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Vince Dixon/MEDILL

A performance called El Stories is a documentary theater piece retelling people's true experiences on the CTA. Two stories by rider Emily Nejad are in the show.

Woman's bizarre CTA encounters are retold in El Stories performance

by Vince Dixon
Dec 06, 2012


Vince Dixon/MEDILL

Emily Nejad retells a story of an experience on a CTA bus.

Emily Nejad has ridden almost all the lines in the Chicago Transit Authority's El system. Over the years, she's collected a number of memorable CTA experiences, from the bizarre to the heartwarming.

Her stories, along with dozens of other true encounters are being reenacted in "El Stories: Holiday Train," a seven night performance playing at the Greenhouse Theater Center in Lincoln Park.

Waltzing Mechanics, the theater company behind the show, calls it documentary theater. The group interviews CTA riders from all over the city and reenact their tales, verbatim.

"They're all true stories and they're all the exact words of the people who told the story," said Zack Florent, the show's director. "So it's more than just their story, it's also a little glimpse into who that person is."

This year's theme is the CTA's annual Holiday Train.

Nejad is a regular contributor to the show and will have her holiday CTA experiences performed. The show runs Saturday nights through January 5th.