So ever since she forewent New York City and chose to settle down in Chicago, the talented director Lexy Leuszler has been telling me I need to come out to Chicago and see the incredible theater scene there. Not only is she smarter than me, she’s also hella persuasive, so when she asked me if I wanted to join forces with her and create a show for the Rhinoceros Fest, Chicago’s longest running fringe festival, my answer was “Duh, let’s do it.”
And a momentous moment in history began, that’ll culminate this very January with the premiere of GO AND RETURN IN GLORY at the Rhinoceros Theater Festival.
GO AND RETURN IN GLORY tells the story of the Amelia Earhart you never knew (which is any Amelia, because none of us reading this here post could have possibly known her, huh?). Seventy-six years after disappearing in the Bermuda Triangle, Amelia Earhart has retuned home! Or at least, she thought so. Instead, Amelia encounters a social media infused madhouse intent on stripping her of every secret she’s ever had. When Amelia dodges the elaborate press conference set up in her honor, the chase is on. While dodging reporters, evading fans, duping marketing execs, outsmarting NSA agents, and overcoming naysayers, Amelia must find her way back home to her beloved Atchison, Kansas. But on her journey , Amelia starts to uncover the consequences of her fateful flight – and who she’s become in the process.
As a mixed media, devised piece, GO AND RETURN IN GLORY infuses shadow and found object puppetry, foley sound effects, historical text and original material to bring this mythoclastic piece to life. The show asks the question: can you come home as the same person you left as? Is it possible for a nation to let a hero go? And what does it mean to turn your back on your place in history?
The project stars Gillian Hemme, Alex Borkowski, June Thiele & Sarah Bernstein. For more information, check out the Rhinofest’s page here.
We’re so thankful to the Rhinoceros Theater Festival for taking this project on for their 26th annual festival. In their own words, Rhino Fest is where “The who’s-who of Chicago’s fringe theater scene converges on the Prop Thtr stage for six-plus weeks of cutting-edge theater, music and performance.” Sounds like the place to be, doesn’t it?
All that’s left now is to keep rehearsin’, keep buildin’, and keep writin’.
(and for me to find some long underwear. Because Chicago in January. BRING IT, POLAR VORTEX.)