Friday 6/12 - Thursday 6/18
By Cara Jepsen
12 FRIDAY "We are training young people...to choose goals and keep their eyes narrowly focused upon them, but these are inappropriate approaches to life in constant flux," wrote anthropologist Mary Catherine Bateson in her 1994 book, Peripheral Visions. Bateson, the daughter of Margaret Mead, believes that the way our educational system focuses on right and wrong answers gets in the way of more complex learning. Today, at a symposium called Composing a Life, Bateson will discuss commitments, decisions, and choices from 3 to 5. At 6 she'll give a lecture entitled "Life as Improvisation" prior to a screening of Transformative Learning, a documentary by DePaul University professor Susan McGury about nontraditional higher education programs. Both events are free at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. Call 312-744-6630 for more.
13 SATURDAY So you've been gorging on movies at the Alt.film Fest and thinking, "Hey, that
doesn't look so hard. I could do it." How convenient, then, that the Byron Center for Film Development is holding a free open house tonight. The center offers classes on screenwriting and houses industry organizations like the indie Argyle Pictures and the nonprofit Independent Feature Project/Midwest. Tours of the facility will be available, and reps from these groups and others will be around to answer questions about how to get your dream on-screen. Plus, snacks will be served. It's from 7 to 10 at the center, 1803 W. Byron. Call 773-665-8500 for more.
14 SUNDAY According to Dawn "Sam" Alden, director of Babes With Blades, an all-female showcase of stage combat, women's wrestling was hugely popular in the 50s and 60s. But for some reason women were banned from the sport by law in Illinois, so in 1955 wrestler Rose Roman sued to make things more equitable. After winning she put together an all-female event at the old Marigold Gardens theater at Broadway and Grace and allowed only women inside. The good times ended in the mid-70s, when Vince McMahon bought the WWF and changed the rules. The sport will be revived at tonight's Babes With Blades special benefit performance, where the gals will demonstrate the "scientific" form of wrestling practiced by their old-school counterparts. It's at 7 tonight and Saturday, June 13, at the High Ridge YMCA, 2424 W. Touhy. Admission is $15; proceeds go toward the group's upcoming trip to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Call 773-878-4840 for reservations.
15 MONDAY Tonight's ReVoltaire Benefit will lampoon Mamet-isms, the Steppenwolf Theatre's acting empire, the marketing of improv, and the contentious relationship between critics and their subjects. There'll be performances by members of the Second City, the Free Associates, the Factory Theater, and Annoyance Theatre. And the event promises to bring together Reader contributor Jack Helbig and actor-playwright Jeff Dorchen, who tossed off a testy letter after Helbig's 1996 cover story on him. Proceeds will benefit the quest to find a new location for Voltaire. "It's a 'hands across Chicago theater' thing," quips the Second City's Kelly Leonard. The lovefest starts at 7 with a reception; performances start at 8 at the Second City, 1616 N. Wells. Admission is $20. Call 312-337-3992.
16 TUESDAY On June 1, in-spired by the freedom rides of the 60s, the National Welfare Rights Union and Philadelphia's Kensington Welfare Rights Union launched a bus trip from the City of Brotherly Love; all this month the New Freedom Bus will crisscross the country in an effort to document "economic human rights abuses caused by welfare reform, anti-immigrant legislation, downsizing and poverty." At the end of the trip, on July 1, representatives from the bus will bring their evidence to the United Nations, where it will be presented as part of a formal case charging the American government with human rights violations. The bus will take testimonials from Chicagoans from 11 to 12 today at Halsted and Division. It's free. Call 773-278-7535.
17 WEDNESDAY When visiting the offices of Playboy Enterprises in the early 80s, you couldn't walk more than 20 feet without running into a print by Patrick Nagel, whose stylized images of beautiful women often made their way onto the magazine's glossy pages--and once graced the cover of a Duran Duran album. But Hef's HQ is also home to works by Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, Ed Paschke, George Segal, and others. Tonight Art Encounter will give a guided tour of the collection and follow it up with hors d'oeuvres and drinks. It's from 6 to 8 at Playboy Enterprises, 680 N. Lake Shore Drive. It's $45. Call 847-328-9222.
18 THURSDAY "There's always this dilemma about wanting to be an activist, but also finding the time that it takes can be pretty destructive to making art," playwright Tony Kushner told Salon magazine in 1996. "When you try to mix the two the art suffers, and sometimes the activism suffers as well." Kushner found the right balance in his epic play Angels in America, which won a Tony Award and the 1993 Pulitzer prize for drama. Tonight, at a panel called Paul Robeson--Artist, Citizen, Activist: A Legacy for Today?, he'll join local cultural leaders Fred Fine and Ifa Bayeza to discuss the celebrated actor and activist's contributions and the role of the artist in the 20th century. The free talk, sponsored by Columbia College's Chicago Center for Arts Policy, starts at 7 at Columbia's Getz Theater, 72 E. 11th. Call 312-344-7986.