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Tantrum Theater to present first fully staged production in Athens, Ionesco’s absurdist satire “Rhinoceros”

Published: November 14, 2019 Author: Staff reports

Tantrum Theater will present its first fully staged production in Athens, Eugene Ionesco’s Tony Award-winning comedy “Rhinoceros.” The production, directed by José Carrasquillo and Jeanette Buck, will run Nov. 21–23 and Dec. 4–7 in the Forum Theater, in the Radio Television Building at Ohio University.

Ionesco’s celebrated absurdist satire transports audiences to a village where a rhinoceros crashes through the town on a rampage. As townspeople argue over the event, one by one they find themselves untamed and rambunctious, transformed into the very beasts they fear.

Tantrum Theater is pleased to present the first production of its fourth season in Athens, allowing for more accessibility for OHIO students and Athens community members to attend. Tantrum is Ohio University’s professional theater with a mission to provide students an opportunity to engage and apprentice with accomplished artists, while presenting world-class theater for the Athens community.

“Rhinoceros” began with inspiration to bring Washington, D.C.-area director Carrasquillo and his passion for Ionesco’s absurdist script to Athens to direct this production (supported by the Robert and Rene Glidden Visiting Professorship). Carrasquillo’s unique vision of “Rhinoceros” is sure to be engaging, exciting, and timely for audience and artists alike.

Joining Carrasquillo in co-directing our production is faculty member Buck, supported by a creative team of Tantrum professional guest artists: : Tony Cisek designing scenery, Matthew M. Nielsen* designing sound, Julie Richardson* is Actor’s Equity Association (AEA) stage manager, and Megan Porter* is guest costume draper. Students involved include: Bianca Binneman (MFA 2018) is designing costumes, Jennings Johnson (MFA 2021) designing lighting, and Kevin Dunckel (MFA 2019) as technical director.

The eight-member cast includes the Tantrum debut of professional AEA artists Sarah Corey (Grocer’s Wife/Mrs. Beouf) and Gary-Kayi Fletcher (Old Gentleman/Botard), joined by student actors Michael Dias (Berenger) MFA, Acting, second year; Erik Armstrong (Jean) BFA, Acting, fourth year; Andy Figueroa (The Logician/Dudard) BFA, Acting, third year; Janai Lashon (Daisy) MFA, Acting, second year; Avery Lamar Pope (Café Proprietor/Fireman), BFA, Acting, third year; Sophia Vangessel (The Waitress) BFA, Acting, fourth year, Kezia Waters (The Grocer) MFA, Acting, second year; Payton Wilks (Mr. Papillon) BFA, Acting, third year; along with dozens of other students behind the scenes.

There will be talkbacks following the Nov. 23 and Nov. 24 performance and an ASL-interpreted performance on Dec. 5.

Tantrum Theater show tickets are $20 for adults, and $16 for seniors, alumni, non-OHIO college students, military, and first responders. Tickets are $5 for high school and Ohio University students with ID. More information about tickets and season offerings can be found at Tantrum Theater and can be purchased directly through the Ohio University Event Services Ticket Office online at http://www.ohio.edu/event-tickets or by calling 740-593-1780.