Columbia College Chicago Alums Featured in 31st Annual Rhinoceros Theatre Festival Jan. 11–Feb. 23

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.


Aid and Comfort: Office Hours

Rhino logo by c.hill
Former Columbia College student and faculty member and Curious Theatre Branch co-founder Jenny Magnus returns to the Rhino with a reprisal of her much-loved series Aid and Comfort: Office Hours, a talk experiment originated during Magnus’s residency at the Museum of Contemporary Art in 2011. In this project, taking place Saturday mornings throughout the Rhinofest, anyone is welcome to come speak to the artist in a free-form setting as a means to build community, exchange care in unconventional ways and deepen the relationship of artist and audience. Come on over. The artist is in. FREE.


Chris Zdenek

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.

Ian Tranberg

Grace Martinez

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 Cal Walker ’18, a graduate of the Theatre Department’s BA Program in Theatre, presents a dazzling display of all of the talents their Anxiety contains in this spectacular, darkly funny, and intimately true solo show. Equal parts sardonic, uncompromising, and unflinchingly honest, The Anxiety Variety Show uses audience participation, song, comedy, and puppetry to examine our understanding of mental illness. Singing! Dancing! Medication! The show’s production team includes Columbia College alums Jordan Conrad ’18, a graduate of the Theatre Department’s BA Program in Acting (music direction and sound design), and Lena Katherine Aubrey ’19, a graduate of the Theatre Department’s Theatre Design program (lighting design). For tickets, click here.

Victor Holstein

Join a bastardized Beckett and all the antics with his whacky neighbor across the hall, Ionesco, as he fleshes out his pessimistic masterpiece, Waiting for Godot, with hilarious results, in this theoretical pilot for the tragisituationcomedy nobody asked for! Columbia College alum Victor Holstein ’04, a graduate of the Theatre Department’s BA Program in Acting, plays playwright Samuel Beckett. For tickets, click here.
Arianna Soloway

Arianna Soloway

Columbia College alum Arianna Soloway ’13, a graduate of Columbia College Chicago’s Theatre Directing program, directs this response to Death of a Salesman with the characters as millennials and the dream guide Uncle guy as J.K. Rowling instead. For tickets, click here.

Jen Sloan

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.

Hannah Tymosko

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.


Former Columbia College student David Shapiro performs Wallace Shawn’s 1990 monologue. For tickets, click here.