Waltzing Mechanics tell seasonal tales with "El Stories: Holiday Train"

The folks at Waltzing Mechanics are celebrating the holidays with a special production called “El Stories: Holiday Train” on Friday and Saturday from Dec. 2 through Jan. 14.  Performances start at 10:30 p.m. in the Downstairs Studio at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N Lincoln Ave. Tickets are $15 general admission and are available in advance at greenhousetheater.org or 773-404-7336.

The Waltzing Mechanics’ schtick is to interview commuter about their transit adventures during the holiday season, and then create the show. This is the third production by the troupe. I reviewed their first effort earlier this year.

The commuters in the show share unique encounters riding the CTA – including tales of unexpected holiday kindness and how some travelers weathered last winter’s massive blizzard. “Care was taken in adaptation to preserve the actual speech patterns of the source contributors, and the eleven actor ensemble will again prepare for performance using both interview transcripts and the source recordings,” according to a press release”

Each performance also utilizes playback theatre in one scene before the dramatized Holiday Train reaches the terminal.  A volunteer from the audience will be invited to share a transit story of his or her own, will be guided to select actors from the ensemble to fulfill that story, and will watch as the story just shared is played back in scene. Other audience members who wish to share their own transit stories will be encouraged to remain after the performance, when their tales can be recorded by members of the company.  Collected stories may be used for future productions as EL STORIES continues to document how we move as a community through this dynamic city.

The Waltzing Mechanics are running a special this week – if you “like” their Facebook page, you’ll get $5 off the price of the show.

This weekend the “real” Holiday Train rides the Orange and Brown lines starting today. Full schedule here.

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