Workshop Show & Tell

“One holds property only by the courtesy of those who do not seize it.” – Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

“Lower Debt” takes place in the here and now, present day America. Our current economic crisis and its residual effects have touched us all. “Debt” intends to mirror this place in time and tell the story of a group of citizens who have no other place to live except in a tent or on the ground atop a vacant lot beneath the scorching sun out west. Meet the residents of this “tent city” on Monday, October 19th when we showcase the play at the Chicago Cultural Center Studio Theater. Reservations can be made here.

The collective of artists involved in the workshop were tasked with an assignment over the past couple days to bring in stories, articles, music, pictures, videos, etc., to expand the conversation that the characters in the play spark. Below are some of the links we’ve gathered together that aims to inspire and guide us as we sprinkle texture and add depth to the piece.

AP Article: In hard times, tent cities rise across the country

Blog Article: Homeless “Tent City” in Harlem Ends in Arrests

Blog Article: Homeless man evicted from under Chicago LSD bridge

Blog Article: The city is not the enemy – the homeless are not the enemy

CNN Money Article: Too broke to bury their dead

NY Times Article: Aware of the Homeless? Well, You Could Say That

Time Article from 1975: Can Capitalism Survive? (Time Magazine 1975)


Chicago Public Radio Story: Homeless in Chicago: Calling a Patch of Grass ‘Home’

Documentary Story: Peter Jennings Reporting – Breakdown: America’s Health Insurance Crisis

NPR Story: Sacramento Tent City Reflects Economy’s Troubles

Video Story: Tent City, USA

NCHC Report: Facts on the Cost of Health Insurance and Health Care

Book Review: When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Rabbi Harold S. Kushner

Documentary Clip: Dark Days by Mark Singer

Documentary: Maxed Out

Memoir: The Glass Castle, a memoir by Jeanette Walls

Poem: Let America Be America Again by Langston Hughes

Song: Chimes of Freedom by Bob Dylan

Song: How to Disappear Completely by Radiohead

Additional resources can be found in earlier entries on this blog and we will continue to populate this space with other resources we gather, along with candid scenes from our workshop process. More at