The University of Virginia’s Department of Drama salutes the theater of the absurd when it opens its 2012-13 season on Oct. 4 with the comic nightmare “Rhinoceros” in the Helms Theatre.
One of the most iconic works in the absurdist theater movement, Eugene Ionesco’s 1959 play puts mindless conformity firmly in its crosshairs in response to the seemingly unchecked rise of Nazism and fascism. When residents of a small village begin transforming into rhinoceroses, only one man is able to resist the urge and retain his own individuality and integrity against the pull of mass culture. This funny, bizarre and biting satire is a cautionary tale for all eras.
“It sure sounds like a herd of rhinos stampeding around here,” drama department chair Tom Bloom shouted over the sounds of construction for the new Ruth Caplin Theatre addition to the Drama Building. “And life during construction can get pretty absurd. But seriously, it’s a good play and everyone should come see it.”
“Rhinoceros,” directed by Marianne Kubik associate professor of drama in the College of Arts & Sciences, will be presented in the Helms Theatre Oct. 4-6 and Oct. 10-13 at 8 p.m.
Tickets for “Rhinoceros” are $14; $12 for seniors and U.Va. faculty, staff and U.Va. Alumni Association members; and $8 for students. Tickets are available online, by calling 434-924-3376, or in person on weekdays from noon until 5 p.m. at the U.Va. Arts Box Office, located in the lobby of the U.Va. Drama building on Culbreth Road. A $3.75 processing fee applies to online and phone orders.
Subscriptions for the full 2012-13 season are also available. In addition to “Rhinoceros,” the season includes the Tony Award-winning musical “Spring Awakening,” the recent work “God’s Ear,” and the classic American comedy “You Can’t Take It With You,” which will be the inaugural production in the Caplin Theatre. Packages, which include tickets to all four productions, are $49; $43 for seniors and U.Va. faculty, staff and Alumni Association members; and $34 for students.
Free parking for all performances is available at the Culbreth Road Parking Garage, conveniently located alongside the Drama Building.
For information on the Department of Drama season, click here.