Chimera Ensemble presents CAM BABY Review – Who is the You They See?

(Left to Right): Nora Hunt, Arif Yampolsky Tori Howard

Chimera Ensemble’s CAM BABY reveals human depravity in its latest form

Deep bass plays as a corner of the stage is lit. As expected from the tone of the music, something sinister lurks in a darkened corner – figures in the dark, lit only by a lap top and a cell phone. But the first pieces of dialogue are the jovial but shallow conversation between two 20-somethings regarding funny memes they’ve seen. Their awkwardness is covered by the irrelevancies of the subject matter they view, but is exposed when the chattiness stops. While they fumble into each other’s arms, Clara and Tim become unwitting participants in a viral voyeurism that could cut down the delicate flower they’ve just discovered.

So Close and Yet So Far

As advanced as we in the 21st Century think we are, the human race is still plagued by emotional manipulation, power-based relationships, money-grubbing, body shaming and the struggle to become a “good person.” CAM BABY reveals, in spite of global awareness to make the world better for everyone, this knack for raising ourselves up on our own pedestals, justifying unjustifiable actions and grabbing at more than our share of anything.

(Left to Right): Christopher Donaldson, Nora Hunt, Norma Chacon, Murphy Mayer, Nico Fernandez Tori Howard
(Left to Right): Murphy Mayer, Norma Chacon Tori Howard

Alienation from each other, from ourselves, from institutions is something that everyone struggles with. Some people find solace against the isolationism in others, becoming vulnerable and opening up to another. And some people seek the weak spots in others and open the wounds wide for a sense of power over another. CAM BABY reveals this reality with harsh accuracy and visceral performances of the actors.

While light-hearted in spots the play is brutal in its reality, in its ugliness of the stronger manipulating the weaker and what “good people” are capable of when lacking some kind of self-worth.

(Left to Right): Nico Fernandez, Murphy Mayer Tori Howard
Christopher Donaldson, Nora Hunt Tori Howard

Chimera Ensemble Upholds the Community Good

Chimera Ensemble partners with a local organization and matches the performance themes in choosing a recipient of their post-show donations. CAM BABY provided revenue for The Grateful Garment Project, a non-profit organization providing care for victims of sexual crime: helping them seek assistance from law enforcement and the medical field as well as filling their needs for new clothing, toiletries, or anything else.


Note: This is now added to the Picture this Post round up of BEST PLAYS IN CHICAGO, where it will remain until the end of the run. Click here to read – Top Picks for Theater in Chicago NOW – Chicago Plays PICTURE THIS POST Loves.


The Vault Theater at Collaboraction Studios
1579 N. Milwaukee Ave.


Thru March 4

Thursday 3/1, 7:30pm
Friday 3/2, 7:30pm
Saturday 3/3, 7:30pm
Sunday, 3/4  3:00pm


General Admission $22

Visit them at the Chimera Ensemble website


Note: An excerpt of this review appears in Theatre in Chicago

Joseph Anthony Rulli
Nathanael Filbert

Joseph Anthony Rulli is a transplanted Hoosier, living in Chicago since the fall of 2006. A 1987 graduate of the University of Notre Dame (BA, History) and a 1992 graduate of St. Meinrad School of Theology (MDiv) he taught Social Studies, Religion, Philosophy and History at the high school level. He began writing as a career upon his arrival to his second city and has had two short stories published, a stage play performed, an electronic tour book published online and The Chicago Haymarket Affair (History Press/Arcadia Publishing, 2016) his first print book.


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