Rhinoceros Theater Festival

This annual showcase of experimental theater, performance, and music from Chicago’s fringe began as part of the Bucktown Arts Fest; now it’s hosted by the Curious Theatre Branch. Taking its name from surrealist painter Salvador Dali’s use of the term “rhinocerontic” (it means real big), the Rhino Fest celebrates its tenth anniversary with shows by such local notables as Theater for the Age of Gold, Lucky Pierre, Plasticene, Cin Salach and Ten Tongues, Antonio Sacre, the Penlight Theater, and members of the Neo-Futurists and Theater Oobleck, as well as the Curious cabal. Also taking part is the Theater im Quadrat from Halle, Germany.

The Rhinoceros Theater Festival runs through October 2 at the Lunar Cabaret, 2827 N. Lincoln, 773-327-6666; admission is $10 or “pay what you can,” except where noted below. Following is the schedule for September 2 through 9, based on information available Monday.


Cows and Bury the Dog

The first of these two one-acts is written by Mike Hansel and directed by Eric Ziegenhagen for Cougar Cougar Productions. The second is “a short little thing” written by Salem Collo-Julin and performed by the Drama Club. 8 PM.


The Problematic Cartoonist

Writer-actor Jeff Dorchen “weaves a caustic tale of a self-indulgent New Yorker cartoonist locked in battle with a self-righteous critic/fan whose loudmouth daughter suffers from a rare condition that causes her bones to outgrow her body. Dorchen [is] one of the few playwrights in town who could bring such disparate strands together into a compelling and meaningful narrative,” says Reader critic Justin Hayford of this Theater for the Age of Gold presentation. 8 PM.

The Lucky Ones

Jenny Magnus’s new play, presented by the Curious Theatre Branch, concerns “the end of things, and what we get when we get there.” The cast includes Magnus, Beau O’Reilly, and Paul Leisen. 10 PM. (Reviewed this week in Section One.)


The Giants of Comedy

Ian Belknap, Cayne Collier, and Matt Dwyer perform. 8 PM.

Facts and Figures

The Penlight Theater presents writer-director Eric Ziegenhagen’s new effort, a two-person drama about telephone conversations between a traveling management consultant and her boyfriend. Anne Fogarty and John Roberts star. 10 PM. (Reviewed this week in Section One.)


In the Wreckage

Playwright-director Matthew Wilson (known for his live monologues Friday nights on WZRD) teams up with fellow former Thunder Road Ensemble members Amy Eaton, Deborah King, and Daniel Taube to premiere Wilson’s new play. Presented by Hysteria Productions, it’s composed of three seemingly independent narratives whose subjects range from an unexpected encounter between old acquaintances to a car crash. 3 PM. (Reviewed this week in Section One.)


Joe Whyte’s tale of a small-town Nebraska family explores themes of “love, brotherhood, and domestic terrorism.” 7 PM.


The Lucky Ones

See listing for Friday. 8 PM.


In the Boat or on the Ladder: Collaboration and Conflict Resolution

Jenny Magnus moderates a panel discussion on artistic and personal collaboration–including stories about “all the best fights,” Magnus says, shifting into her best Jerry Springer mode. Scheduled participants include Dolores Wilber, Michael Stumm, Frank Maugeri, Jessica Thebus, and Charlie Levin. 7 PM. This event is free.


Cows and Bury the Dog

See listing for Thursday, September 2. 8 PM.