Alumna Jayita Bhattacharya (MFA 2006) exposes the dark side of classic fairy tales at RhinoFest.
Alumna Jayita Bhattacharya (MFA 2006) exposes the dark side of classic fairy tales at RhinoFest.
January 27

Twisted Fairy Tales

On January 10 the Chicago Sun-Times spotlighted January’s Rhinoceros Theater Festival, “the longest-running multi-arts fringe festival in Chicago.” Critic Heidi Weiss calls a show directed by SAIC alumna Jayita Bhattacharya (MFAW 2006)—“Lizzie Borden Is Smashing (And Other Fairy Tales)”—“one of the more intriguing-sounding shows among this year’s nearly three dozen offerings.”  The production takes the form “of eccentric poems that retell eight classic fairy tales,” Weiss explains, “plus a very unusual reworking of the title tale about the American woman tried and acquitted in the 1892 ax murders of her father and stepmother in Fall River, Mass.” In the article Bhattacharya describes her initial involvement with RhinoFest in 2004, shortly after she enrolled as a graduate student at SAIC.  “I was 22, just out of college—a young artist interested in trying different things in the theater, and not necessarily working on standard plays,” she says. “The Rhino became such an amazing home for that, allowing me to collaborate, discuss and interact with people who’d been working in theater here for three decades.” The show premiered January 19 at Chicago’s Prop Thtr