In addition to the mentors (who you met last time), there are two main denizens who haunt the MAPH office and will be there to answer your questions and help get you through the year.
This is it—you’re in the final stretch! Your thesis is due on Friday. To some of you I know that still sounds like a death sentence. You don’t feel ready at all to give up working on this thing that has been such a huge part of your life for the past months. It isn’t ready! This past weekend you thought of something that should really be an entire section of your thesis, but at this point you only have time to shoehorn it in the last few sentences, or just ignore it. You can think of about seventeen ways in which it could be so much better. Well guess what. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, because my preceptor said it to me—when it comes to the thesis, done is better than good. Perfect is the enemy of the great. Or, as my mother would tell me, it is time to put your thesis in a lockbox and send it to Jesus. Take your pick, I have lots of folksy advice for you guys. » Read the rest of this entry «
It is somehow always the case that one can have time or money but never both at the same time. So now that you do not have to read 1000 pages every week what are you going to do in Chicago that doesn’t cost much money? Well the lakefront, the parks and biking are all great options, but below are a few more you might have missed.
Museum free days
Most of the museums in Chicago have free or discounted days or offer student discounts
You can still use your Artspass, check the link for the discounts and partner institutions.
Adler Planetarium has discount days on June 7th and 8th perfect if your family is arriving early for convocation.
The Shedd Aquarium has Illinois resident discount days on June 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22. If you bank with Bank of America you get discounts on July 7-8 and Aug. 4-5 by showing your bank card.
The Museum of Contemporary Art is $7 with your Student ID.
While you are in that neighborhood you could visit the City Gallery at the Water Tower which is always free.
The Chicago Cultural Center has free exhibits, concerts and gallery talks all year round.
Students get into the Art Institute of Chicago for $12 any day and the first and second Wednesday of every month are free for Illinois residents.
On Navy Pier there is actually a free Stained Glass Museum which has great works and is not as populated as the rest of the pier. You could stay for the free fireworks if you are braving a day on the tourist-y pier.
Also did you know that if you have a Chicago Public Library card you can check out museum passes from any branch? Just make sure you get to the library early. The passes go quickly. The library also has lectures, readings and performances so check their calendar.
Outdoor events after the jump . . .
Okay so you’ve all survived your first week and you have six novels , two film screenings and Hegel to read over the weekend and MAPH Central keeps telling you to leave Hyde Park. So if you don’t think you can squeeze in a play on this dreary rain-filled weekend save this post for some future night when you have an evening free and are wondering what you can do for $10. Some of you are in an arts reviewing class so seeing performances is homework.
Chicago is a fantastic theater town. There are many big theaters but there are also great small theaters performing in church basements and storefronts. There are performances where you could reach out and touch the actors (although the actors won’t like that). There are roughly 300 theaters producing work for almost every taste. Most of them are listed at the League of Chicago Theatres website.
However, the League won’t group them by style of theater and give you tips for seeing things cheaply. My updated guide to Chicago theaters and tips for seeing theater on the cheap is after the jump.
So it seemed like it was time to update the blog with a new batch of free or cheap ways to entertain yourself as a graduate student. Courses haven’t started so there is no excuse for not trying out a few of these options before you are drowning in reading.
First for incoming students it is great to know that your University of Chicago ID serves as your arts pass to get you in free or discounted to many area museums and theaters.
Festivals and Lectures
There will be many fantastic lectures on campus. However, the Chicago Humanities Festival hosts events all over the city in October and November. Most of them free or very cheap for students there is no excuse not to go see Steven Sondheim, Laurie Anderson or Jonathan Franzen speak.
Many Chicago street festivals are still happening in September and October.
Check out the Renegade Craft Fair September 10-11, Oktoberfest, September 23-24 or the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, September 24-25. A full list is here. Don’t miss free concerts in Millenium Park or Grant Park.
Discounted theater tickets are available the week of performances at hottix It is always worth asking for a student rate or checking your arts pass discount at most theaters.
Be sure to check out my guide to Chicago theaters here. There are over 200 small theaters in Chicago covering ever style, taste and price range, many small companies still have industry nights, or pay-what-you-can nights.
More free things after the jump . . .
So you are finally done with all your papers and want a cheap way to reward yourself before heading home, or you planned your winter travel badly and have a week to kill before you go home. Either way, it is a great opportunity to bundle up and see some of Chicago’s winter sights.
See the full list after the jump. . . » Read the rest of this entry «
Chicago is a fantastic theater town. There are many big theaters but there are also great small theaters performing in church basements and storefronts. There are performances where you could reach out and touch the actors. There are over 200 theaters producing great innovative work for almost every taste. Most of them are listed at the League of Chicago Theatres website.
Here is my basic quick guide to Chicago theaters and tips for seeing theater on the cheap.
Reviews appear in the Sun Times, Tribune, Chicago Reader and TimeOut Chicago and a number of theater blogs, which given how much newspaper space for reviews has been cut can be a great place to look for information on shows. Chicago Theater Blog, Stead Style Chicago and Theatre in Chicago and Chicago Critic all have reviews.
The Chicago theater awards are known as the Jeffs (short of the Joseph Jefferson Award) so if you see a play has been Jeff nominated or Jeff Citation nominated then it means a panel of fellow Chicago theater artists think it is good.
Movement Based Theater
Check out: The Building Stage (I saw an amazing adaptation of Moby Dick here where different actors played Ishmael and Ahab) Redmoon (known for their annual spectacles and puppet, The House, TUTA (The Utopian Theatre Asylum- the first play I saw there was an adaptation of a Peter Handke novel and performed without speaking), Lookingglass (they are particularly known for their Lookingglass Alice- expect to see someone dangle from a rope), 500 Clown (you haven’t seen Macbeth until you’ve seen it done by three actors with comedia dell’arte and clown training), or Plasticene.
Chicago Dramatists, New Leaf, Theatre Oobleck (always free if you’re broke and amazing writing) Curious Theater Branch, Victory Gardens Theatre (where Kristoffer Diaz’s The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity debuted last year) or Collaboraction (which hosts an annual sketchbook). » Read the rest of this entry «
Ben Brownson, a MAPH alum from this past year – writing on Oscar Wilde’s Salome, has kindly written up a post about theatre here at the University and around Chicago. He is the Assistant Box Office Manager at the Court Theatre here on campus, and his plays have been workshopped, most recently, by the Chicago Dramatists.
» Read the rest of this entry «