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Rhinoceros Theater Festival 

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This annual showcase of experimental theater, performance, and music runs through 10/31 at the Prop Thtr, 3502-4 N. Elston. Rhino Fest is coordinated by the Curious Theatre Branch and features emerging and established artists from Chicago's fringe, including Theater Oobleck, the Still Point Theatre Collective, Blair Thomas, Hermit Arts, Cin Salach, Michael Martin, the Rasaka Theatre Company, and Ira Glass as well as the Curious and Prop ensembles. Performances take place in Prop's north or south theaters, except where noted otherwise below. Admission for most shows is $15 or "pay what you can"; exceptions are noted below. For information and reservations, call 773-267-6660 (except as noted below) or visit www.rhinofest.com. Following is the schedule through 9/15; a complete schedule is available online at www.chicagoreader.com.

THURSDAY 8

R Jenny Magnus: A Solo Evening

Jenny Magnus embodies the Walt Whitman line "I am large, I contain multitudes." Using minimal props in her two pieces, What Abandon Meant and Cant, she investigates self-sufficiency, trust, self-sacrifice, and love in its many forms: sexual, filial, maternal. Though she looks like your next-door neighbor, she's able to take on the personas of many people and make them come to life. She also sings well, delivering her powerful lyrics in a heartfelt yet matter-of-fact way. The best aspect of her work is its emotional complexity, as she weaves together many contradictory strands of feeling. (LM)

a North theater, 7 PM.

The Masrayana

This world premiere, a joint effort of Prop Thtr and the Rasaka Theatre Company, offers the fact-based story of an Indian farmer who fights to regain his identity after being declared dead in a land grab. (The play's title is Sanskrit for "The Saga of Masra.") William Kovacsik's one-act drama, directed by Anish Jethmalani, employs story-theater narrative techniques and South Asian classical dance. a South theater, 8 PM. Preview performance; admission $10-$20. Reservations at 773-539-7838.

FRIDAY 9

The Book of Grendel

Dan Telfer's play, a world premiere from Theater Oobleck, is inspired by the mythic monster from Beowulf. a North theater, 7 PM.

The Masrayana

See listing for Thu 9/8. a South theater, 8 PM. Preview performance; admission $10-$20. Reservations at 773-539-7838.

Into Hermit Country

Hermit Arts' world premiere, written by Jonathan Putman and directed by Idris Goodwin and Putman, is a solo piece based on Putman's experiences as a teacher of English in South Korea. a North theater, 9 PM.

SATURDAY 10

The Hermit in New York

The Still Point Theatre Collective presents Beau O'Reilly and Teresa Weed's new play based on the life and work of Trappist monk and political essayist Thomas Merton, with O'Reilly as Merton. Stefan Brun directs. a North theater, 3 PM.

R Jenny Magnus: A Solo Evening

See listing for Thu 9/8. a North theater, 7 PM.

The Masrayana

See listing for Thu 9/8. a South theater, 8 PM. Benefit gala preview; admission $50. Reservations at 773-539-7838.

The Box

We're So Screwed Productions presents a screening of a new short film by Rodolfo Polanco and Chloe Honeyman Bloede about medical and psychological experiments performed on women in Nazi Germany. a North theater, 9 PM.

SUNDAY 11

The Masrayana

See listing for Thu 9/8. a South theater, 3 PM. Preview performance; admission $10-$20. Reservations at 773-539-7838.

Triad

Hysteria Productions presents a new play by Matthew Wilson, about a therapist who is blackmailed for confidential information on a disfigured patient. James Berner directs. a North theater, 7 PM.

Alphabet Report

Julie Caffey and Barrie Cole present the third installment in their exploration of the alphabet as the inspiration for "ruminations on things minuscule, mammoth, and everything in between." Every performance is semi-improvised. a South theater, 7 PM.

MONDAY 12

The Family Dogs

Through traditional theater, poetry, and multimedia, The Family Dogs explores the memories of a family. The Halfway House Theatre Society's world premiere is written by Chris Bower and directed by Beau O'Reilly. a North theater, 7 PM.

The Masrayana

See listing for Thu 9/8. a South theater, 7:30 PM. Opening night; admission $15-$25. Reservations at 773-539-7838.

WEDNESDAY 14

Eat and . . . Should We Put It Out? (The Smoke)

Two world premieres. The first, by Stephen Mosblech, concerns a woman whose inability to eat leads to her confinement in an asylum. It's produced by Asbestos Theatre Project. The second, by Jayita Bhattacharya, tells of two girls who want to be heroes. a North theater, 7 PM.

Hateship, Friendship, Loveship, Courtship, Marriage

Inspired by an Alice Munro story, this event, coordinated by Beau O'Reilly, features weekly performances of new work. Participating artists include Amy England, Johnny Mars, Melissa Walker, and Dave Snyder. a South theater, 7 PM.

THURSDAY 15

Racket Sports, Young Children & Late Bloomers Volume 3: The Bunny Pilsbury Suite

This world premiere, penned by Michael S. Duffy Jr. and directed by James Whittington, examines the moral transformation of a wicked seminarian. a North theater, 7 PM.

The Masrayana

See listing for Thu 9/8. a South theater, 7 PM. $15-$25. Reservations at 773-539-7838.

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