The U.VA. Drama Department plans to take on Eugene Ionesco’s bizarre, absurdist play, Rhinoceros next month. The show will be the first of four productions happening this season. Ionesco wrote Rhinoceros in 1959 and it’s accredited as one of the most famous works of the absurdist theater movement.
Many consider the play a criticism of the numerous Nazi and Fascist movements that sprang up in Europe prior to World War II. Over the course of just three acts, a mass metamorphosis occurs in a small French town in which the inhabitants turn into rhinoceroses—except one ordinary man, Berenger, who is burdened with the task of retaining his own individuality in the face of “mindless conformity.” Berenger, an unlikely character for such an immense duty, due to his unkemptness and drunkenness, firmly believes in humanity and is determined to live up to his potential. This witty and bizarre satire serves as a “cautionary tale for all eras.”
The director of the play, Marianne Kubik, comes from a very prestigious background in both performance and directing. Her short film, No Shoes for Dancing, won an Indie Digital Fest award and she currently serves as the head of performance in the Drama department.
The cast is nothing short of spectacular as six of them are currently second year graduate students in the Master of Fine Arts program. This is particularly exciting since there are only eight in the graduate program. Brad Frazier will play Berenger, while other leads include Amaree Cluff as Daisy, Berenger’s love interest and Mike Long as Jean, Berenger’s good friend.
The show opens on Thursday, October 4th at 8:00pm in the Helms Theatre and will close on Saturday, October 13th. Tickets are free for students and will be available at the Arts Box Office in Culbreth Theater, starting Monday, September 24th. You can reserve a ticket online at http://artsandsciences.virginia.edu/boxoffice/ or by calling (434) 924 – 3376.