September 30 – November 13 2011
Friday and Saturday at 8:00pm
Sunday at 2:00pm
The Den Theatre
1333 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Buy tickets on our TICKETS page.
$5 Tickets available for Previews (September 30, October 1, and October 2)


Be the first to see this world premiere!

Through the use of ritual, music, movement, and storytelling, From the Circle: Remembering the Earth through Folktales is a beautiful reminder of how the natural world has shaped the dreams and ideas of humanity for centuries. At once timeless and extremely topical, these folk tales speak to our ever-changing relationship with the natural world, and the ongoing cycle of creation, destruction, and recreation that is so deeply present in our lives.

From the Circle is also an important stepping stone in our ongoing sustainability efforts.  All elements of the design of From the Circle are recycled, reclaimed, or non-toxic, as we take into consideration the complete life cycle of all our design materials.  We at Filament are working towards the goal of a zero-waste theatre model, and From the Circle is a key step on that journey!

We look forward to seeing you!

The Folks at Filament

For more information, visit us online at

From the Circle: Remembering the Earth Through Folktales

Tiffany Williams, Philip de Guzman, Lindsey Dorcus*, and Audrey Bertaux-Skeirik*

Production Team:
Jack Novak* and Cast (Adapter), Jack Novak* (Director), Mary Spearen* (Costume Design), Omen Sade* (Scenic Design), Will C. Dean (Lighting Design), Kati Sweaney (Dramaturge), and Christian Libonati* (Production Assistant).

*Denotes member of the Filament Theatre Ensemble



You all are on fire with great ideas. Your new ticket pricing based on letting people “buy” aspects of the production, and now a zero-waste theatre model. You’ll forgive me, I hope, if I steal some of these ideas if/when I’m involved in a theatre company again.

As far as the zero waste goes, I’m very curious where you got your lumber. And what about cloth for original costumes? How difficult was it to keep to the zero waste policy?

Again, great work. I’m sharing your ideas widely.

Add Reply


Thank you so much for your kind words! I do hope you will steal and pass on these ideas. As we all know, the arts are in an interesting place in a changing consumer and economic landscape, and we are very much looking forward to sharing the things we learn from these experiments!
The Zero-Waste policy is definitely a long-term goal, and we made some exciting strides during From the Circle. Until we have our own space, we are unable to completely control things like energy tracking, air quality, etc, although we do choose rental venues that align with our standards. We are thrilled to be working with the lovely people at The Den Theatre, who have been more than accommodating. We are also tracking how materials and people (both artists and audience) get to the theatre, in order to obtain data about our carbon output.
Our design process has been a huge learning experience! There is an amazing place called the Rebuilding Exchange ( that diverts building materials from landfills after demolition projects – some of the lumber used in our show is over 100 years old! The parts of the set requiring lumber (we have six benches), were all built using a peg and hole method, so there are no metal fixatives. We plan on using the benches for years to come, but in the event we need to pull them apart to use the lumber for a different purpose, we can easily do it without damaging the wood due to the way they were assembled. We also got materials from the Chicago Department of Forestry, who gathers fallen trees and branches after storms or building projects.
As for costumes, all of the costumes (and fabric used for new costumes) from this show came from Filament’s stock, our costume designer’s stock, the actors’ closets, so we did not rely on any new materials in our design.
We have been fortunate to be working with a wonderful consultant, advisory board member Kevin McGuire, who is coaching us in the Natural Step Framework for sustainability. Although it is typically used for big businesses or companies that make physical products, we have found it correlates nicely with our goals and visions. It has also helped us to create a vocabulary and company standards that have made the design requirements easier to communicate and to uphold.
From the Circle has been instrumental in helping us to figure out some of these systems, and I have no doubt that everything we do from here on out will present a whole new set of challenges and learning experiences! We’ve learned a lot, with much more to do, but we’re all pleased with both the process and the result.
Your comment means a lot to all of us! It is always so encouraging to hear that these ideas are resonating, and that they seem replicable in other organizations!
Great to hear from you.

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