by Eugène Ionesco, translated by Derek Prouse

The Skybox at The Adrienne Theater
September 2 - 21, 2014
Directed by Tina Brock



Scene 1:  A metropolis.  Midday on a Sunday in the summer.

Scene 2:  The office of a law publication firm.  The next morning.


Jean’s room.  The afternoon of the same day.


Berenger’s room.  A few days later.

Rhinoceros - Postcard
The Waitress
Jerry Rudasill
The Grocer’s Wife
Tomas Dura
The Housewife
Maryruth Stine
Ethan Lipkin
David Stanger
The Grocer
Michael Dura
The Old Gentleman
Paul McElwee
The Logician
Langston Darby
The Café Proprietor
Bob Schmidt
Kirsten Quinn
Mr. Botard
Bob Schmidt
Mr. Dudard
Paul McElwee
Mr. Papillon
Jerry Rudasill
Mrs. Boeuf
Maryruth Stine
First Fireman
Tomas Dura
Second Fireman
Michael Dura
Old Man
Michael Dura
Old Man’s Wife
Tomas Dura


Tina Brock

Costume and Scenic Design

Erica Hoelscher

Lighting Design

Maria Shaplin

Sound Design

Tina Brock

Technical Director

Scott Cassidy

Production Stage Manager/Light and Sound Operator

Mark Williams

Scenic Painter

Kate Coons

Photoshop Magic

Bill Brock


Johanna Austin /

Produced by arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.


Rhinoceros is made possible in part by generous grants from Wyncote Foundation; The Samuel S. Fels Fund; The Philadelphia Cultural Fund; Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia; The Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts program of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency with support also provided by PECO and administered regionally by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance; The Charlotte Cushman Foundation; CHG Charitable Trust; and Plannerzone


Playing time is approximately 100 minutes; there will be no intermission.

A restroom is located to the left of the entrance of the theater. Additional restrooms are located in the lobby on the first floor.


Rhinoceros (2014)

“…Brock's direction… grasps the humor and the horror; this play will captivate, rivet, frighten, and confuse.”
Jim Rutter, The Philadelphia Inquirer

“…spot-on casting, lightning-quick pacing, and non-stop hysteria (of both the panicked and hilarious varieties)… a perfect balance of full-blown ridiculousness and profound meaning.”
Debra Miller,

“…a fine ensemble who really get it… a fun existential adventure.”
Mark Cofta, Philadelphia City Paper

“…a guiding light for playwrights in a Fringe Festival: avant-garde, but highly focused and with a purpose.”
Howard Shapiro,

“Absurd is the new normal…a fine production, full of perfectly timed verbal volleys and colorful character detail…”
Alaina Mabaso, Broad Street

“…fast-paced movement and rapid-fire delivery.”
“The Absurd remains relevant to us, not least because our own national conversation is so palsied and our theater so unadventurous.”
Robert Zaller, Broad Street

“…a clear political parable for the allure of fascism and other powerful authoritarian movements.”
Jake Blumgart, The Philadelphia Inquirer

“…an established company of consummate actors who have worked together intimately for years…”
Jessica Foley, Foley Gets Comped

Director's Notes

September, 2014

Hello, and welcome!

Rhinoceros marks year #8 of Bringing Good Nothingness to Life -- presenting writers from around the globe whose plays feature absurd, existential theatrics.  Our last visit with Mr, Ionesco was in 2009 when the IRC presented The Chairs and The Lesson, also well-loved plays from the Ionesco canon.

Ionesco’s wildly innovative works challenged conventions of contemporary theater in his day.  Coined the “Shakespeare of the Absurd,” the “Enfant Terrible of the Avant-Garde,” and the “Inventor of the Metaphysical Farce” Ionesco saw himself as a preserver of theater  and "a supreme realist."  His belief was that the aim of avant-garde theater should be to rediscover -- not invent -- the permanent forms and forgotten ideals of the theater in their purest state.  Absurdist works, once considered strange, difficult to understand, bizarre -- seem less so in our modern age,  where each week presents a new and frightening development.  Absurd has become the new normal.

Let’s tip our bowlers to the metaphysical farce of Eugène Ionesco on stage tonight – a venue that’s roughly the size of the Paris theater in which Ionesco’s play The Bald Soprano has been in continuous performance since 1957, making it one of the longest running theater productions in the world.

Thank you for being here this evening and for contributing your time and support to our small and mighty endeavor.  We hope you’ll pass the torch and the good word to your friends and neighbors who may agree with Ionesco’s quote that sums up the IRC’s philosophy, “It’s not the answer that enlightens, but the question.”

Cheers and good travels through your FringeArts 2014 experience!

Tina Brock
Producing Artistic Director