Rhinoceros posterWritten by Eugene Ionesco

Directed by: Martha Ross

Performances: March 18 - 21st, 2015

Venue: Theatre of the Arts, Modern Languages Building

Ionesco’s most renowned play Rhinoceros, was written in 1959 in response to the resurfacing of fascism in parts of Europe.  But more importantly, Ionesco wrote it as an attack on something that troubled him greatly: social conformity.  He had witnessed this strange malady in people regardless of their social class or political beliefs.  This play is on one level very simple: The inhabitants of a French town in the 1950’s one by one turn into a rhinoceros until they all become a mindless and savage herd.  All of them that is except for the ‘Everyman’ character of Berenger.  It is Berenger with whom we identify the most as he drifts through life without purpose, comically passive, bored and self-obsessed.  But by the end of the play Berenger, in his success at resisting ‘rhinoceritus’, is the character that has changed the most. He becomes a revolutionary, a tragic figure that urgently calls out to his fellow townspeople to resist the insanity. They sadly no longer have the ears to hear him.

Guest director, Martha Ross co-founder of Theatre Columbus, examined this intricate dance between comedy and tragedy, beauty and horror, with the accomplished student cast and the assistance of Paul Cegys’ exquisite dream-like set, Colin Labadie’s comically frightening soundscape, Sharon E. Secord’s colourful and splendid costumes and Arun Srinivasan’s masterful lighting.

Rhinoceros speaks to us as much now as it did 50 years ago.  We’re currently witnessing around the world an alarming resurgence of neo-nazism. But the play as well speaks to our propensity for denial.   Like the characters in Ionesco’s play we are blind to what is glaring right at us.  We adapt to anything because it’s easier to conform than to challenge the status quo.

See news item about director Martha Ross.

Check out the video made by the Alumni Office as to what the play is about and why you should come see it.



Berenger - Alan Shonfield 

Waitress / Mr. Papillon - Emma Mann 

Dudard / Proprietor - Michael To 

Daisy - Mollie Garrett 

Grocer’s Wife / Old Jean’s Wife - Carly Derderian 

Botard / Grocer - Eric Kim 

Jean - Sam Beuerle 

Housewife / Mrs. Boeuf - Rebecca Birrell 

Logician / Old Jean / Fireman - Meghan Landers 

Old Gentleman - Madeline Samms

Creative Team

Director – Martha Ross

Set/Props Designer & Design Dramaturg – Paul Cegys

Costume Designer - Sharon Secord

Lighting Designer – Arun Srinivasan

Sound Designer – Colin Labadie

Dramaturg – Kelly Conlan

Supervising Dramaturg – Toby Malone

Props Builder/ Fight Choreographer – Shaw Forgeron

Production Team

Production Manager – Janelle Rainville

Technical Director – Gill Lesperance

Head of Wardrobe (Dept.) – Sharon E. Secord

Assistant Production Manager – Bob Stan

Stage Manager – Carleigh MacDonald

Assistant Stage Managers – Teresa Allen, Chantaine Green-Leach, Stefan Radic

Head of Carpentry/Paint - Cameron Jolliffe

Head of Props/Masks – Alice Wang

Head of Lighting – Zac Gungl

Head of Wardrobe – Vanessa Wainwright

Head of Publicity – Adam Winchester

Carpentry / Paint Crew – Alyssa Almeida, Sidney McMahon, Chelsea Vanoverbeke

Props / Masks Crew – Jaimie Bain, Sandy Thi, Zach Haime

Lighting Crew – Kailey Dudek, Alexandra Porter, Brendan Stehouwer, Carla Rodrigo

Wardrobe Crew – Cameron Smith, Abbi Longmire, Sam Mercury, Nivan Hamed

Sound Crew – Kandi Prosser (Operator)

Special Thanks

Digital Arts Communication (DAC) & Director Glenn Stillar

Clare Cummins from Alumni Relations

Sam Stuckless, Publicity Assistant

Susan CookScheerer of Rogers DayTime Television

Coral Andrews from Coral FM Radio

Mark Haasnoot, Publicity Photographer

Vanessa Wainwright, Publicity Photographer

William Innes, poster designer & videographer

Nan Millard

Ray Millard

Lesley Millard

Tanya Apostolidis

Christina Gungl

Steve Gungl

Noor Mirza from Imprint