March 21, 2008

Play Commemorates 1995 Tragedy

I had just moved back to Chicago in the fall of 1994, and remember this summer well. From the Chicago Tribune:

Playwright Steven Simoncic recalls feeling haunted as rehearsals began for his play "Heat Wave," the drama detailing Chicago's 1995 summer meltdown that killed more than 700 people.

"You could feel the ghosts of the victims early on," he says, "especially on those evenings in January when it was pretty cold and pretty quiet. You could feel the energy of what was going on — a palpable feeling."

"Heat Wave" carries the added punch of being staged in an area that was brutalized by the tragedy. Walk a handful of steps in any direction from Pegasus Players' front door on Wilson Avenue in Uptown, and you'll find apartment houses or single-room occupancy hotels (or SROs, where rents are paid by the day, week or month) where five people perished. It happened within a one-block radius — and the toll jumps if you expand the circle to a five-minute walk from Pegasus' auditorium at Truman College...

For complete article, go to: Neighbor Ghosts Haunt Drama on Deadly Summer

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