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Pictured: Prop Thtr’s 2018-19 Season directors include (left to right) Zach Weinberg, Artistic Director Olivia Lilley,and Gina Marie Hayes. Photo by Matthew Gregory Hollis.
The Prop Thtr has announced its 18/19 season lineup, kicking off this fall with NEVERLAND, a new devised adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s “Peter Pan,” written and directed by the Prop’s new Artistic Director Olivia Lilley. The season continues next winter with the 30th annual RHINOFEST, a curated experimental theatre festival, co-produced with Curious Branch Theatre. Spring 2019 brings BEHOLD, A PALE HORSE, a joyous, tragic, raucous celebration of queer loneliness inspired by Peter S. Beagle’s “The Last Unicorn.” Gina Marie Hayes directs this new immersive experience devised with the ensemble. The season concludes with 2 UNFORTUNATE 2 TRAVEL, a cabaret-style evening of multi-disciplinary live performances. This new devised adaptation of Thomas Nashe’s “The Unfortunate Traveller” is written and directed by Zach Weinberg.
Comments Prop Thtr Artistic Director Olivia Lilley, “I’m excited to present my first season as Artistic Director of Prop Thtr. It thrills me, that for the first time in the theatre’s history, each production is a commissioned, devised work that originated in the mind of a director. I am also ecstatic that each of these directors is committed to creating intersectional spaces in our rehearsal rooms. Our Season theme is “Confronting Corruption.” Whether it’s the Lost realizing their fearless leader is human, a pale horse handling the consequences of a spell gone horribly wrong, or a cis white man, who through having others’ reenact his life, sees himself for the fool that he is, this season, our characters choose to deal with the hard truths of their lives. Through these stories, our characters destroy their faulty foundations, work to heal and decide where to go from here. I look forward to sharing these stories of annihilation and rebirth as we forge a new path for The Prop Thtr.”
Prop Thtr’s 18/19 Season (from the press release):
October 25 – November 25, 2018
Written and directed by Artistic Director Olivia Lilley
Adapted from J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan
Devised by The Ensemble
NEVERLAND chronicles the final days of Peter Pan’s utopia. When Wendy, an Avondale teenager, becomes the newest addition to the Lost, Peter’s band of runaway teens from different decades, her spirit and her sense infuse Neverland with a new energy and a way of thinking they’ve never encountered. Disrupting Peter Pan and Captain Hook’s never-ending rivalry, Wendy forces Neverland’s figures to confront the reality of what they’ve become. The journey from childhood to adulthood has never been so treacherous than in this “Peter Pan” in the era of Trump’s America.
January 12 –February 23, 2019
The 30th annual RHINOFEST
Co-Produced with Curious Theatre Branch
Curious Theater Branch and Prop Thtr collaborate – as they have for much of the past 29 RhinoFests – to curate and produce the Rhinoceros Theatre Festival, which provides production and exhibition opportunities to hundreds of artists, drawing thousands in attendance each year. The longest-running new works storefront festival in Chicago, RhinoFest features experimental work in theater and performance from Chicago companies and national artists alike.
First organized in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago, the Rhinofest is unique among national fringe festivals in that artists are never charged a fee to participate, audiences are always on a “pay what you can” basis and each year our programs are individually curated rather than selected by lottery.
March 8 – April 7, 2019
BEHOLD, A PALE HORSE
Inspired by Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn
Directed by Gina Marie Hayes
Devised by The Ensemble
When you’re lost in the woods, who helps you find your way? When you change forms, who will recognize you?
BEHOLD, A PALE HORSE is an immersive experience taking audiences along on the final journey of the last Unicorn in the world. Mistaken for a white mare, transformed into a human by a bumbling magician, she wanders the woods searching for someone who will recognize her for what she really is.
Featuring live covers of Johnny Cash, Smashing Pumpkins and Kenny Loggins (among others), BEHOLD, A PALE HORSE is a joyful, tragic, raucous celebration of queer loneliness.
March 15 – April 6, 2019
2 UNFORTUNATE 2 TRAVEL
Directed and freely adapted by Zach Weinberg
Adapted from Thomas Nashe’s The Unfortunate Traveller
Devised by The Ensemble
Jack Wilton, forgotten hero from the late 16th century, has a bold idea. He has transformed his life story into a variety show depicting his adventures in a range of spectacular and crowd-pleasing styles, with everything from shadow puppetry to a live game show. Armed with free beer for his fans, he’s ready to sit back and watch as a fresh audience learns to love him. However, as a diverse ensemble brings Jack’s story to life, his role in events – and Jack himself – don’t look the same from the outside.
2 UNFORTUNATE 2 TRAVEL is a play in the form of a late-night show, a cabaret-style evening of multi-disciplinary live performances, and a biting look at privilege and the things we take for granted.
Prop Thtr is located at 3502 N. Elston Ave. (near Kedzie & Addison) in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood. For more information visit propthtr.org.