Author Archives | Pocket Guide to Hell

Studs Terkel Birthday Party

Studs Terkel 100th Birthday Party

May 16th, 6 PM, Newberry Library, Free

Join Rick Kogan, Alison Cuddy, Alex Kotlowitz, Penelope Rosemont, Ed Sadlowski, Lucy Parsons (Alma Washington), David Roediger, and Sean Benjamin and Steve Mosqueda of Drinking & Writing Theater as they wish Studs a Happy 100th! With music by Jon Langford and Bucky Halker. Free food and drink courtesy of the Haymarket Pub & Brewery and the Swedish Bakery. Provide your own Studs-related memory in a project organized by Heather Radke of the Jane Addams Hull House Museum and archived at the Newberry. Partners include the Newberry, Illinois Labor History Society, The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, the Haymarket Pub & Brewery, The Chicagoan, Charles Kerr Co., and Chicago Publishes.

Rick Kogan at the Newberry Library, Studs Terkel Centenary Birthday Party
Quentin Young, Ed Sadlowski, and Alma Washington at Studs Terkel Birthday Party
Alison Cuddy at Studs Terkel Birthday Party
Bucky Halker at Studs Terkel Birthday Party

Studs Terkel Birthday Cakes from the Swedish Bakery


Our next reenactment THE PIT takes a scene from Frank Norris’s novel and the form of a sports event to stage the cornering of the wheat market and explain the history of futures markets in Chicago!

Get a piece of the action! We’re selling special edition futures contacts for $5 each. The more you buy, the bigger your stake—and the more fabulous prize you’ll receive!

Check out our special microsite for “The Pit” and support Pocket Guide today! 100% of your donation will go towards the production of this event.

Behind the Scenes With the Mediums

Behind the Scenes with the Mediums

May 3rd, 7 PM, Chicago Cultural Center, Historical Reenactment, Free

Ever wonder what a 19th century séance was like? Ever wanted to know how tables were made to levitate, handwriting made to appear on slates, and the faces of the dead made to materialize on blank canvases? Well, now those questions can be answered and those desires can be met. Learn about the Bangs Sisters, 2 Chicago mediums infamous for their Spirit Portraits! Meet David Abbott, the magician dedicated to exposing frauds! And contact the spirit of Harry Houdini while seated within the historic Grand Army of the Republic Rotunda! “Behind the Scenes with the Mediums” is being performed in conjunction with MORBID CURIOSITY and in partnership with CHICAGO PUBLISHES.

Chicago Cultural Center Seance 1

Chicago Cultural Center Seance 2

Chicago Cultural Center Seance 4

Chicago Cultural Center Seance 3

The Haymarket Reenactment

125th Anniversary Full-scale Haymarket Reenactment

In 1886, many Americans labored 14 hours days, 6 days a week, for wages that couldn’t support a family. On May 1st, workers across the country went on strike for an 8 hour day – and in Chicago on May 4th, the fight led to a bomb being thrown, 8 police dying, and 8 labor leaders going on trial. The incident divided the country and continues to be debated but also led to May Day, the international labor holiday on May 1st.

MAIN CAST: Pete Crowley, Drew Dir, Michelle Faust, Nick Fraccaro, Ingrid Haftel, Mason Johnson, Matt LaPierre, Lydia Laurenson, Matt Malooly, Ed Marszewski, Kenneth Morrison, Steve Mosqueda, Kevin Robinson, Tim Samuelson, Brant Veilleux, Nat Ward, and Alma Washington.
POLICE: The Nightingale, Public Media Institute, Columbia College’s Center for Book & Paper Arts, the University of Chicago’s Chicago Studies Program, Newberry Library, Chicago Underground Library, Anatomy Collective, Homeroom, The Chicagoan, Dance Dance Party Party, Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, featherproof books, Literacy Works, University of Chicago’s Graduate Students United, The Hideout, ACM, The Op Shop, Green Lantern, Quimby’s, plus cartoonists (Capt. Laura Park), comedians (Capts. Seth Dodson and Emerson Dameron), visual artists (Capt. Sayward Schoonmaker), writers (Capt. Fred Sasaki), and generally wonderful people (Capts. James Tate, Joe Klinger, L. Wyatt)
MUSIC: Jamie Albert, Environmental Encroachment, Bucky Halker, and Jon Langford
PARTNERS: The Illinois Labor History Society, Haymarket Pub & Brewery, Fulton River District Association, The Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture, Drinking & Writing Theater, and the VERSION Arts Festival.
PROPS: Michelle Faust, Kenneth Morrison, and Nat Ward
ART: Zach Dodson, April Sheridan, and Christopher T. Wood
SPECIAL THANKS: Kickstarter Supporters, Jerry Boyle, Mairead Case, Jacob Knabb, and Ivan Ross.

Haymarket 1

Haymarket 2

Haymarket 3

Haymarket 5

Haymarket 6

1915 Parade of the Unemployed

1915 Parade of the Unemployed

In January 1915 1500 Chicagoans from all walks of life gathered at Hull House at the request of James Eads How, the “millionaire hobo.” They gathered to discuss the high level of unemployment and an economic crisis that had left families starving. After a spontaneous vote called by Lucy Parsons, they decided to ask City Hall for food relief and public works projects. They marched north on Halsted getting as far as Madison before police broke up the event. Although arrests were made, the Parade won in court where the rights to assemble peacefully and to petition the government were affirmed.

CAST: Martin Billheimer, Jerry Boyle, Mairead Case, Emerson Dameron, Tim Dashnaw, Zach Dodson, Paul Durica, Michelle Faust, Adam Hart, Matt Hauske, Jim Hodge, Christy LeMaster, Ed Marszewski, Tim Newberg, Heather Radke, August Sasaki, Fred Sasaki, Adrian Schindler, Rachel Shine, Brant Veilleux, Nat Ward, and Christopher T. Wood
MUSIC: Environmental Encroachment
PARTNERS: Jane Addams Hull House Museum, Jobs with Justice
SPECIAL THANKS: Lisa Junkin, Lisa Lee, Ivan Ross, Alek Shnayder, and Jason Creps

Parade of the Unemployed 1

Parade of the Unemployed 2

Parade of the Unemployed 3

Parade of the Unemployed 4

The Whitechapel Club

The Whitechapel Club

In the 1890s, Chicago journalists and a few stray professionals gathered in the basement of a saloon where they drank, sang, and performed strange rituals. They named the place after the site of Jack the Ripper’s crimes and filled it with morbid curiosities—nooses used in executions, a Ghost Shirt from a slain Sioux warrior, the skull of famed prostitute Waterford Jane, now a drinking goblet. They laughed at life. They laughed at death.

CAST: Paul Durica, Meghan McGrath, Kenneth Morrison, Sayward Schoonmaker
MUSIC: Jon Langford
PROPS: Kenneth Morrison, Sayward Schoonmaker
LOCATION: Center for Book & Paper Arts, Columbia College, Printers Ball
ART: Rob Funderburk, Laura Park
SPECIAL THANKS: Fred Sasaki, April Sheridan