Alumni, former students, and faculty of the Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department are featured as performers, writers, directors, and designers in the 31st annual Rhinoceros Theater Festival (Rhinofest 2020), running January 11 through February 23 at Prop Thtr, 3502 N. Elston, in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood. Founded in 1988, Rhinofest is the longest-running multi-arts fringe festival in Chicago. Co-produced by the Curious Theatre Branch and Prop Thtr (which was founded by former Columbia College students Scott Vehill and Stefan Brun in 1981), Rhinofest 2020 includes six weeks of new plays, devised works, variety shows, comedy, fresh takes on classic texts, and more. Admission is $15 in advance or pay-what-you-can at the door. For advance tickets online, click here. The festival kicks off Saturday, January 11, with the traditional Full Moon Vaudeville, an evening of recitations, remembrances, songs, and stories from 7 to 10 PM. Participants in Rhinofest 2020 with Columbia College Chicago connections over the rest of the festival include:
Written and performed by Columbia College alum Tyler Anthony Smith ’17, a graduate of the Theatre Department’s BA Program in Acting, this one-person drag monologue portraying Lady Macbeth as a fed-up midcentury home-maker resets the story of Shakespeare’s Macbeth in 1968 America — “the year that the lost last episode of Lady Marcia Macbeth’s I’m Not a Suppressed Homemaker! with Lady Marcia Macbeth aired live. The soundstage where the show was shot is now a sanitarium, but the logic of space-time has been defied, and you’re all in for a wickedly groovy treat as you indulge in all things boys, bouffants, and blood. Fair is foul, and foul is fair, what happened that day live on air?” Out, Darn Spot! is directed by Columbia College Theatre Department alum and “Solo Performance” teacher Stephanie Shaw ’92, MFA ’09. For showtimes and tickets, click here.
Presented by The Official Theater Company of. PPG Industries, this freewheeling adaptation of Honoré de Balzac’s story The Unknown Masterpiece is written and directed by Columbia College alum Chris Zdenek ’07, a graduate of the Theatre Department’s Acting program.
The cast includes Columbia College alums Ian Tranberg ’07 and Grace Martinez ’07, both graduates of the Acting program. For tickets, click here.
Columbia College alum Jen Sloan ’17, a graduate of the Theatre Department’s Theatre Directing program, directs this new play about two Jewish sisters from a small town in the Bible Belt, and what happens when one escapes to Chicago while the other stays behind. For tickets, click here.
Columbia College alum Hannah Tymosko ’18, a graduate of the Theatre Department’s BA Program in Theatre, is a stage designer for this Runaways Lab Theatre production. Intimacy with a literal black hole can be dissolving — A would know. When her black hole lover dissipates, A looks to anyone else for the answers as to why: professors, dates, ghosts of famous physicists past, even Black Holes Anonymous. This is a play about casual affairs and the casualties of them, as well as that One Tree Hill theme song. For tickets, click here.
Scott Vehill: When Worlds Collide
Follow former Columbia College student and Prop Thtr cofounder Scott Vehill on a 9-year-old’s voyage through the Golden Age of mid-century science fiction, as the tales of Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, and Arthur C. Clarke collide. For tickets, click here.