Directed by Theatre Y Artistic Director Melissa Lorraine, Conceived by dramaturg Evan Hill, Featuring the choreography of Dénes Döbrei and Heni Varga, and performed by the 16-person Theatre Y Ensemble. The Camino Project emerged from Theatre Y’s pilgrimage across Spain’s Camino de Santiago in 2017. It is a walking experience in partnership with the Temporary Travel Bureau for Pilgrims and Tourists
August 17-October 13, 2019.
You are invited to reserve your FREE spot early, and we will be in further communication with you shortly.
A play about pilgrimage in 2019 seems to be circling the issue of immigration and the refugee crisis. We've partnered with WBEZ - Worldview’s Jerome McDonnell and Nari Safavi who are sponsoring this production and will host 2 segments about the Camino Project. The first will be a Town Hall event where will will invite 20 Chicago refugee and migrant communities to convene with us around the project - to get to know them and to make space for their stories inside the work.
Choreographers Döbrei and Varga—both Serbians of Hungarian descent—founded their company, Nyári Mozi, in 1985 in order to unite multiethnic Yugoslavian artists in the Vojvodina region (now part of Serbia), and it has remained focused on bringing different cultures together. Both Mr. Debrei and Ms. Varga are adept at Lecoq style of physical theater and Butoh dance. They have trained and worked with Min Tanaka and have been long time collaborators with internationally acclaimed artist Josef Nadj. They collaborated as choreographers with Theatre Y in 2013 on their first original work “The Binding”, and Lorraine has trained and performed with them in Europe on several occasions.
Döbrei and Varga walked a portion of the Camino with Theatre Y in 2017 and last summer the ensemble trained with them for one month to start laying down a physical vocabulary for this piece. They will return for the summer of 2019 to complete the work with experimental sound artist Kimberly Sutton (The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez), lighting designer Rachel Levy (Self-Accusation), set designer Henry Wilkinson (Self-Accusation) and costume designer Rebecca Hinsdale (Stories of the Body, Malaga, Self-Accusation) - nothing short of a dream team for what is easily Theatre Y's most ambitious project to date.
For nearly one thousand years pilgrims have walked approximately 15 miles per day for 33 days across northern Spain ending in the City of Santiago Compostela. In 2017, a group of 40 Theatre Y artists and volunteers walked the 500-mile pilgrimage to begin a theatrical investigation into the meaning of pilgrimage in today’s globalized society. After all, the origins of globalized culture lay along the medieval pilgrimage routes of Europe and the Middle East. Today, however, we are living in a time when the process of globalization is accelerated by climate change, multinational corporations, economic exploitation, and mass refugee migration.
Yet despite being so connected, our engagement with the wider world remains mediated by political ideologies and digital media. In such a context, The Camino Project represents an attempt to return to pilgrimage as an old way to find new expressions of cohabitation. Through the ancient practices of walking and hospitality, The Camino Project imagines an alternative mode of being-together rooted in the fragility, proximity, care, and tempo of the body. Inspired by the form of medieval mystery plays—which would take their audiences across the city en masse as an expression of civic and spiritual identity, in blend of theatrical entertainment and meditation—our ensemble will guide audiences to question on what grounds we can create a new collective identity in spite of our age of contradictions and uncertainties.
In 2018 Theatre Y transitioned into a Free Theater to ensure that everyone is able to benefit from our programming. This is maintained through a membership model that is similar to NPR. Since 2018, every single Theatre Y offering has been open to the public for free to insist that Theatre isn't just another economic transaction but an opportunity to offer radical hospitality; a community experience created for meaningful face to face encounters.
Join us for a Special Launching Party:
Photo Credit: Raffaele Cipullo