The Neo-Futurist’s “Saturn Returns” Review – Ensemble Piece Performance Art

Neo-Futurists Saturn Returns

Saturn Returns Premise

The Neo-Futurist’s Saturn Returns is an ensemble piece, created by Tif Harrison and directed by Jen Ellison, that explores the life histories of the cast via an astronomical phenomenon called a “Saturn return.” A Saturn return is the point in one’s life when the planet Saturn reaches the same point in its orbit as when that person was born. This happens every 29 years and, according to Harrison, is typically a year of upheaval in a person’s life.

The cast delves into their own histories and losses in this context, in a loosely connected series of scenes that draw more on the vocabulary of devised theatre and performance art than on any kind of typical dramatic structure.

Astrological Mishaps

Chairs are thrown, bare buttocks are displayed, profound-seeming utterances are uttered, all interspersed with some very neat video projection. The video touches were a strong point of this otherwise fragmented work.

Anyone who is curious about the fringes of experimental theatre may find this an unusual specimen or perhaps a cautionary example. As a lover and creator of devised theatre myself, I struggled to connect with this show.


Oct. 13 – Nov. 19


The Neo-Futurists, 5153 N Ashland Ave, Chicago


For ticket prices and showtimes visit



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