Rampaging Rhinos Run Amok on Denison Stage
Date of Event: February 22, 2008
Posted: February 14, 2008 / Last Updated: February 18, 2008
Denison University Theatre will present the most famous of all absurdist plays, “Rhinoceros” by Eugene Ionesco, directed by Visiting Assistant Professor Simone Federman. “Rhinoceros” will open at 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 22, in Ace Morgan Theatre and will continue on Saturday, Feb. 23, and Tuesday, Feb. 26, through Saturday, March 1. Tickets are available at the box office or by calling 740-587-6527. General admission is $8, senior citizens $5 and students $4.
In a town where everyone is turning into rhinoceroses, one man is resisting—Berenger, Ionesco’s semi-autobiographical character who expresses the playwright’s horror of ideological conformism. Born in Romania in 1909, Ionesco observed the rise of the fascist Iron Guard in the 1930s and then lived through the Nazi occupation of France.
“This tragic farce is allegedly a parable about French collaboration with the Nazis,” Federman says, “although its implications are as much about the futility and absurdity of the human condition as they are about our historical capacity for cruelty. Our production could be set in a small town in France or in Granville, Ohio. The central question posed could be asked of anyone: Is an average person unable to resist the compulsion to conform and be like everyone else?”
Simone Federman is a graduate of Oberlin College and Harvard University. She has taught at Rowan University, State University of New York at New Paltz and Bowdoin College, among others, and has directed numerous productions at universities and resident companies throughout the country. Recently, at the Stella Adler Studio, she directed Ionesco’s “The Bald Soprano.”
Videos and projections are integral parts of the production, and these have been developed by Anna Bethel ’08, (Circleville, Ohio), assisted by Christian Faur, director of collaborative technologies for the fine arts at Denison. Dustin Meltzer ’09 (Methuen, Mass.), is the assistant director. Scenery and lighting have been designed by Vail Artist-in-Residence Ryan J. Osborn, lighting designer for the Wexner Center. Jessie E. Kanelos ’08 (Chicago, Ill.), has designed the costumes as her senior honors project, with Associate Professor Cynthia Turnbull as project advisor.
Berenger will be played by Ben Jacoby ’09 (Maplewood, N.J.), Jean by Jordan Wolff ’09 (Medina, Ohio), and Daisy by Allison Brogan ’10 (Lexington, Ohio). Others in the cast are seniors Anna Bethel (Circleville, Ohio), Matthew Coon (Bryan, Ohio), Greta Kuhlman (Van Nuys, Calif.), and Kehler Relick (Springboro, Ohio); juniors Nicholas Bailey (Excelsior, Minn.), Nathan Dailey (Parkersburg, W.Va.), Jonathan Gardner ’09 (Charlotte, N.C.), Stephen Geering (Mason, Ohio), Evan Hill (Geneseo, N.Y.), Gonzalo Tuesta (Lima, Peru), and Gretchen Wells (Charlottesville, Va.); sophomores Tara Demmy (Buffalo, N.Y.), Erica Hughes (Pittsburgh, Pa.), and Kathleen Munford (Crawfordsville, Ind.); and first-year student Brian Jackson (Solvang, Calif.). The stage manager is Arielle Waite ’09 (Center Valley, Pa.) and the assistant stage manager is Katherine Watts ’08 (Shaker Heights, Ohio).
CALENDAR LISTING: Denison University, Granville—Denison University Theatre presents “Rhinoceros” by Eugene Ionesco; 8 p.m., Fri. and Sat., Feb. 22-23, and Tues. through Sat., Feb. 26-March 1, Ace Morgan Theatre, Theatre Arts Building (211 W. College). Open to the public; general admission is $8, senior citizens $5, students $4. Call 740-587-6527 to reserve seats or confirm information.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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