Going into “Forts: Adult Night” at Filament Theatre I was one-hundred-percent an adult. I had had a long day at work and I just wanted to go home and binge watch some “Law & Order: SVU.” Upon entering the theater, the lobby was already bustling with groups of friends hugging, drinking and getting cranked up for the fun that was about to begin. The experience, which was conceived by artistic director Julie Ritchey, begins with two guides and three rules. One: be safe. Two: be kind. Three: no shoes allowed. I’ll add one more of my own: wear nice socks. Or at least the pair with the fewest holes.
Filament’s expansive space and sweeping lights set the perfect scene for childhood reminiscing. Resident artists Eleanor Kahn and Andrew Marikis did an excellent job designing the space and experience, respectively, which starts with an idyllic morning and ends with a starry night. Lighting (Carley Walker) and sound (Jeffrey Levin) skillfully transition from one point to the other. For anyone wary of performance art or nontraditional theater experiences, “Forts: Adult Night” is a good jumping-off point. You’re not just thrown in a room and expected to entertain yourself. The experience is curated, with new elements introduced throughout.
Every choice, from the canopy of sheets to the lightly chirping birds, is a time machine back to when we weren’t exhausted adults, when we didn’t have bills to pay or jobs to do, and we could just create, unencumbered. Leaving “Forts,” I was at least thirty-percent less adult and more curious kid. So grab your closest buddies and get high (now that it’s legal), get drunk (this is for Adults, after all), or stay completely sober and just have fun building the fort of your dreams. (Hayley Osborn)
Filament Theatre, 4041 North Milwaukee, (773)270-1660, filamenttheatre.org, $15. Through February 22.