Theatre Y presents You Are Here - 12 Six-Hour Walking Conversations

Jul 7, 2021
Theatre Y in Chicago

Theatre Y announced YOU ARE HERE: The Emerald Camino Project, an ambulatory performance designed to celebrate our shared humanity and the walkable, beautiful urban environment Daniel Burnham envisioned for Chicago. Created in partnership with approximately 80 artists, community leaders, and organizations across a dozen communities, YOU ARE HERE will offer an urban pilgrimage through Burnham's Emerald Necklace--the boulevard system that links the great public parks on Chicago's west and south sides--forging new relationships with the city and its people along the way.

YOU ARE HERE is the second installment in Theatre Y's ongoing Camino Project, inspired by the ensemble's 2017 trek along Spain's Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile pilgrimage route dating from the 9th century. During their trek from the French border to Finisterre (Latin for "the end of the world"), Theatre Y members attempted to find new possibilities for a social life based on ancient practices and rooted in the body. The first iteration of the Project, produced in 2019, combined a five-mile walk through Bucktown and Humboldt Park, a celebratory meal, and performative events blending theater, dance, and performance art.

Reviewing the 2019 Camino Project for Picture This Post, Amy Munice wrote, "What a LIFE experience this production is! . . . [T]heater experiences don't get better than this." Josh Flanders of the Chicago Reader called it "a theatrical experience unlike any other. You go on a journey in order to find out why you went."

YOU ARE HERE will retain the 2019 format while inverting its dynamic. In a nod to the cultural, political, and, yes, viral upheaval of the last year--the roiling of our public consciousness on matters of race and equity in a COVID-traumatized nation--this year's Camino Project will cast Theatre Y as the guest and our "audience" as the guides. The goal this time around is to forge connections among diverse Chicago communities and foster dialogue through which participants can hear, heal, and bond with one another.

"YOU ARE HERE is a joyful post-pandemic experience that connects Chicago's diverse communities through the intersection of conversation and art," says Theatre Y artistic director Melissa Lorraine.

During its six-week run, YOU ARE HERE will convene in each of 12 Chicago neighborhoods connected by the Emerald Necklace: Logan Square, Humboldt Park, East Garfield Park, North Lawndale, Little Village, Back of the Yards, Englewood, Washington Park, Bronzeville, Hyde Park, Woodlawn, and Jackson Park. The odysseys will begin at a local green space and end with a picnic in the same location. Sustained dialog being the core of the experience, each participant will be paired up with a stranger (one person from the neighborhood to be toured, the other from another part of the city) so they can talk as they go, stimulated by all they experience along the way. The routes will follow a four-mile loop incorporating significant historic, social, cultural, and religious sites; they will include rest stops and pauses for performances by local artists, singers, dancers and poets. A full pilgrimage will take six hours in total. Participants can join us
in all of them or just one.

YOU ARE HERE will be directed by Melissa Lorraine and feature choreography by Serbia-based artist Heni Varga. It will be documented by the Worldview Solutions, a social-enterprise spinoff of WBEZ radio; by National Geographic's Out of Eden Chicago; and by Berlin-based Nigerian
photographer Akinbode Akinbiyi, as part of his residency in Chicago.

Designers include sound artist and composer Kimberly Sutton, set designer Henry Wilkinson, and costume designer Rebecca Hinsdale. Emily Bragg will serve as assistant director and stage manager, aided by assistant stage managers Kayla Adams and Heaven Rice. The Theatre Y
ensemble members are Arlene Arnone, Catrina Evans, Adrian Garcia Jr., Renata McAdams, Howard Raik, Eric Roberts, Kris Tori, Juan Vervo, Luis Crespo, Melanie McNulty, Sage Behr, Clara Byczkowski, and Nadia Pillay.

YOU ARE HERE: The Emerald Camino Project
August 21-September 26, 2021

Logan Square Camino: 1-7 PM, Saturday 8/21/21
Humboldt Park Camino: 1-7 PM, Sunday 8/22/21

East Garfield Park Camino: 1-7 PM, Saturday 8/28/21
North Lawndale Camino: 1-7 PM, Sunday 8/29/21

Little Village Camino: 1-7 PM, Saturday 9/4/21
Back of the Yards Camino: 1-7 PM, Sunday 9/5/21

Englewood Camino: 1-7 PM, Saturday 9/11/21
Washington Park Camino: 1-7 PM, Sunday 9/12/21

Bronzeville Camino: 1-7 PM, Saturday 9/18/21
Hyde Park Camino: 1-7 PM, Sunday 9/19/21

Woodlawn Camino: 1-7 PM, Saturday 9/25/21
Jackson Park Camino/Project Closing Celebration: 1-7 PM, Sunday 9/26/21

Theatre Y productions are offered to the public free of charge thanks to their members. For this production they are providing a free experience for residents of the 12 "Necklace" communities, and asking those who are visiting the neighborhood to invest in Theatre Y's mission and vision. For more information and to reserve your ticket, visit