The Rhinoceros Theater Festival will mark its 31st year with performances Jan. 11-Feb. 23 at Prop Thtr, 3502 N. Elston Ave.
The newest Rhino Fest will feature 48 shows, including new plays, dance, devised works, variety, music, performance, and fresh takes on classic texts. The festivalcurated and hosted by the Curious Theatre Branch and Prop Thtrwill open with the Full Moon Vaudeville featuring The Crooked Mouth, an art-cabaret rock band piloted by Curious co-founders Beau O’Reilly and Jenny Magnus.
There will be emerging companies and individuals, including Social Sciences Productions, El Bear, Theatre of the Beyond, Museum of Unnatural History Chicago, Ashley Hollingshead, Briana Morris and Persephone Jones alongside Chicago performance stalwarts including David Shapiro, Chris Bower and M.C. Steffen.
In addition, the fest will spotlight returning performers Jeff Glassman and Lisa Fay; Ira Murfin, continuing his formalized conversation series An Interview; Kelly Anchors’ Sweetback Productions in the family ensemble piece Deep Fried Refried; punk-cabaret musician Violet, in Hotel Violet; and Tyler Anthony Smith, in Out, Darn Spot!a drag monologue portraying Lady Macbeth as a fed-up midcentury homemaker.
Curious will premiere Four Story Animal Plus Dessert, an ongoing series ( with dessert ) including performances of short works by Samuel Beckett, Flannery O’Connor, Anton Chekhov, and Elizabeth Bishop. Prop Thtr will produce several new and visiting works for this year’s Rhino: Panther Women and Emergence, two new devised works from Cleveland Public Theater; and @midnight, a group-devised meditation on late-night consciousness, co-produced with The Whisper Theatre Collective.
Tickets ( $15 each, or pay what you can ) and a full performance schedule are available at RhinoFest.com .