‘Forts! Build Your Own Adventure’ is back at Filament Theatre in Portage Park


CHICAGO — A Portage Park theatre is celebrating a milestone in entertaining and engaging with the youth of Chicago.

“We’re really passionate about theatre for young audiences,” said Julie Ritchey, founder of Filament Theatre.

Ritchey said to celebrate their 15th anniversary season, they started with a question of ‘what if the audience got to do all of the fun stuff actors do?’ and it took an intentional anti-adultist approach from there.

On Saturdays and Sundays from Nov. 19 to Jan. 8, families can play a starring role in the immersive experience, using imagination galore as they employ cardboard boxes, sheets, crayons and flashlights to bring plays to life in the classic childhood setting of a cardboard fort.

“We turn over complete control of the space to the audience and elements start to emerge,” Ritchey said of the experience. “Each time it becomes its own world, and each audience brings its own imagination to it.”

Ritchey said she is excited about changes ahead for the Filament Theatre, which will soon host a residency and serve as a temporary home for Gift Theatre as they prepare to open a new permanent space in Jefferson Park.

“At Filament we don’t just create work for young people, we create with young people,” Ritchey said. “[We] bring to life imagination, stories and reflect their experiences.”

For more information on the opportunity to build your own cardboard fort adventure, you can visit the Filament’s website.

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