Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Visual and Performing Arts
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
Theatre and Performance Studies | Theatre History
For my honors thesis, I am directing the play Rhinoceros by Eugene Ionesco. Ionesco wrote this play after World War II to artistically explore how something as terrible as the Holocaust, Fascism, and the Nazi party could be allowed control and power in society. How could people allow themselves and others to turn into wild beasts? Rhinoceros is an absurdist play, with characters literally turning into violent rhinos, symbolically allowing violence to overtake them.
The play explores the behavior of people facing and exploring groupthink, apathy, and standing up for one’s own beliefs in the face of opposition. I think that this is an important subject to explore, especially as my classmates and I are entering a world where we will have to make choices about society and where our beliefs fit within that society. This will push not only myself artistically, but also the actors and audience members in their thought processes about the subject of amoral conformity.
Logistically, Black Box Players, a university-funded student organization, agreed to sponsor the show with performance and rehearsal space as well as a small budget. As far as the timeline of the production, Rhinoceros was cast in the Syracuse University general acting auditions; callbacks followed shortly after. Rehearsals began on March 21, 2006, with performances on May 4, 5 and 6, 2006.
Schultz, Erin, "Directing Rhinoceros" (2006). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 600.
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