The third installment of the ensemble's "Crossing Six Corners" series will tell the stories of the places where Portage Park residents live, work and play, ensemble member Peter Oyloe said.
Members of the Filament Theatre Group are crafting the performance by using memories, anecdotes detailed by Portage Park residents in interviews and workshops, Oyloe said
"It has been a wonderful experience," Oyloe said. "We have learned so much about the neighborhood and the people who live here. The response has been really amazing."
The stories will be dramatized in a variety of ways, including recitations, music and dance.
"All the pieces presented will relate to a specific building in the area that the event occurred in," said Filament Artistic Director Julie Ritchey. "Each of these stories will help us to see familiar landmarks in a different way."
Ritchey will direct "Crossing Six Corners: Bricks and Mortar" with ensemble member Nate Drackett.
The cast for this edition includes Ashley Alvarez, Mara Dale, Christian Libonati, Ryan Westwood and Chris Zdenek.
The first installment of "Crossing Six Corners" in February 2013 was the theater group's first performance in its new home at Six Corners, which was once one of the most prestigious shopping districts in the city.
The second installment focused on stories based at the Sears store at Irving Park Road and Cicero and Milwaukee avenues as part of the 75th anniversary of the mammoth retailer.
Playing to packed houses, the performances featured a dramatic scene about the last farmers in the area, monologues transcribed from residents' memories of working at Sears, and a living slideshow of re-enacted historical photographs.
Filament plans to stage performances of "Crossing Six Corners" twice a year for the foreseeable future, thanks to an $1,800 grant from the Illinois Arts Council, each with a different focus, Oyloe said.
While tickets for the performance are free, the group is asking attendees to help fund the completion of its performance space, which was a long-vacant furniture warehouse.
The group received a $50,000 Small Business Improvement Fund Grant from the city of Chicago to cover part of the renovations, and has been working to raise $25,000 to finish the project. The group needs another $8,500, according to its website.
"The support has been wonderful," Oyloe said.
The group hopes the theater will become a community hub in the Six Corners Shopping District, a desire shared by Ald. John Arena (45th), who has been working to turn the area around Milwaukee Avenue, Cicero Avenue and Irving Park Boulevard, which has struggled for decades, into an arts and entertainment district.
Performances will take place at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. March 29 and at 3 p.m. March 30. The doors of the theater at 4041 N. Milwaukee Ave. will open 30 minutes before show time.
Free tickets for the performance can be reserved at filamenttheatre.org.