“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 ex-plained. 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 in Chicago; for more information call 312-413-5353 or see


“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 recreated 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 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 in Chicago, which is open today from 10 to 5. It’s free. For more information call 312-744-6630 or see


“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 in Chicago. 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 (also in Chicago) and runs through December 13. It’s also free; call 312-344-6630.

The four chimneys and two sections of roof embedded in the earth in front of the Evanston Art Center give the impression there might be another house–one very similar to the Tudor mansion that’s the center’s home–partly buried under the lawn. Whether this house is rising or sinking is for the viewer to decide. Created by recent School of the Art Institute graduates Ben Butler and Rena Leinberger–who collectively call themselves Lint–“Waiting” is the 16th in the EAC’s ongoing series of installations on its grounds. Butler and Leinberger will be on hand today to talk about their whimsical brick-and-tile sculpture, as will the seven midwestern ceramic artists featured in “State of Clay,” which opens today in the center’s indoor galleries. The ceramic artists, including Chicagoans Chris Garofalo and Corinne D. Peterson, and curator Beverly Kedzior of Lincoln-shire will discuss their work at 1:30; Lint will speak at 2:15. The art center is located at 2603 Sheridan in Evanston and it’s open from 1 to 4 Sundays, 10 to 10 Mondays through Thursdays, and 10 to 4 Fridays and Saturdays. Admission is free; call 847-475-5300.


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 au-tomatons 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, Chicago. Tonight’s screenings are at 7 and 9, and tickets are $7. Call 773-281-9075 or see Showtimes for a complete schedule.


“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 spokes-person for the Logan Square Neigh-bors for Peace. Tonight at 7 the group’s hosting a free community forum at the Episcopal Church of the Advent, 2610 N. Francisco in Chicago, 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 for more.


Possible parallels between the treatment of Japanese-Americans during World War II and the treatment of Iraqi-Americans today will be considered as part of today’s panel discussion, sponsored by the American Immigration Law Foun-dation, at the Skokie Library. The free event will examine the effects of September 11 on citizens and immigrants from Muslim countries, including government scrutiny of Middle Eastern and South Asian men that has allegedly violated due process protections. Speakers include Amina Saeed of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, William Yoshino of the Japanese American Citizens League, Edwin Yohnka of the ACLU, and immigration attorney Eileen Momblanco. It starts at 7 tonight in the Petty Auditorium of the Skokie Public Library, 5215 Oakton in Skokie. Call 847-673-7774.


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, Chicago. Tickets range from $3 to $5; call 312-948-4682 or see for more.