On stage at Common Room

Down the rabbit hole

On stage at Common Room

On stage at Common Room

Remember Common Room? Wednesday night was the fourth outing of this theatre taster event, and the inaugural ‘interview an audience member’ segment which – as you can see – I made it into.

And this got me thinking… man, I really need to go see more of these plays which I’m hearing so much about. And that’s how I ended up spending this afternoon chasing a rabbit with a French accent all over the neighbourhood of Andersonville in Upended Production’s Alice.

Inspired by Lewis Carroll, the audience (who all take the role of ‘Alice’) are broken into small groups – each assigned a different rabbit – and move between whimsical and fantastical scenes staged in nearby streets, bars, shops. On the routes between each ‘scene’ there are also weird and wonderful sights and mini-interactions with the audience, like this:

One of the many roaming cast members. (Hopefully.)

One of the many roaming cast members. (Hopefully.)

I have to admit, I was a little worried it would feel a little too surreal in the sense of ‘arbitrary random stuff’, but actually everything felt very carefully put together and was surprisingly thought provoking. There are so many people I would recommend this to, and most of them don’t live in Chicago, but if you do you should check it out. (And next week I am going to see another production promoted through the Common Room – hurray!)

Late night pizza bite

Late night pizza bite

Have been doing a bunch of other fun stuff, too. Like meeting up with the one and only Emily Boyd, who was visiting town from New York! I also almost broke Randi’s Californian heart by introducing her to the concept of full English breakfasts, which we made this morning. (Tastes like home!)

I also saw Saved, cheered on the Baltimore Orioles in the baseball playoff season, got treated to a swanky lunch at the Art Institute by a friend of Carolyn’s (still haven’t managed to go in to the Art Institute, mind) and went to my first Chicago jazz club. Which was a bit of a fail, actually, because although the jazz was good I decided that I’d prefer to be able to actually hear the conversation I was having, so we retreated to a regular jazz-free bar instead.

Aside from my own entertainment and shenanigans, in the past few weeks I’ve also started volunteering for two separate tutoring/mentoring projects. I will probably write more about these elsewhere, after a couple more weeks, but suffice to say it’s always an interesting challenge to work with children. And I don’t mean that as a euphemism for ‘difficult’ or ‘unpleasant’ – it’s just something which demands conscious adjustment after not actually being a child for a while. Pretty rewarding if you can get it right, though.

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Down the rabbit hole

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