"HIGHLY RECOMMENDED... a daring, stunningly surreal ritualistic feast... I was completely enthralled." -Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times


“The matching of visible strength with invisible force.” Rhythmic, muscular and full of risk, The Wild is the world premiere of a devised laboratory theater performance based on the words of playwright Charles Mee, Dionysian rituals and a pulsing mix of global folk performance. Walkabout Theatre Company examines what happens to people when institutions crumble and deities fail to show up.

Since 1999, Walkabout Theater Company has performed and produced new site-specific and experimental work in Chicago, challenging traditional theatrical models of production, performance, narrative and story. Through active exploration of the theatrical form and the architecture in which theater is created, Walkabout seeks to deepen the connection between the artist and the Chicago community. walkabouttheater.org.

Our Process

The Wild was created using Walkabout’s model of laboratory theater, a process of creating work that emphasizes the actor as author, develops a practice of actor training, and cultivates visceral experience. Beginning with the mythic figure of Dionysus and the work of playwright Charles Mee, the Walkabout ensemble gathered a collage of theatrical research including American and Bulgarian folk music, barbershop quartet standards, choreography from Bob Fosse and West African dance, pagan parade costumes, and text from Charles Mee, Chekhov and Euripides.

Using these sources, ensemble improvisations, and original work by the actors, The Wild was created as an exploration of savagery, civilization, worship, boundaries, tearing something apart (sparagmos) and attempting to put it back together again.

Video Gallery

Garage Rep 2014 Trailer

Watch & Listen

  1. <i>THE WILD</i> in Production

    THE WILD in Production

Cast & Artists

The Artists


"The Wild is part Martha Graham and Pina Bausch, part Fellini and Guillermo del Toro, and altogether brilliant in its mix of primal drives rational restraints. ...a daring, stunningly surreal ritualistic feast of dance, drama, music, wrestling, and costuming magic..."
Hedy Weiss, The Chicago Sun Times - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

"It is a wild ride, indeed, and one that heeds the siren call of rich visuals and incantatory ritual and high-octane movement..."
Kerry Reid, The Chicago Tribune - THREE STARS

"The Wild’s curious construction, sumptuous visuals and seductive physicality could leave you wanting a second go at it."
Kris Vire, TimeOut Chicago - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

"The surprisingly risky movements are the champions here as the cast...bravely leave it all on the stage as they perform a most challenging bit of theatrically provocative staged storytelling."
Tom Williams, The Chicago Critic – RECOMMENDED

"There are impressive levels of athleticism and trust. Men jump into women’s arms. Performers dangle from silks. Both men and women climb up each other’s bodies and dive into the remaining ensemble without hesitation. It’s marveling."
The Fourth Walsh – RECOMMENDED

“The energy generated and work created by this process-oriented ensemble is uniformly terrific, well-executed and worth the hour spent in their company.”
Colin Douglas, Chicago Theatre Review - RECOMMENDED

Buy Tickets

Tickets for this production are not currently on sale. Call 312-335-1650 for more information.

Running Time

Content Advisory

Steppenwolf does not offer advisories about subject matter, as sensitivities vary from person to person. If you have any questions about content, age-appropriateness or stage effects (such as strobe lights or theatrical fog) that might have a bearing on patron comfort, please contact the box office at 312-335-1650.

The Wild is part of The Garage Rep Season

Learn more about this season

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