somewhere, O my Soul.
-Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
Filament Theatre believes in the transformational power of the performing arts in the lives of young people. To this end, we create immersive and site-specific theatre that inspires, empowers, and activates young people and their communities.
We envision a future in which the leaders of tomorrow approach others with radical empathy, serving as ambassadors for their communities and stewards of the Earth.
We equally value:
We pledge to uphold the following values in all our work, on stage and off:
Artistic Excellence, Commitment to our Community, Courageous Dialogue, Environmental Stewardship, Inclusion
About the Company
When Chicago Alderman John Arena and the Six Corners Association recruited Filament to develop the ground floor of a vacant furniture showroom, they were attracted to Filament’s record of theatrical excellence and civically minded vision. Since moving to the 45th ward permanently in 2012, establishing itself as an anchor business in the historic Six Corners Shopping District, “[Filament’s] consistent quality is a point of pride for Six Corners and the far Northwest Side,” stated Arena.
Now in its ninth season, Filament’s work (16 world premieres and 6 Chicago premieres) includes a play where the audience rides bicycles, a play in a restaurant with a custom menu created by chef Joey Beato, three zero-waste productions, three plays adapted entirely from interviews of Portage Park residents, a play with two actors and 26 characters, a world premiere adaptation of an award winning Tomi Ungerer book, a play with six actors who play 14 musical instruments, and six commissions by Chicago playwrights.
Filament has been recognized for its excellence and unique approach to performance by institutions including American Theatre Magazine, TEDx, wbez, the Joseph Jefferson Awards, the Chicago Tribune and more. In a recent article The Chicago Sun-Times wrote: “Unlike most theaters, Filament’s programming is deeply ingrained in the neighborhood and the people, who live, work and play there.”
Kelli Weffenstette, Executive Director of the Six Corners Association, recently observed “As the vitality, visibility, and excitement of our Six Corners business district grows, Filament Theatre sits at its center, orchestrating neighborhood engagement from the stage to the streets. New development blooms along Milwaukee Avenue due in large part to the open doors of the theatre, that welcomes in residents and business folk alike, and their team that forges community partnerships that strengthen our economic corridor.”
Filament Theatre is a Non-Profit organization recognized as 501(c)(3).