Walkabout Theater Company and Steppenwolf’s Look Out series will present the US premiere of Still a Quiet Afternoon – a mythical musical tragicomedy about two people observing a multitude of apocalyptic happenings through their single window.
Featuring performances by Walkabout ensemble members Katie Mazzini and Gabriel Thom Pasculli, Still a Quiet Afternoon will perform 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 8 p.m.
Still a Quiet Afternoon was co-created by Guilherme Kirchheim, Tara Ostiguy, Desiré Graham, Katie Mazzini and Gabriel Thom Pasculli.
As the Trojan fires burn outside their window, an ancient and all-too-familiar couple clash in the epic call to action of the present moment. As the fires slowly creep into the house, a cohesive sense of time and place begins to unravel. The duo begin to cycle back and forth through history, each jump in time informed by the disaster unfolding right outside their window. Centuries pass as the couple go through moments of daydreaming and confrontation – all while trying to keep the thread of urgency going. The play is a comedic and tender exploration of how we sometimes find grace and sometimes conflict with each other. And sometimes we miss the point.
Using stories, myths, songs and poetry, Katie Mazzini (Her) and Gabriel Thom Pasculli (Him) investigate each character as the protagonist of their own lives – and their inner movements as whole worlds – juxtaposed against an infinitely apocalyptic context. Faced with impending calamity, he and she struggle to answer the urgent call to do…something.
Work on production began in 2019 as part of a special month-long collaboration with Jerzy Grotowski’s Workcenter in Pontedera, Italy. Development continued over the next year with separate workshops at the Workcenter and the Walkabout Theater in Chicago. Work-in-progress presentations have been made at Prop Thtr’s Rhino Fest in Chicago and The Hinterlands in Detroit.
Title: Another 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
Date: 14 – 16 July 2022
Curtain times: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.
Ticket price: $15. Tickets are on sale now at walkabouttheater.org.
Duration: 50 minutes, without intermission
Age Recommendations: 11+
About the creative team
Guilherme Kirchheim (co-director) is a Brazilian actor, singer, theater teacher and director. He graduated from FUNCART (Foundation of Artistic Culture of Londrina) in Brazil, and taught theater and vocal technique there from 2010 to 2012. Since 2008 he has worked with different ensembles and communities in Brazil, culminating in shows, concerts, short films. films and music albums, winning national awards for his work. He is co-founder of Núcleo Ás de Paus, a theater collective based in Londrina, with which he has traveled to the main festivals and artistic circuits of Brazil, teaching and performing in public spaces until 2013. He was member of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards (partner of the National Theater of Tuscany) from 2014 to 2021, collaborating in the research initiated by Grotowski, entitled Art as Vehicle, based on the work with traditional songs. Guilherme was an integral part of the Workcenter’s international educational work, coaching and guiding individuals through song-based practices and the creation of authorial pieces. He is currently partnering with a few art collectives, pursuing long-term research on performance and community. Alongside artists from Brazil, Italy, the United States, Canada and India, Guilherme develops works based on storytelling, song and theatre.
Tara Ostiguy (co-director, playwright) is a performer, director, teacher and playwright currently based in Toulouse, France. She received her training at the National Ballet School of Canada as a classical dancer and then completed a Bachelor of Arts in History and International Development Studies at McGill University (Montreal, Canada) and a Masters in History at York University (Toronto, Canada). Tara has worked with diverse communities for over a decade, combining autoethnographic reflection, storytelling, performance and song in her work. She was a member of the Workcenter company of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards (partner of the National Theater 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 Dostoyevsky which have been performed at international festivals and venues, including the City Theater (France), the Wuzhen Theater Festival (China), the Seoul Performing Arts Festival (Korea) and the Baltic House International Festival (Russia). Tara has been a key member of the Workcenter’s educational program where she developed original pieces designed with artists from around the world. She has taught at leading institutions including the Ecole Supérieure d’Art Dramatique – Théâtre National de Bretagne, Yale National University in Singapore and the Scuola del Teatro Stabile in Italy. She is currently involved in two collaborative projects in France: Hic Sunt Leones which aims to investigate the meaning of community and stories around action against climate change and Empise, a solo show which documents violence. sexist in the world of the performing arts. .
Desiré Graham (playwright, she/she) is a performer, director, playwright and arts administrator from Harlem, New York. She graduated from Boston University with a BA in Theater Arts and African American Studies, focusing on how the sociology of race has and continues to influence the American theater scene, while unearthing the universality of the “black artist”. Over the past few years she has had the pleasure of working in various productions with Speakeasy Stage, New Repertory Theater and Yo Soy Lola in Boston, MA. She also participated in a residency with Double Edge Theater as part of their artistic internship program, specializing in musical 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, while leading workshops and mentoring guest artists. She continues to collaborate with former colleagues from the development team of Still a Quiet Afternoon and On the Table. Currently based in New Haven, CT, Desiré seeks to grow his performance work and make his way in the cultural equity movement, committing to helping POC artists obtain work in all artistic disciplines.
Katie Mazzini (performer, writer, she) was born in Long Island, New York. In 2012, she earned a BFA in Musical Theater from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Soon after, she moved to Chicago, Illinois, where she began working as a professional actress in Tracy Letts’ adaptation of Three Sisters (Steppenwolf Theater Company). She also appeared in Singin’ in the Rain (Drury Lane) and the Erica Mott Production-designed opera, 3 Singers, where she first met master vocal technician and mentor trainer, Fides Krucker. In 2013, she joined the Walkabout Theater Company in Chicago. As part of the main Walkabout ensemble, she has co-created and performed many original pieces in the United States, India and Poland. In 2021, Katie spent a year as a member of the research team focused on Art as Vehicle at Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards’ Wokcenter in Pontedera, Italy. As part of the Workcenter, she performed in The Underground and Songs of Tradition in theaters in 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 between 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 practice through body, change and belonging, Gabriel Thom’s multilinear approach to storytelling embraces an interrelated process of creating meaning and engaging with the unknown. For eight years, Gabriel Thom was the Artistic Director of the Walkabout Theater in Chicago, with whom Gabriel Thom directed a series of outdoor public stilt shows as well as internationally touring ensemble performances acclaimed as “surreal,” sublime”, “magnificent and exhilarating”. .” Gabriel Thom teaches theater and acting training at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Chicago and SUNY Purchase in New York. Gabriel Thom is currently a student of Fides Krucker in its approach to emotionally integrated voice, and recently graduated from Goddard College’s Master of Interdisciplinary Arts program with a concentration in decolonial arts practice 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. Constantly process-driven, Walkabout’s performances have been acclaimed for their physical audacity, virtuoso vocal scores, surreal imagery and intricate 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 collective co-creation.
This work will be the last performance produced by the current ensemble under the name Walkabout Theater Company. The ensemble’s work evolves into a new collective structure that will emphasize the company’s recent interdisciplinary research 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, visit the website: www.walkabouttheater.org
About the Steppenwolf LookOut Series
LookOut is Steppenwolf’s performance series that showcases the work of artists and companies across genre and form, emerging artists and performance legends, quintessential Chicago companies and budding young ensembles, familiar faces from Steppenwolf and new friends. steppenwolf.org/lookout.