Saturday, October 28, 2023

Beloved FORTS! Heading Back to Filament Theatre December 2-31, 2023

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Break out the cardboard boxes: The Northwest Side theater for young audiences reprises the immersive, build-your-own-adventure experience that has become a family tradition.

Filament Theatre, the Northwest Side’s premier theater for young audiences, announces the return of FORTS! Build Your Own Adventure for a limited run, Dec. 2-31.

The immersive theatrical experience, which has become an annual family tradition for many, transforms Filament’s performance space into a cozy living room overflowing with cardboard boxes. Audience members are the stars here as they build magical forts with boxes, sheets, clothespins, couches and more.

Filament’s daydream-esque theatrical design inspires imaginative, creative play for all ages.

“At Filament, we say that the word ‘play’ is both a noun, something you watch, and a verb, something you do,” says Molly Bunder, co-artistic director for creative partnerships. “FORTS! answers the question: What would happen if we let the audience do all the fun things that actors usually do in a play. During FORTS!, the theatre and all its magic support you while you play. We are delighted to welcome new and returning audience members to FORTS! for our favorite way to play.”

In addition to standard performance, FORTS! will be presented in a variety of innovative ways in 2023:

  • ●  Adult BYOB nights every Friday night

  • ●  Sensory friendly performances on Dec. 9 and Dec. 17

  • ●  Field trip openings from Dec. 6-20

  • ●  Birthday party/private event availability

  • ●  An unforgettable Noon Year’s Eve bash for the whole family on Dec. 31

    FORTS! is also spreading its magic to suburban Glencoe, Illinois, where it is being presented at Writers Theatre through Nov. 26.

    It’s the first time in Filament’s 15-year history that one of its plays will be produced by a major American regional theater.

    “We are overjoyed to bring Filament Theatre’s FORTS! to Writers Theatre,” Associate Artistic Director Bobby Kennedy said. “Nestled as we are between a playground and a park, it has long been our wish for WT to also be a favorite destination of young people. Like all of our programming, FORTS! is an intimate theatrical experience—only this time the stage is yours and the storyteller is you. We cannot wait to see what the imaginations of our young audiences conjure up using the cardboard boxes, sheets, clothespins, flashlights, crayons and markers filling our theatre.”


The mission of Filament Theatre is to create a more equitable society by celebrating and amplifying the perspectives and experiences of young people through the performing arts. To this end, it creates immersive and site-specific theatre that inspires, empowers, and activates young people and their communities. Filament’s unique production process welcomes young people into the room as essential collaborators. Filament imagines a world where young people are the experts and adults are allies working to build a more just world. Filament Theatre has been an anchor cultural organization for the Six Corners business district in Chicago’s Portage Park since 2007. Filament serves approximately 8500 patrons annually through theatre programming, camps, school residencies, and classes. As the only theatre of its kind in Chicago, Filament is a vital home for innovative artists and young people finding and using their power through the performing arts. Please visit for more information. Awards: Nominee Chicago Tribune Best Off-Loop Performance (2016), Illinois Theatre Association Award of Excellence in Theatre for Young Audiences (2020), Bayless Family Foundation Stepping Stone Grant Recipient (2022).

FORTS! Build Your Own Adventure is generously sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Dominick and Sylvia Maino and the Six Corners Storytellers, Habitat-ReStore, and the members of the Filament Business Council.


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