UMD Theatre brings "Rhinoceros" to the stage

BY LAURA GRUHLKE | The Statesman On Thursday March 3, the newest play will premiere in the Dudley Experimental Theater.

“Rhinoceros” is a story about a rhinoceros that runs through a town, and as the play progresses more and more rhinos start to appear.

Director Ann Bergeron said that this play “is a comedy of sorts.”

The first act is entertaining and wildly funny. The second act will bring things into perspective and leave the audience asking questions.

“We hope the audience leaves not confused, but with the question of ‘what would you do?’” cast member Reese Britts said.

The play is based around the idea of rhinoceros and their interaction with people from the town, who eventually turn into rhinos themselves.

The play sends a bigger message. Cast member Phil Hoelscher described it as a ridiculous example that will make you think of realistic problems.

The cast describes the term “rhinoceritis” as losing your individualism and turning to conformity. They used this term to help them grasp the concept of the play and to embrace the theme of the production.

With a larger cast of 11 people, it can sometimes be hard to find the right chemistry. Cast member Mitch Newport said that they had an instant group dynamic and a cool spark between them.

This production is being put on in the Dudley Experimental Theater. With the theater’s cozy atmosphere the goal is to make the audience feel as if they are part of the show.

The set is designed to embrace expressionism. The cast also praises costume designer Kelsie Bias.

“She has done just a phenomenal job. Everything that she has brought out that I’ve seen, I’m like, ‘this is literally the coolest costume I’ve worn since being in this program,’” cast member Lauren Schulke said.

Newport hopes that people will see the show and walk away with the mentality that you don’t have to be one way or another, which is something more college students will hopefully be inspired by.

“This is the age where you make decisions of who you are,” Schulke said.

Rhinoceros opens the weekend before spring break and then continues after break as well. On Thursday, March 17 there will be a talk back where the audience can ask questions of the cast.


Show times:

March 3-5 & 15-19 | 7:30 p.m.

March 20 | 2 p.m.

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