A promo image from Rhinoceros with a man's profile with a rhinoceros head sketched over it
Rhinoceros | Photo: Courtesy of the School of Creative and Performing Arts


UCalgary presents Eugène Ionesco’s absurdist work re-imagined

Amy Jo Espetveidt

Buy Tickets

A classic example of absurdist theatre, Eugène Ionesco’s 1959 play sees the citizens of a small French town transform into rhinoceroses, symbolizing the rise of Nazism in Europe. But, in the University of Calgary’s upcoming production, that concept is turned on its head.

In Rhinoceros, director and MFA student Constantine X. Anastasakis has re-imagined the story and its protagonists.

Presented by the School of Creative and Performing Arts, the show is now set in present Greece and the rhinoceroses no longer symbolize the rise of a menacing, corrupt, and irrational power.

Instead they symbolize an upcoming revolt and social movement toward progressive change.

“While on honeymoon in Athens, Greece, I was at once surrounded by ancient ruins dating back thousands of years and contemporary urban graffiti expressing common anti-fascist sentiments. I started seeing the graffiti as the stifled voice of a discontented generation of youth rather than as an act of vandalism,” says Anastasakis in a statement. “This inspired me to reinterpret Ionesco’s rhinoceroses.”

Rhinoceros runs November 30 to December 8, 2018 at the Reeve Theatre, University of Calgary (210 University Court NW).