AImy tien, center. (ltr: dan cobbler, ysaye mckeever, and christine bowen

AImy tien, center. (ltr: dan cobbler, ysaye mckeever, and christine bowen

Ghosts are haunting reminders of lingering trouble.
— Avery Gordon

100 Hauntings is my current project. Co-directed with Bobby Biedrzycki, and created with an awesome team of 12 performers, writers, comedians, and community activists, 100 HAUNTINGS is a multi-sited and multi-generational project that explores what ghosts can tell us about Chicago. 

I've been interested in ghosts for a long time, starting with my dissertation project, which focused on the lynching of Mexicans during the California Gold Rush. A lot of that history was invisible in the official archive, but showed up in local folklore as ghost stories. Sure enough, a scholar named Avery Gordon (I LOVE HER THE MOST) writes about the importance of the ghost as a record of past injustice. Her work is truly beautiful. READ IT! 

Anyway, we decided to make a performance that asks who--and what--haunts Chicago. (That's not the royal We - I mean me, Bobby, and Free Street in general.) We put together an awesome team and have been hosting story circles all over the city in collaboration with different community groups. We truly want to hear about ordinary ghosts - not the famous ones that are a part of Chicago lore, but everyday ones. The kind of ghost who shows up in a laundry room. The kind of ghost that might be seen walking down the street. The kind of ghost that might be your Tia/Tio/Cousin/BFF/Grandma/Husband/Baby back for a short visit. What do these ghosts want? What do we want from these ghosts? But we are also interested in other things that haunt Chicago. SPOILER ALERT: a lot of it is structural racism. But why do we have so many rats? Why are our school budgets so messed up? Every day of our lives we experience the remnants of choices made decades, if not centuries, ago. How do they reappear? Do we even know they are there.

A version of 100 HAUNTINGS will be performed in 7 Chicago parks during the summer of 2016, and the play will open for a 6 week run on October 14, 2016 - these will be very different kinds of performances, so don't be shy about coming to both! Information about it all can be found here: freestreet.org

 christine bowen tells a story about red-lined maped. 

christine bowen tells a story about red-lined maped.