Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-05-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER With 'The Displaced,' homeowners find possession isn't easy
by Catey Sullivan
2018-05-30

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


For horror fans, this is a season of fearsome bounty. While Ike Holter's frightfully good The Light Fantastic brings the screams to Jackalope Theatre, Haven Theatre premieres Isaac Gomez' The Displaced, opening in previews Thursday, May 31.

Gomez applies the genre of terror to an everyday occurrence that can be as scary as any demonic possession: Gentrification. In his Pilsen-set play, an upscale interracial couple finds their new home isn't exactly uninhabited. Non-spoiler: The previous tenants, a Mexican family, are determined to make life hell on earth for newcomers Marisa ( Karen Rodriguez ) and Lev ( Rashaad Hall ).

"This play began as a vehicle to help me understand where my place here was," said Gomez, 27. "It was also to hold myself accountable. What does it mean to be on each side of gentrification? And what if you have similar roots as the people you're displacing?"

Gomez's plot begins as the couple settles in to their new home. Seemingly innocuous minor nuisances ( lights flickering, pictures falling off the walls ) rapidly escalate into events both inexplicable and alarming ( bloody, headless chickens turning up where you least expect them ). Eventually, the plot veers dead-on into the realms of the fiendish. Gomez draws on the strikingly similar rituals of Catholicism and Santeria as he explores the impact of well-off newcomers moving into a historically working-class Latinx neighborhood.

"I had family members who are deep, deep into Santeria," Gomez said of the ancient, ritualistic African-Caribbean religion that slave owners and other colonizers tried to co-opt into Christianity. Gomez doesn't practice santeria, but he understands it. "Faith gives you power. We all need things to believe in, things that are bigger than ourselves whether it's Islam or Judaism or Christianity or Buddhism," he said.

As a Mexican American who grew up in El Paso, Texas, surrounded by kin- and skinfolk, Gomez is familiar with the perils of gentrification. "I love Pilsen—the murals, botanicas, spiritual seers. It seems so familiar to me," he said of the long-time Latinx neighborhood on Chicago's Southwest Side. "It's heartbreaking to me to see business and families that have been in Pilsen for generations getting pushed out, little family-owned taquerias turning into white-napkin restaurants. "

For Director Jo Cattell, a native of the United Kingdom, the current political climate is horrifying even without the specter of a chickening.

"As immigrants, we struggle to find our place. When you feel you've finally achieved that and then you start getting pushed out? That feels like a horror story to me," Cattell said.

Also among life's most terrifying elements: Breaking up with your significant other of many years. For Lev and Marisa, the move to Pilsen is supposed to be a fresh start for their crumbling relationship.

"Everything is breaking around them and so is their relationship," Cattell said. "That feeling of being trapped, with no safe place to turn. That feeling is something we're all afraid of."

Gomez has been in Rogers Park for more than two years. He moved to Chicago for an internship at the Goodman after earning his bachelor's degree at the University of Texas, Austin.

"This is a city where artists are not afraid to ask hard questions. That's what really impressed me and a big part of why I wanted to stay here," he said.

Gomez's first Chicago home was in South Shore, where he had first-hand experience with some of the issues in The Displaced.

"One of my earliest memories in Chicago is go going to a Target on Cottage Grove and the cashier telling me, 'You are the wrong shade of brown to be here,'" he recalled.

"I knew I wanted to write a play that dealt with race as well as gentrification," he said. "I knew my main characters would be an interracial couple—Mexican and African American—because I wanted to explore the dynamics when race and gentrification intersect," Gomez said.

In The Displaced that intersection is the stuff of nightmares—something else of which Gomez is aware.

"As a kid, I had terrible nightmares. Horrible, violent, dreams. When I was younger I would talk about them. Lots of times when I dreamed something bad would happen to someone, it would then actually happen. So after this happened a few times, my mom and dad were like, 'we don't want to hear about your dreams anymore.' So I stopped talking about them. But I still have them."

Cattell hopes The Displaced both frightens people and makes them think.

"I hope they're scared," she said. "I also hope [the play] helps people take a look at their own role in their community. This conversation is so much more complex than any single person or single couple."

Haven is giving The Displaced its world premiere, but the production's story goes back millennia.

"We are all living on stolen land," Gomez said. "Before gentrification we had colonialism. Physically, emotionally and spiritually the displacement takes a toll. Obviously on the people being displaced. But also on the people pushing them out."

Haven Theatre's The Displaced runs May 31-July 1 at The Den Theatre's Bookspan Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave.. Tickets are pay-what-you-can for previews through June 5, and $18 during the regular run. Visit HavenTheatreChicago.com .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW La Havana Madrid 2019-05-19 - Playwright: Sandra Delgado At: Teatro Vista/Collaboraction at the Den, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. Tickets: TheDenTheatre.com; $30-$60. Runs through: June 22 This ...


Gay News

Correct Arts to present All The World's a Stage, evolution of Chicago theater in art 2019-05-19 - Artists examine the evolution of Chicago area theaters from past to present ( including vaudeville stages, silent pictures, live performance venues and motion ...


Gay News

Van Ness, Gadsby at Chicago Theatre in June 2019-05-18 - LGBT celebrities Jonathan Van Ness and comedian Hannah Gadsby will be performing in separate shows at The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., ...


Gay News

Kokandy Productions announces casting for Head Over Heels 2019-05-16 - CHICAGO ( May 15, 2019 ) — Kokandy Productions is pleased to announce casting for its Chicago premiere of the bold new musical ...


Gay News

'Stonewall' exhibit talks, performances on May 22-25 2019-05-16 - Talks related to the Wrightwood 659 exhibit "About Face: Stonewall, Revolt and New Queer Art" will take place May 22-25 at the gallery, ...


Gay News

THEATER The Secret of the Biological Clock 2019-05-15 - Playwright: Andie Arthur At: Eclectic Full Contact Theatre at the Athenaeum, 2936 N. Southport Ave. Tickets: Eclectic-theatre.com 773-935-6860; $25-$30. Runs through: June 2 ...


Gay News

Megan Hilty sings Smash hits at the Goodman gala 2019-05-15 - Tony Award nominee Megan Hilty has had some unforgettable performances in the past with Glinda the Good Witch in Wicked and as Doralee ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Winter's Tale 2019-05-15 - Playwright: William Shakespeare At: Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St.. Tickets: $20-80; GoodmanTheatre.org/thewinterstale. Runs through: June 9 Why The Winter's Tale? ...


Gay News

Critics' Picks 2019-05-14 - Late Nite Catechism, Royal George Theatre, open run—On May 26th, Vicki Quade and MariPat Donovan's internationally acclaimed solo show celebrates its 26th-year anniversary ...


Gay News

Spotlight on The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes 2019-05-14 - "Caged Miami Heat" and "Murder on the Sicilian Express" are the deliciously irresistible titles of The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes, Vol. 3 ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.