Friday, October 4, 2019

REVIEW: LUNA Via Filament Theatre Now Playing Through November 3, 2019

ChiIL Mama's Chi, IL Picks List: 
Excellent Family Friendly Theatre

Filament Theatre Presents 
LUNA
By Ramón Esquivel
Directed by Alejandro Tey
Now Playing Through November 3


Sensory-friendly performance on Sunday, October 20th

 Credit for all production photos: Christian Libonati



Guest Review
by kimberly robb baker

When you have no permanent physical home, where does your sense of place come from?

For Soledad, the daughter of migrant farm workers, it comes from her parents and from Luna, the moon, who follows her wherever she goes. As the audience, we too are grounded by the ever-presence of the small nuclear family and the moon as we shift with them in a non-traditional seating arrangement that requires us to relocate so that a new home, school, or workplace can be set up for Soledad and her parents.


Also, audience members become stars who are the moon’s friend and help the story along, even advising Soledad on what to do when she grievously hurts Luna’s feelings, causing her to vanish from the sky.

We liked that farm workers were portrayed in the context of their personal lives. They were humanized and we were reminded that there are people who travel constantly and work very hard so that we can stay at home and enjoy all kinds of fruits and vegetables.

We also liked that the play was bilingual, in both English and Spanish.

Most of all, we liked learning that the needs of children are just as important as the needs of adults and that “Taking risks is hard to do, but taking risks builds courage too.”

While the younger children in the audience were active and enthusiastic participants, the 11-year-old and adults in our party found we had learned a lot and had the foundation for some good post-show discussions.

Our family was enchanted with this—more than a play—this experience. Yours will be too.



*Note: The role of Soledad usually played by Aissa Guerra was performed by Samantha Nieves at the press opening we saw.

Kimberly Robb Baker is a Chicago based writer, blogger, consultant, story teller, and mother. You can find her worky stuff here: ThisLittleBrand.com and her artsy fartsy stuff here:  DisruptiveMama.com.


Filament Theatre brings to the stage Ramón Esquivel’s Luna directed by Filament Resident Artist Alejandro Tey, playing September 21 - November 3 at Filament Theatre, 4041 N Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago. This story about the daughter of migrant farm workers was developed in collaboration with elementary children in Mattawa, WA, a town predominantly populated by migrant farmers. Filament’s interactive and embracing style will welcome young people and families on a journey toward friendship and belonging. Tickets are currently available at www.filamenttheatre.org/luna. 


Luna tells the hopeful story of Soledad, a young girl who dances with the stars and sings with the moon. Her family follows the crops and with every move comes a new school and the struggle to make new friends. The imaginative Soledad finds solace in her constant companion, Luna — the moon. On her search for human friendship Soledad must challenge the world she knows and discover that “Taking risks is hard to do, but taking risks builds courage too.”


In an artistic statement, playwright Ramón Esquivel wrote, “My stories are about the search for belonging. They are about vulnerability. Most of all, my stories are about conflict between people who love each other. I hope my stories inspire empathy, connection, and wisdom—and that they make audiences laugh along the way.” 


The cast of Filament Theatre’s Luna (top, l to r):Jean Claudio, Aissa Guerra, Deanalís Resto (bottom, l to r): Gaby FeBland, Mateo Hernandez, Raquel Torre


Luna features Filament Resident Artist Aissa Guerra with Jean Claudio, Gaby FeBland, Mateo Hernandez, Deanalís Resto, and Raquel Torre. Understudies include Elizabeth Nungaray and Isaura Flores.

The production team for Luna includes direction by Alejandro Tey, set design by Amy Gilman, costume design by Stephanie Taylor, sound design by Sarah Espinoza, lighting design by Ellie Humphrys, and stage management by Natalie Cohen. Produced by special arrangement with The Dramatic Publishing Company, Inc., Woodstock, Illinois. Luna is supported in part by production sponsors Lyons Family Eye Care and Dr. Dominick and Sylvia Maino and preview sponsor the Stephanie Cutter Group. 

For more information visit www.filamenttheatre.org/luna

Accessible Performances: 
Filament Theatre offers a sensory-friendly performance of Luna on Sunday, October 20th @ 10am. This performance is reserved specifically for families who have at least one member with special needs. Tickets are now available.

Location: Filament Theatre, 4041 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago IL 60641

Dates: 
Previews: Saturday, Sept 21 @ 2:30; Sunday, Sept 22 @ 1pm; Saturday, Sept 28 @ 11am

Press performances: Saturday, Sept 28 @ 2:30pm; Sunday, Sept 29 @ 1pm

Regular run: Sept 28 - November 3

Curtain Times: Saturday @ 11am & 2:30pm; Sunday @ 1pm.

Ticket Prices: Previews: $16. Regular run $16 for children, $19.50 for adults, $18 for seniors. All ticket fees included in price. Tickets are available at www.filamenttheatre.org/lunaFor questions call the Filament office at (773) 270-1660.

About the Artists:
Ramón Esquivel (Playwright) is a writer and educator based in Seattle. His plays have been produced in New York City; Chicago; Washington, D.C.; Vancouver, British Columbia; Seattle and elsewhere in North America. His play The Shahrazad Society won the 2014 Aurand Harris Memorial Playwriting Award from the New England Theatre Conference. Three works, Nasty, Nocturnal and Luna, are published through Dramatic Publishing. Nocturnal is also part of New Visions/New Voices: 25 Years/25 Plays, an anthology commemorating the Kennedy Center festival, and Luna is featured in the upcoming Palabras del Cielo: An Exploration of Latin@ Theatre for Young Audiences. He has degrees in history from Yale University, educational theatre from New York University and creative writing from the University of British Columbia.



About Filament Theatre:

Filament Theatre creates immersive and site-specific theatre that inspires, empowers, and activates young people and their communities. Filament envisions a future in which the leaders of tomorrow approach others with radical empathy, serving as ambassadors for their communities and stewards of the Earth. 

The company’s staff is comprised of Julie Ritchey (Artistic Director) and Christian Libonati (Managing Director).

Filament Theatre’s full season of programs is supported in part by the Alphawood Foundation, the Chicago Community Trust, the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Saints, and Wintrust Community Banks. This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

For additional information visit www.filamenttheatre.org 



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