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The PIT: A Fundraiser

The PIT Tournament and Fundraiser
Come play PIT tournament-style to help raise funds for Pocket Guide to Hell’s next reenactment!
Corner the market in the fast and fun Parker Brothers game as seen on TV’s  Freaks and Geeks! Top traders will win prizes donated by the Chicago Architecture FoundationNorthwestern University Press, and CME trader Ryan Carlson! Eat FOOD based on the commodities being traded! 
Stick around for an interview with Chicago’s cultural historian, Tim Samuelson, hosted by Adam Burke and MAKE magazine. Send a text to our stock ticker. 
Facebook invite here!
All proceeds go toward Pocket Guide to Hell’s next reenactment, The Pit, on Sunday, Oct. 20, 3PM at the Chicago Board of Trade, part of Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Open House event. Pocket Guide to Hell is a series of free and interactive walks, talks, and reenactments dealing with Chicago history (
The Pit Tournament and Fundraiser
Wednesday, October 2, from 6-8 PM
The Hideout, 1354 W Wabansia
$5-10 suggested donation

The First Ward Ball

Your friends at Pocket Guide of Hell cordially invite you to Bathhouse John and Hinky Dink Kenna’s 1908 First Ward Ball!

We’ll have dancing, drink, and political mischief!Music by Meredith Axelrod, John Gieger, Jamie Albert, and Spears and Gears!

Performances by the Chicago Poetry Bordello, Rob Cruz, Bill Savage, Scott Priz, and all your favorite Gaslight Era Historical Figures!

Costume contest and raffles of exciting prizes!

Dance with the Everleigh Sisters!

Rig an election with Johnny Powers!

Keep the transit system in municipal hands by fighting Charles Yerkes!It’ll be a lollapalooza!

Suggested donation at the door of only $10! March 17th at Chicago’s very own Hideout!

3 hours of political mayhem, music, and fun.

12-14--First Ward Ball



Studs’ Place

The Chicago Television Project: Studs’ Place

 Pocket Guide to Hell presents Studs’ Place, a live performance of a new episode of the classic Studs Terkel television show, at the Hideout (1354 W Wabansia) on Sunday, November 11, 2012, at 7 PM. There is a $7-10 suggested donation.

In the early 1950s, broadcaster and oral historian Studs Terkel starred in Studs’ Place, one of the first television shows produced in Chicago.  Working from a one-page scenario and with a cast consisting of Chet Roble, Beverly Younger, and future co-founder of the Old Town of School of Folk Music Win Stracke, Terkel largely improvised the episodes, which were all set at the eponymous diner and dealt with everyday life in the city. The episodes highlighted the musical talents of Roble and Stracke and served as an inspiration for later Chicago improvisation groups like the Compass Players and Second City.

In honor of the yearlong Studs Terkel centennial, Pocket Guide to Hell is producing a new episode of Studs’ Place, set in 2012 but making use of character types and scenarios from the original series. The episode will be performed in the front bar of the Hideout but projected before an audience seated in the back, simulating the effect of watching a live television broadcast.

Meredith Milliron (Barrel of Monkeys) directs a cast that includes John Geiger, Roger Payton, Scott M. Priz, Chris Rathjen, Nick Wagner, and Rachel Wilson. Special guest stars include Bill Savage, and Alison Cuddy.

The performance will be followed by short talks on the Chicago School of Televsion by the Museum of Broadcast Communication’s Walter Podrazik; on Media Burn’s efforts to restore original episodes of Studs’ Place by Sara Chapman and Tom Weinberg; and on Win Stracke and the founding of the Old Town School of Folk Music by musician Mark Dvorak.

Studs’ Place is the first installment of the Chicago Television Project and will be followed in April by Bozo’s Circus. Pocket Guide to Hell is a series of interactive walks, talks, and reenactments dealing with Chicago’s past. Recent events include the Studs Terkel 100th Birthday Party at the Newberry, Behind the Scenes with the Mediums at the Chicago Cultural Center, and The Compass Players Revisited at Jimmy’s Woodlawn Tap.

“Studs’ Place Revisited,” directed by Meredith Milliron

Studs' Place

Paul Durica at Studs' Place Revisited

Studs Place Screening

Studs Place Meredith Milliron

Studs Place Cast

Studs Place Scott Priz

Fort Dearborn Memorial Walk

Fort Dearborn 200th Anniversary Memorial Walk
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
7 PM
360 N Michigan
London Guarantee Building

On August 15, 1812 the 54 soldiers under the command of Nathan Heald, as well
as a dozen militiamen, 9 women, and 18 children, left Fort Dearborn on a forced
evacuation to Fort Wayne in Indiana.

They followed the coastline of Lake Michigan, making it about a mile and a half
before being attacked by a band of Potawatomi. In the resulting conflict, which
lasted 15 minutes, 26 soldiers died, the entire militia was wiped out, and 7 of the
women and 12 of the children lost their lives. The survivors were taken prisoner.

The Fort Dearborn Massacre, as it was then called, is a founding act of violence in
Chicago history. It is memorialized in plaques on the sidewalk, on the Michigan
Avenue Bridge House, and as the last star added to the Chicago flag in 1939.

Wednesday, April 15, 2012 marks the 200th anniversary of the conflict. Violence
continues to mar Chicago’s story. In July 38 people died as a result of gunfire, and
the homicide rate in Chicago in 2012 exceeds the number of American military
deaths in Afghanistan during the same period.

On the 200th anniversary, I will walk the original path from Fort Dearborn to the site
of the conflict. Along the way, I will pause to talk about the city’s problematic past
but also to discuss its present.

The route is 2.2 miles. Bring comfortable shoes and hydration. There will be
periodic stops. The event is FREE.

Fort Deaborn Memorial Walk

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