A rhinoceros suddenly appears in a small town, tramping through its peaceful streets. Soon there are two, then three, until the “movement” is universal: A transformation of average citizens into beasts, as they learn to move with the times. Absurd action Indeed. In “Rhinoceros,” playwright Eugene Ionesco startles audiences with a world that invariably erupts in explosive laughter and nightmare anxiety in a production at the University of Pittsburgh’s Stages Studio Theatre from February 18-28.
The absurdist theatricality of stampeding rhinoceros is brought to life through the artistry and puppetry of resident designer Venise St Pierre. She uses mixed media, masks and life-sized puppets to bring the production’s title characters to life. The production also features special effects designed through projection by student Jessie Smith.
“Rhinoceros” is directed by Claire Syler and features a baker’s dozen of University of Pittsburgh students. Performances are Tuesday-Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25/$15/$12; call 412.624.7529 for reservations.