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U.S. Premiere of STILL A QUIET AFTERNOON to be Presented at Steppenwolf's 1700 Theater in July

While the fires of Troy burn outside their window, an ancient and utterly familiar couple faces off within the present moment’s epic call to action.

U.S. Premiere of STILL A QUIET AFTERNOON to be Presented at  Steppenwolf's 1700 Theater in July

Walkabout Theater Company and Steppenwolf's Look Out Series will present the U.S. premiere of Still a Quiet Afternoon - a mythic, musical tragicomedy about two people observing a multitude of apocalyptic events through their single window.

Featuring performances by Walkabout ensemble members Katie Mazzini and Gabriel Thom Pasculli, Still a Quiet Afternoon will play July 14 - 16, 2022 at Steppenwolf's 1700 Theater, 1700 N. Halsted St. in Chicago. Tickets are on sale now at walkabouttheater.org. The press openings are Thursday, July 14 and Friday, July 15 at 7 pm.

Still a Quiet Afternoon was co-created by Guilherme Kirchheim, Tara Ostiguy, Desiré Graham, Katie Mazzini, and Gabriel Thom Pasculli.

While the fires of Troy burn outside their window, an ancient and utterly familiar couple faces off within the present moment's epic call to action. As the fires slowly enter the house, a coherent sense of time and place starts to unravel. The duo begin to travel back and forth throughout history, each time-jump informed by the disaster that reveals itself right outside their window. Centuries pass as the couple cycle through moments of both reverie and confrontation - all the while trying to hold onto the thread of urgency. The piece is a comedic and tender exploration of how we sometimes find grace and sometimes find strife in one another. And sometimes, we miss the point.

Based on stories, myths, song and poetry, Katie Mazzini (Her) and Gabriel Thom Pasculli (Him) investigate each character as the protagonist of their own life - and their inner movements as entire worlds - juxtaposed to an endlessly apocalyptic context. In the face of impending calamity, Her and Him struggle to respond to the urgent call to do... something.

Work on the production began in 2019 in a special month-long collaboration with the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski in Pontedera, Italy. Development continued over the next year with separate workshops at the Workcenter and with Walkabout Theater in Chicago. Work-in-progress presentations were made at Prop Thtr's Rhino Fest in Chicago and at the Hinterlands in Detroit.

PERFORMANCE DETAILS:

Title: Still a Quiet Afternoon

Directed by Guilherme Kirchheim and Tara Ostiguy

Performed by Katie Mazzini and Gabriel Thom Pasculli

Dramaturgy by Tara Ostiguy and Desiré Graham

Original Text by Katie Mazzini and Gabriel Thom Pasculli

Location: Steppenwolf's 1700 Theater, 1700 N. Halsted St., Chicago

Dates: July 14 - 16, 2022

Curtain times: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 pm

Ticket price: $15. Tickets are on sale now at walkabouttheater.org.

Run time: 50 minutes, no intermission

Age recommendations: 11 and older

About the Creative Team

Guilherme Kirchheim (co-director) is a Brazilian actor, singer, theater teacher and director. He is a graduate of the FUNCART (Artistic Culture Foundation of Londrina) in Brazil, and taught drama and vocal technique there from 2010 to 2012. He has worked since 2008 with different ensembles and communities in Brazil, culminating in spectacles, concerts, short-films and music albums, being recognized with national prizes for his work. He is the co-founder of the Núcleo Ás de Paus, a theater collective based in Londrina, with whom he traveled to major festivals and artistic circuits in Brazil, teaching and performing at public spaces until 2013. He was a member of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards (partner of the National Theater of Tuscany) from 2014 to 2021, collaborating on the research initiated by Grotowski, called Art as Vehicle, based on work with songs of tradition. Guilherme was an integral part of the international pedagogic work at the Workcenter, mentoring and directing individuals through practices based on singing and creation of authorial pieces. He is currently partnering with a few artistic collectives, continuing long-term investigations on performance and community. Along with artists from Brazil, Italy, USA, Canada and India, Guilherme is developing works based on storytelling, song and theater.

Tara Ostiguy (co-director, dramaturg) is a performer, director, teacher and dramaturg currently based in Toulouse, France. She received her formative training at the National Ballet School of Canada as a classical dancer and went on to complete a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and International Development Studies at McGill University (Montreal, Canada) and a Master's degree in History at York University (Toronto, Canada). Tara has worked with diverse communities for over a decade, combining in her work autoethnographic reflection, storytelling, performance and song. She was a member of the company Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards (partner of The National Theatre of Tuscany) from 2013 to 2020. During this period she was both co-creator and performer in The Living Room and The Underground: A Response to Dostoevsky which were performed in festivals and venues internationally including Théâtre de la ville (France), Wuzhen Theatre Festival (China), Seoul Performing Arts Festival (Korea) and the Baltic House International Festival (Russia). Tara was a key member of the pedagogical program at the Workcenter where she developed original devised pieces with artists from around the world. She has taught at leading institutions including Ecole Supérieur d'art Dramatique - Théâtre Nationale de Bretagne, Yale National University of Singapore and Scuola del Teatro Stabile in Italy. She is currently involved in two collaborative projects in France : Hic Sunt Leones which sets out to investigate the meaning of community and narratives around climate change action and l'Empise, a one-woman show that documents gender-based violence in the performing arts world.

Desiré Graham (dramaturg, she/her) is a performer, director, dramaturg and arts administrator from Harlem, New York. She graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor's degree in Theatre Arts and African American Studies, focusing on how the sociology of race has and continues to influence the American theatre scene, while unearthing the universality of 'the black artist.' Over the past few years, she's had the pleasure of working in various productions with Speakeasy Stage, New Repertory Theatre and Yo Soy Lola in Boston, MA. She has also participated in a residency with Double Edge Theatre as part of their Artistic Internship Program, specializing in music and technical production. She was a company member at the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards from 2019-2021, performing in The Underground and Songs of Tradition, as well as facilitating workshops and mentoring visiting artists. She continues to collaborate with former colleagues on the development team for Still a Quiet Afternoon and On the Table. Currently based in New Haven, CT, Desiré is looking to develop her performance work and make ground in the cultural equity movement, committing to aid POC artists in gaining work across all artistic disciplines.

Katie Mazzini (performer, writer, she/her) was born on Long Island, New York. She graduated in 2012 with a B.F.A in Musical Theater from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Shortly after, she moved to Chicago, Illinois where she began work as a professional actor in Tracy Letts' adaptation of Three Sisters (Steppenwolf Theater Company). She also appeared in Singin' in the Rain (Drury Lane), and Erica Mott Production's devised opera, 3 Singers, where she first met master vocal technician and formative mentor, Fides Krucker. In 2013, she joined Chicago's Walkabout Theater Company. As part of the core Walkabout ensemble, she co-created and performed in numerous original pieces across the United States, India, and Poland. In 2021, Katie spent a year as a member of the Focused Research Team in Art as Vehicle at the Wokcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards in Pontedera, Italy. As part of the Workcenter, she performed in The Underground and Songs of Tradition in theaters across Colombia, Chile, and Argentina. She is currently working on two international collaborations: in Still a Quiet Afternoon and On the Table. Katie is fat. She loves research, singing, and building creative bridges across different fields and forms.

Gabriel Thom Pasculli (performer, writer, he/they) is a US/Turtle Island-based performance artist, teacher, and theater director. Exploring the intersections of performance and decolonial praxis through body, change and belonging, Gabriel Thom's multi-linear approach to narrative embraces an interdependent process of making meaning and engaging with the unknown. For eight years, Gabriel Thom was the artistic director of Walkabout Theater in Chicago, with whom Gabriel Thom directed a series of outdoor public stilt spectacles as well as internationally-touring ensemble performances acclaimed as "surreal," "sublime," "gorgeous and exhilarating." Gabriel Thom teaches acting and actor training at the University of IL in Chicago, the University of Chicago, and SUNY Purchase in New York. Gabriel Thom is currently a student of Fides Krucker in her approach to Emotionally Integrated Voice, and recently graduated from Goddard College's MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts program with a concentration in Decolonial Arts Praxis and Performance Creation.

About Walkabout Theater Company

For over twenty years Walkabout has been creating original live performances across the city of Chicago and beyond. Persistently process-oriented, Walkabout's performances have been acclaimed for their physical daring, virtuosic vocal scores, surreal imagery, and complex narrative forms. Walkabout is distinguished by a deep investment in its collective creative practice, in the personal and artistic development of its members, and in the cultural and artistic advancement of ensemble co-creation.

This work will be the final performance produced by the current ensemble under the name Walkabout Theater Company. The ensemble's work is morphing into a new collective structure that will emphasize the company's recent interdisciplinary investigations into creative community practice, personal inquiry, large-scale spectacle, and international dialogue. To learn more about the collective's emerging transformation from Walkabout Theater to Wender Collective, check out the website: www.walkabouttheater.org

About Steppenwolf's LookOut Series:

LookOut is Steppenwolf's performance series that presents the work of artists and companies across genre and form, emerging artists and performance legends, quintessential Chicago companies and young aspiring ensembles, familiar Steppenwolf faces and new friends. steppenwolf.org/lookout.

Photo credit: Alex Benito Rodriguez




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