PLYMOUTH, N.H. — Rhinoceros, Eugene Ionesco’s iconic absurdist play examining apathy and conformity, will be presented November 19–22 by the Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance at Plymouth State University.
Kevin Gardner, an actor and director who also critiques and adjudicates for various theatre competitions and groups, is guest director of this new translation by Martin Crimp of the classic allegory.
When a rhinoceros charges across the town on Sunday afternoon, “Beringer” thinks nothing of it. But soon, people all around him are becoming rhinos, and Beringer’s world is threatened, in a reflection of Ionesco’s personal experience with Facism. Beringer wills himself to not succumb to conformism, alluded to in the play as “rhinoceritis,” saying, “I’ll take on the world—I’ll take on the whole wide world. I’m the last human left. And human I’ll stay. I’m not giving in.”
Gardner says the enduring qualities of Rhinoceros, which premiered in 1960, lie partly in its fame and partly in its contradictions. “Rhinoceros is one of Absurdism’s most palatable works, mostly because it’s one of the movement’s funniest,” Gardner said. “… Ionesco playfully creates a world in which reversion to primordial brutality is inevitable because no one can understand anyone else, especially when they speak.”
Performances are Nov. 19-21 at 8 p.m.; Nov. 21 at 2 p.m. and Nov. 22 at 3 p.m. at the Silver Center for the Arts.
Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $8 for youth at the Silver Center Box Office, (603) 535-ARTS or (800) 779-3869.
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