Presented By
Walkabout Theater Company and the Chicago Parks District

Perennial Habit

Created & Performed by
Anastacia Narrajos & Alex Benito Rodriguez

Artist Statement
From Ana


Our brown bodies weaving through
Bronzed bodies yet to fall
Weaving through what has been cast
On wind seeking


And the podium of concrete or stone still
And there is still wind.
Jutting out of the earth
Almost phallic
Wrapped in rope


Like my apron, cotton strings
Holding my ribs in place.
I saw the sea wash up through streets I knew
Pressed against brick I stood


Illusion comes crumbling down
Like the shiny receipt paper that was ripped off the bag
And thrown in Audrey’s face.

Show water where there was once steel, bronze, granite
Even glass knows how to turn into sand.
What once turned green now turns into permeability.
Patio season in Chicago.

Artist Statement
From Alex

“As we made this video I thought a lot about nature and the human need for permanence. We erect monuments in defiance of nature, we think if we can cast ourselves in iron and stone our ideas and legacies won’t go the way of those who came before us. But no matter the size of the idea or its sculpted container, time slowly erodes what was thought to be the way things are to make room for a new movement. Statues don’t move — they stay stuck in the past and so do the people who protect the stories they tell themselves to justify ‘business as usual’. You can’t prevent nature from doing what she does best. Lichen will mask the faces of their “heroes” and birds will shit at their feet.”


Presented by

Walkabout Theater Company Chicago Parks District

Created & Performed by

Anastacia Narrajos Alex Benito Rodriguez

Original Music

Cooper Forsman


Myron Elliott-Cisneros

Crew and Movement Support

Cooper Forsman, Nigel Brown, Mac Dowd-Whipple, Katie Mazzini

Production Support

Gabriel Thom Pasculli

Filmed in Chicago at LaBagh Woods (Forest Preserves of Cook County) and Grant Park (Agora sculptures by Magdalena Abakanowicz)

Additional Context

In early 2020, Walkabout was researching a series of parks performances that would highlight specific land stewardship and native species restoration projects that exist in Chicago. The research was for a 2020 pageant collaboration with Chicago’s Persephone Project and with Nairobi’s John Titi Namai from ZamaleoActs. Walkabout and the Persephone Project were also planning a pageant in collaboration with Zamaleo in 2021 in Kenya. The pageant projects were postponed as a result of the pandemic, but Walkabout was invited to create a short video in partnership with Chicago’s Night Out in the Parks. Alex Rodriguez, Ana Narrajos, and Cooper Forsman created Perennial Habit, a meditation on nature, monuments, and permanence that originally aired on WTTW – Chicago PBS as part of the Night Out in the Parks’s “Your Night Out at Home: A Virtual Experience.”

The Perennial Habit video planted a seed that has transformed into a cycle of new collaborative performance projects, including the InterWEBS project! To learn more about Walkabout’s Perennial Habit performance cycle, click here.

Artist Bios

Anastacia Narrajos (she/her) is a multi racial artist living in Chicago, IL. Her work examines her own sense of belonging and her role as witness and synthesizer. Striving to forge a relationship to place, Anastacia (or Ana) explores her connection and dissonance to the land she stands on in this piece. Ana has been an ensemble member of Walkabout Theater since 2019. She is an active theater maker, performer and educator.

Cooper Forsman (he/him) is a performer, sound artist and naturalist based in Chicago IL. In his work he aims to create experiences that expand the possibilities of space and place, building cultural associations with local ecosystems while invoking a sense of the unknown.
Alex Benito Rodriguez (he/him) is an actor, designer, and theatre maker based in Chicago, IL. In his artistic practices, Alex relies on curiosity and collaboration as vehicles for creativity. He aims to share stories that celebrate the complexities of humanity and dream of a more compassionate world. He believes that art is a fundamental expression of the human experience and a foundational way to shift corrupted cultures somewhere kinder and more beautiful.

The Thief and the Name

The thief has a name. But, cleverly, he steals it from your mouth once you know it. Not from your head, mind you, that’s important. He takes it from your mouth so every time you see him excavating a friend’s body, you embarrass yourself when you try to tell them, only to find aphasia: you’re grunting or speaking in daisies and fruit. He’ll laugh at you for it, too. So practice in the mirror. That way you’ll know if you’ll be able to make it.

Anyway, I was gonna tell you the story of his name, but he took the words from off the page and now I have to talk about something else I guess.

The thief has a sense of something-like-wonder. I know! You would never know given everything else about him. But he does and I’ve wondered about it for a long time, and I’ve wandered about whether it’s because he feels so empty and small most of the time that the things that fill him with wonder make him feel like he’s supposed to exist. Like he doesn’t matter as much as everything else doesn’t matter and that’s incredible.

One time, the thief awoke. And things were quiet. The grass rustled next to his ear. When the sky broke, he saw peaches at the horizon and things were quiet. Next, this: heads clipping and swaying across the horizon, and then more and more and more occurred, with each step growing taller than the thief, then taller than the trees, then bigger and broader than mountains, then the size of the sky when the giants walked over the thief’s body.

The thief’s mouth gaped with that something-like-wonder.

And for a moment, the thief thought about stealing. But then he thought it through (an unfamiliar sensation for him) and he realized he had no idea what to do with them. And while he made plans to take them later, he wondered about wonder while staring at their approaching feet and the blinking clouds.

And so, for now, he was content to let the giants pass and shake the earth for him.


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