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Friday 9/19 - Thursday 9/25

SEPTEMBER

19 FRIDAY "We experimented a long time before we found the kind of plays the people wanted, and when we found them, they were the best and truest plays, dramas of life, strong, sympathetic, and very real," Jane Addams told an audience at a 1902 conference. The local reformer was referring to the performances presented by Hull House's many drama clubs, which were open to everyone and, according to Addams, helped immigrants learn English while providing moral lessons and affordable entertainment to a community sorely in need of inspiration. "Unless you entertain the people, they will not profit by coming, not carry away a lesson," she explained. This weekend's free conference, Performing the People: The People Performing, celebrates the 114th anniversary of the founding of the storied settlement house. It starts today with registration at 8:30 AM and includes lectures by critics and academics, as well as dramatic readings and tours of the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum. Tomorrow's events run from 9 to 4:30 and focus on contemporary Chicago theater and social ethics. Everything's at UIC's Chicago Circle Center, 750 S. Halsted; for more information call 312-413-5353 or see www.uic.edu/jaddams/hull.

After the assassination of Chilean president Salvador Allende on September 11, 1973, General Augusto Pinochet's army herded some 12,000 political prisoners into the country's largest sports stadium, Santiago's Estadio Nacional. Over the next two months at least 7,000 people were tortured and several hundred were killed there. Carmen Luz Parot's 2001 film, National Stadium, combines interviews with survivors and eyewitnesses with archival footage from the era following the coup. She'll answer questions tonight after a 7 PM screening of the film at UIC's Chicago Circle Center, 750 S. Halsted. It's part of a free two-day event called Chile: Allende 30 Years Later, which kicks off at 6 with the opening of a photography and video exhibit about the slain socialist president. Tomorrow at 4 there'll be a ceremony honoring those who helped save political prisoners during Pinochet's rule, and children of Chilean exiles will present a documentary in progress about the effects of the two September 11s on their lives. A panel discussion with Mireya Garcia of the Association of Families of Detained and Disappeared Persons; Joyce Horman, widow of murdered American journalist Charles Horman (subject of the 1982 film Missing); and Madison-based political scientist Adam Schesch, who was detained at gunpoint in the stadium for eight days, follows at 5. For more information call UIC's Latino Cultural Center at 312-996-3095.

20 SATURDAY "Everyone in the league agreed that the Chicago Hustle had the best fans," says Women's Professional Basketball League historian Karra Porter. The team never won a championship during the league's brief tenure, from 1978 to 1981. But they did play the first pro women's basketball game--against the Milwaukee Does some 25 years ago. The opening tip-off will be re-created today at 10 AM with original players, coaches, and a referee from the first game as part of an event celebrating the 25th anniversary of the WBL, after which fans will be invited to shoot some hoops with the players. At 5 a panel that includes former Hustle (and current DePaul) coach Doug Bruno will discuss the history of women's basketball. It'll be followed at 6 by a dinner with a keynote speech by former player and author Mariah Burton Nelson and entertainment by singer Jimmy Damon. The ball playing takes place at Lincoln Middle School, 4050 N. Wagner in Schiller Park, and the panel and dinner are at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare, 9300 W. Bryn Mawr in Rosemont. Dinner is $25. For tickets go to www.wblmemories.com or call 801-450-7882.

Alan Stone's new installation, Chicago Dreams, features large-scale video projections of over 300 Chicagoans from all walks of life talking about their most memorable dreams. (Alderman Burton Natarus, for example, describes falling asleep after climbing up Mount Sinai in Egypt and dreaming that he was a child holding hands with his parents; not long after, his mother passed away.) Stone, who's based in D.C., was commissioned by the Chicago Cultural Center to create the piece. It opens today and runs through November 16 at the Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, which is open today from 10 to 5. It's free. For more information call 312-744-6630 or see www.chicagodreams.org.

21 SUNDAY "Every object is an opening through which it is possible to view time, place, and people and to understand the context of those three aspects of life," says Tel Aviv-based collector William Gross. "This context--artistic, cultural, religious, social, and economic--brings these objects to life, enables them to become a storyteller and to find their place in the continuum of history both general and Jewish." At noon today Gross--who credits both his father and father-in-law (museum founder Maurice Spertus) with inspiring him to collect Judaica--will preside over Bill's Antique Judaica Road Show, during which he'll assess shabbos candlesticks, dreidels, and other objects by appointment. At 2 he'll lecture on the history of collecting Judaica. The free event kicks off the Spertus Museum's new exhibit, "Tradition & Transformation: Treasures from the Spertus Museum," which runs through December 28 at 618 S. Michigan. Call 312-322-1747 for more information; to make an appointment for the road show call 312-322-1732. Gross's appearance also coincides with the opening of the exhibit "Only on Paper: Six Centuries of Judaica from the Gross Family Collection," which goes up Monday, September 22, at Columbia College's Center for Book and Paper Arts, 1104 S. Wabash, and runs through December 13. It's also free; call 312-344-6630.

22 MONDAY Multimedia artist Lynn Hershman Leeson wanted to do a project about Frankenstein's monster, but ended up making Teknolust, which stars Tilda Swinton as a biogeneticist named Rosetta Stone who uses her own DNA to create three "self-replicating automatons" (also played by Swinton). Though they're cyborgs, the automatons need human sperm to survive, so one of the three is sent out into the world to harvest it from unsuspecting men. Hershman Leeson shot on digital video to give the 90-minute comedy a hyperreal, comic-book look; in a recent online interview she confessed that "Tilda and I were the only ones that thought it was a comedy. Everyone else thought it was a serious movie, and they didn't know what we were doing." It opened Friday, September 19, and runs through Thursday, September 25, at Facets Cinematheque, 1517 W. Fullerton. Tonight's screenings are at 7 and 9, and tickets are $7. Call 773-281-9075 or see Showtimes in Section Two for a complete schedule.

23 TUESDAY "We easily seem to be able to approve $87 billion for a war and reconstruction of a country we've destroyed, but we can't come up with a health care program for people who need it," says a spokesperson for the Logan Square Neighbors for Peace. Tonight at 7 the group's hosting a free community forum at the Episcopal Church of the Advent, 2610 N. Francisco, called War Is Bad for Your Health: How the War in Iraq Is Contributing to the Destruction of America's Health Care System and What You Can Do About It. Speakers include Dr. Quentin Young of Physicians for a National Health Program, veterans' health care activist Bruce Perry, and Logan Square community advocate Lilliam Perez. Call 773-252-9956 or see www.lsqaw.org for more.

24 WEDNESDAY "I have been deeply concerned about the ugly head of fundamentalism that has been ravaging the country continuously," said Indian film director (and sometime actress) Aparna Sen in a 2002 interview with the Indian News Feature Service. "Violence once had no place in Indian society or its thought process. It pains me to see that the secularism that Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi stood up for is almost extinct." In her latest feature, Mr. and Mrs. Iyer, a Tamil Brahmin housewife saves the life of a Bengali Muslim photographer by pretending to be his wife when rioting Hindu extremists board their bus and start rounding up nonbelievers. It'll be shown tonight at 6 and at 3 on Saturday, September 20, at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State. Tickets are $8; call 312-846-2800 or see www.siskelfilmcenter.org.

25 THURSDAY The organizers of the Third Coast International Audio Festival's inaugural commissioned-works project chose the theme of thirst because, says a spokesperson, "it's a general enough thing that you can get a really good interpretation of it." The four winning audio documentaries premiere tonight; Eight Forty-Eight host Steve Edwards will interview festival directors Johanna Zorn and Julie Shapiro after the documentaries are presented. It's from 7 to 9 at the Three Arts Club, 1300 N. Dearborn. Tickets range from $3 to $5; call 312-948-4682 or see www.thirdcoastfestival.org for more.

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