All posts by maryhall2019

Keeping warm: Where do the homeless go when it gets cold?

By Mary Hall
Medill Reports

On a late summer day that just hints at the coming fall, Kelly, 38, greets me with a smile as bright as the colorful, striped blanket she often has draped over her while she busks for money just outside a busy downtown train stop.

Kelly sits most days with her sign by a redline stop downtown. (Lloyd Degrane)

She’s been living on Chicago’s streets for the last two years with her husband and she is just over 5-months pregnant. A former drug user, she’s now on methadone, used to suppress heroine withdrawal symptoms, to protect her baby. That day, wrapped in a warm sweatshirt and sitting on cardboard, the cold wasn’t a problem.

But it became one. I saw her frequently as temperatures dropped over these last weeks and months. Continue reading

‘Into the Canyon’ actor, director stage a dystopian world

By: Mary Hall and Paige Tortorelli
Medill Reports

It’s a show as riveting as it is uncomfortable. “In the Canyon” creates a dystopian world where past abortions are criminalized, while simultaneously challenging the audience on their views on other controversial issues.

The play, extended through Dec. 1 at the Jackalope Theatre, 5917 N. Broadway Ave., follows the story of Hope, one woman who fights reor control of her life under increasingly oppressive circumstances.

The show presents a series of vignettes, beginning in the early 2000s, on the day Hope has had an abortion. As each scene unfolds, the world Hope lives in becomes increasingly oppressive, hateful and authoritarian. She arrested and imprisoned for her past abortion. While the show uses abortions as a catalyst, it  touches on LBGTQ rights, power, child abuse and religion.

“We need to be openly talking about these things,” said Liz Sharpe, who plays Hope.

Continue reading