Curious Theater Branch and Prop Thtr proudly present the 29th Annual Rhinoceros Theater Festival, opening Saturday, January 13th and running Wednesdays through Mondays until Sunday, February 25th.
This year the Rhino has cast its net wide, with a renewed interest in new plays and new artists. This year’s festival will prominently feature the voices of new and upcoming artists, including Zach Weinberg and Anna Gelman, Dani Wieder, Kate Leslie, Lee Peters, Paul Brennan, Adam Webster, and Olivia Lilley. Nervy new works will play alongside adaptations and riffs on Kafka, Shakespeare, and Emily Dickinson. Viewers will also find returning stalwarts of the Chicago performance scene including Chloe Johnston and Rachel Claff, John Starrs, Karen Fort, Chris Bower, Rory Jobst, KellyAnn Corcoran, and Kelly Anchors.
Rhinofest opens with a Full Moon Vaudeville on January 13th, featuring Ian Belknap and a bon-motly collection of musicians and performers, hosted by The Crooked Mouth. Each Saturday at 9pm, look out for Nat Turner: A Prophet’s Sorrow, a one-man performance on the rebel and revolutionary, produced by Prop Thtr and performed by Reginald Edmund of the Black Lives, Black Words International Project. And at 7pm on Saturdays, don’t miss The Near Future, and That Sort of Thing, two new plays by Curious writer Julia Williams, co-author of Rhino Fest 2014’s Reader-recommended Difficulties. The Rhinoceros Lecture Series continues this year on Monday nights throughout the festival, highlighting Ira Murfin’s ongoing performance work, An Interview, which includes a rotating cast of artists and activists in conversation, followed by lectures (and faux-lectures) by the likes of Amy England, Robin Cline, and Prop Thtr Artistic Director Stefan Brün. Jenny Magnus will also offer a Saturday morning generative writing series for interested artists of all varieties!
Rhinofest’s final weekend will feature a concert performance of songs from Brecht and Weill’s Threepenny Opera, in a new translation by Rick Burkhardt, sung by Colm O’Reilly, T-Roy Martin, KellyAnn Corcoran, Janet Sayre, Julie Williams, Jen Moniz, Matt Test, Elizabeth Bagby, Beau O’Reilly, and Jenny Magnus (as Pirate Jenny), with piano accompaniment by Jeff Kowalkowski. And keep your eyes peeled for a one-night-only performance of What I Was Thinking When I Should Have Been Teaching the Beckett Class in the Deep Mid-Winter, something new from Curious co-founder Beau O’Reilly, featuring Neo-Futurist Heather Riordan on the accordion.
All performances, events and lectures take place at the Prop Thtr, 3502 North Elston, Chicago. Admission remains $15 or pay what you can (door) and $12 in advance online.