Prop Thtr and Curious Theatre Branch announce 30th Rhinofest


Chicago’s Longest Running Fringe Festival Returns with Six Weeks of Performances and Special Events Including Full Moon Vaudeville and a Celebration of Poet and Teacher John Starrs

CHICAGO – Curious Theatre Branch and Prop Thtr are proud to announce the 30th annual Rhinoceros Theater Festival (Rhinofest), January 12 – February 24, 2019 at Prop Thtr, 3502 N. Elston Ave. The 2019 Rhinofest includes six weeks of new plays, dance, devised works, variety shows, comedy, live podcasting, fresh takes on classic texts, and more. Tickets go on sale Friday, Dec. 21 at 12 p.m. Performances are $15 or pay-what-you-can, and run daily except Tuesdays. A complete performance schedule with performances, dates and times is available at

First organized in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago, Rhinofest, the longest-running multi-arts fringe festival in Chicago is unique among national fringe festivals in that artists are never charged a fee to participate, and each year programs are individually curated by a rotating selection committee composed of Curious and Prop artistic leaders, led by Beau O’Reilly, rather than selected on a lottery basis. The Rhinofest provides production and exhibition opportunities to hundreds of artists, from Chicago companies and national artists alike, drawing thousands in attendance each year.

The 30th Rhinofest begins Saturday, Jan. 12 at 8 p.m. with Full Moon Vaudeville, featuring The Crooked Mouth, piloted by Curious co-founders Beau O’Reilly and Jenny Magnus with special musical guests Matt Test, Jeff Kowalkowski, Mac Modean Greenberg, Leo Brün and more.

Fiercely independent and committed to discovery, Rhinofest this year features many young performing companies including The Neighborhood Collective, El Bear, Uploose Odditorium, and others along with festival veterans including beloved Chicago playwright Barrie Cole (performing from her latest work in a two-evening engagement), animator Chris Sullivan, Susan Parenti and Mark Enslin (of the School for Designing a Society), Charles Pike (performing a new monologue by David Hauptschein), and Prop Thtr co-founder Scott Vehill.

Littlebrain Theatre premieres a new devised adaptation of Vittoria de Sica’s Bicycle Thieves written by Zach Barr, Tara Branham directs Tanuja Jagernauth’s new interactive work Lockpickers, and Rob Onorato performs Night of a Million Barbras, a drag monologue and political paean to the enduring star. Curious Theatre Branch premieres Matt Rieger’s new razor-sharp comedy My Dinner with… Joe and a staging of Caryl Churchill’s dark fairytale The Skriker, while Prop Thtr produces a weekly live taping of Ben Moroney and Rahim Salaam’s arts and culture podcast “What About Chicago?!” And on Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m., during the final week of Rhinofest, a special event celebrates John Starrs, the Chicago poet and teacher who has appeared in every Rhinofest since 1988.

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