Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department faculty member Michael Brown, co-director of the Theatre Department’s MA/MFA Program in European Devised Performance Practice, is the co-creator of Invitation to a Beheading, a devised work of puppet and mask theatre based on Vladimir Nabokov’s novel. Presented by Rough House Theatre, Invitation to a Beheading runs through September 14 at the Chopin Theatre, located at 1543 W. Division in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood. Discounted student tickets are $15. For tickets, click here. As previously reported in this blog, the work premiered in July 2019 at Steppenwolf Theatre.
Brown adapted and directed the work and is also a member of the ensemble. His collaborators on the piece include Theatre Department faculty members Jacqueline Penrod and Frances Maggio, the show’s scenic and costume designers respectively.
In a bizarre and irrational world, a man is condemned to death for an absurd crime, and sent to a surreal prison to await his execution. But the prison may not be what it seems. Alternately disorienting, absurd, hysterical, and hopeful, Nabokov’s great novel is brought to the stage by Rough House and Michael Brown with their signature combination of playfulness and strangeness, full of surprising twists and turns, and told through a combination of puppetry, masks, and imaginative storytelling.