Eileen’s Thoughts on the Comfort Station Plays

As you may or may not have heard, our next project is in the works! The conception began as soon as I set foot into our artistic home, The Historic Logan Square Comfort Station. Built in 1917, the Comfort Station is plopped right in heart of the Square. You’ve seen it when you visit the Logan Square Farmer’s Market, or when you’re grabbing a cuppajoe at New Wave. For fifty years or so, it remained boarded up, used by the city as storage for lawn mowers. In recent years, the space has been revitalized the Logan Square Preservation Society, a group dedicated to preserving the architecture and history of Logan Square.

I believe that when you spend enough time in a physical space, or something that happens in that space changes you, you leave an imprint behind. Kind of a spiritual footprint. Historical spaces have always fascinated me. From national monuments to historical landmarks, it is exhilarating to me to occupy the same space as the event or the person that made a mark on history. Even if the mark is minute, as in the Comfort Station. These were regular citizens, of all different shapes, sizes, economic status, ethnicity, and beliefs. But the commonality between them is that they were human beings, and human beings simply need comfort sometimes.

This ideology is what first drew me to Comfort Station as a performance space. When you get down to it, and strip away any of the jargon, the Comfort Station was a public bathroom. We hope that this doesn’t lead to metaphors of the plays we put on there! This space was ‘occupied’ by hundreds of people looking for relief. Whether that was relief, or protection from the elements, or quenching their thirst and satiating their appetites. This place provided comfort. That is, partly, what the Theatre serves as. It is a place where people come, artists and audience alike, to seek relief, to find protection, and to be satisfied. These are not the stories of great men and women who line the history books. These are the stories of the common man. And though the country, the economy, and many other things have changed since 1917, the architecture of the Comfort Station has been maintained. Now, Open Source Theatre Project maintains the purpose of the Comfort Station. We are providing artists the opportunity to create and explore, so that the audience can be provided with shelter and comfort while they watch our evening of plays.



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