This week, we’re kicking off a new occasional series, Stages of Survival, spotlighting theater companies that are, despite the pervasive gloom-and-doom narratives about the performing arts, still producing. The plan is to eventually encompass a broad range of companies: Equity and non-Equity, those that are itinerant and those that have their own spaces, and companies […]
It’s beginning to feel like we’re having a mini festival this year of plays about the romantic and professional conflicts facing artist (or academic) couples, between First Floor’s Hatefuck by Rehana Lew Mirza and Steppenwolf’s Another Marriage by Kate Arrington. Bryn Magnus’s latest comedy, Moon at the Bottom of the Ocean, perhaps completes the trifecta. […]
When you’ve been around for decades, paradoxically it’s sometimes easy to be overlooked. I’m reminded of this every time I hear someone ask why Chicago doesn’t have its own fringe theater festival and politely remind them that the Rhinoceros Theater Festival (more commonly known as Rhino Fest) is right there. First presented in 1988 as […]
Appropriation, wordplay, riffs on news headlines, improv skits, and a grab bag of absurdist tropes get thrown in a hat to very uneven ends in Curious Theatre Branch’s set of four half-hour plays responding to Caryl Churchill’s This Is a Chair. This Is Not a ChurchillThrough 2/25: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Facility Theatre, 1138 N. California, […]
British playwright Caryl Churchill is having a bit of a moment this month in Chicago. Court Theatre opens her rarely produced 1983 play, Fen, under the direction of Vanessa Stalling on February 10. And Curious Theatre Branch opens This Is Not a Churchill—four plays inspired by her work—this weekend at the Facility Theatre in Humboldt […]
Artist Khaaliq Haneef closes out his debut solo show, “The Devious Mind of Khaaliq Haneef” with Sounds & S’mores, an open mike at the Lawndale Pop-Up Spot (1408 S. Central Park). Hip-hop and R&B artist Khing Kwon will be master of ceremonies, and DJ Ramiro, who has a monthly night at Osito’s Tap in Little […]
Summer is coming to a close, and Yollocalli Arts Reach, the free youth arts education program offered through the National Museum of Mexican Art, is looking back at another hot one in the city with an exhibition. See what mediums, styles, and ideas have been captivating Pilsen kids this season at Jardin Malinalli (2800 S. […]
The email Paul Finkelman received last month from Beau O’Reilly read simply, “Can your car fit a piano? . . . Please advise.” The answer was obviously no. Finkelman owned a small hatchback—and besides, there was no way a piano would make it up the narrow stairs at Jimmy Beans Coffee, where he works as […]
Editor’s Note: Matt Rieger, managing director and ensemble member of the Curious Theatre Branch, died on October 27 at 50, following a recent cancer diagnosis. Rieger’s death led to an outpouring of tributes on social media, reminding many of how instrumental he had been in many roles onstage and off over his years as a […]
“I’ve always written more than people can keep up with. I write a lot of plays and I write a lot of lyrics. I just write all the time.”
From Chicago to New Orleans, the performer, playwright, director, producer, and raconteur created deep connections.
But the company remains true to its focus on new work and egalitarian principles.
In its 31st year, Chicago’s longest-running alternative theater festival celebrates old friends and new voices.
Beau O’Reilly’s latest play for Curious Theatre Branch celebrates weirdness as resistance.
His retirement after 38 years will leave a void both at the Reader and in Chicago’s theater scene.