Chicago Humanities Festival | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Chicago Humanities Festival The Short List (Theater) Image Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Nov. 1-10 2013

The theatrical elements of this year's Chicago Humanities Festival, like the fest overall, probe the theme "Animal: What Makes Us Human." The Museum of Contemporary Art copresents two shows: White Rabbit, Red Rabbit was written by Nassim Soleimanpour about the isolation he felt when, as punishment for being a conscientious objector, he was forbidden to leave his native Iran. The rotating cast comprises Usman Ally, Fawzia Mirza, Yasen Peyankov, and Michael Shannon; none will see the script until moments before each performance. Elephant Room is a work of experimental comedy (with dance!), by the performance group Rainpan 43, about three magicians whose illusions begin to unravel.

Elsewhere, On the Edge of Your Seat is a two-part performance: Holly Hughes's The Dog and Pony Show (Bring Your Own Pony) explores midlife crises "in the key of canine," while Deke Weaver's lifelong project The Unreliable Bestiary is a multimedia look at relationships between humans and animals. Doug Peck and Rob Lindley's cabaret-style Birds Do It, Bees Do It explores animal mating, with a soundtrack from the Great American Songbook. See for full schedule, venue, and price info. —Jillian Sandler