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Poetry & Drama: Murder in the Cathedral
See T.S Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral in a newly-staged reading by Curious Theatre Branch, featuring Richard Beau O’Reilly, Jenny Magnus, Troy Martin, and Julie Williams. Murder in the Cathedral, a drama in verse first performed in 1935, portrays the 1170 assassination if Archbishop Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral during the reign of Henry II.
Curious Theatre Branch works with an ensemble of artists in a non-hierarchical decision-making process that explores a philosophy of collaboration as a social force since the theatre’s founding in 1988. Curious has produced more than 100 full productions of world-premiere shows, and developed its own recognizable style using an economy of means and production to make deeper and deeper, rather than larger and larger, work.
Beau O’Reilly is a founding member of the Curious Theater Branch, the Crooked Mouth band, and the Maestro Subgum & the Whole. O’Reilly is an actor and the author of over 90 plays, including Last Week and Tattered Wincing. He produced, curated, and directed work at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Poetry Foundation, Steppenwolf Studio, and Links Hall.
Jenny Magnus is a writer, performer, composer, musician, director, teacher, who is a founding co-Artistic Director of the Curious Theater Branch. Magnus is the author/creator of plays that have been produced internationally, including at the Steppenwolf Theater, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and the Athenaeum Theater. Magnus received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute Chicago, and her collection of plays, Observations of an Orchestrated Catastrophe, was published by JackLeg Press in 2014.
Julia Williams grew up in suburban Philadelphia and studied poetry with Eleanor Wilner and Daisy Fried at Smith College before moving to Chicago in 2012. Since then, she has written and performed primarily with the Curious Theatre Branch, with whom she is a company member. She has written and produced the plays Difficulties (with Sue Cargill), March! (with Beau O’Reilly), and The Near Future, and performed in Eugène Ionesco’s Rhinoceros, Caryl Churchill’s The Skriker, and many original plays by the Curious ensemble. She also assists in the production of the monthly cabaret talk-show Super Tasty, serves on the organizing committee of the annual Rhinoceros Theater Festival, and produces artwork in the form of comics, props, essays, and short fiction.