VIDEO: RHINOCEROS Director Talks Eugene Ionesco's Take on Theatre of the Absurd

Rehearsals are now underway for the Yiddish world premiere of Rhinoceros, by Eugene Ionesco, and performances are set to begin September 7th, with the Opening on Thursday, September 14th at the Castillo Theatre, 543 West 42 Street (between Tenth & Eleventh Aves.) Presented by New Yiddish Rep in association with the Castillo Theatre, Rhinoceros will be performed in Yiddish with English supertitles.

At the first rehearsal, director Moshe Yassur succinctly explained to the play's cast Ionesco's perception of Theatre of the Absurd, as documented in the video below! Called "an allegory for our times" by The New York Times, Eugene Ionesco's Rhinoceros is generally cited as one of the main influences of Theatre of the Absurd.

Nearly 60 years since its premiere, the darkly comedic and terrifying Rhinoceros is making its Yiddish language debut with a translation by Eli Rosen. The sublime is merged with the ridiculous in this savage commentary on the human condition, in which an individual citizen of a small town watches his friends turn into Rhinoceroses one by one until he alone stands unchanged. The cast of Rhinoceros features Alec Burko, Amy Coleman, Macha Fogel, Malky Goldman, Sean Griffin, Chezky Israeli, David Mandelbaum, Caraid O'Brien, Eli Rosen, Luzer Twersky, and Melissa Weisz.

Eugene Ionesco (1909 - 1994) was one of the foremost figures of the French avant-garde theatre. Among his most popular plays are Rhinoceros, THE BALD SOPRANO, THE LESSON, THE CHAIRS, and THE KILLER.

A veteran of both the Yiddish and modern theatre, director Moshe Yassur, who was born in Iassy, Romania (the cradle of the Yiddish theatre), worked for several years with Jean-Marie Serreau at the Théatre de Babylone in Paris, taking part often as assistant director in several first productions of Beckett and Ionesco. In New York Yassur was a protege of Woody King Jr., directing at the New Federal Theatre, and he helmed New Yiddish Rep's acclaimed productions of DEATH OF A SALESMAN and WAITING FOR GODOT.

RHINOCEROS marks the second Yiddish world premiere at New Yiddish Rep, following their groundbreaking production of GOD OF VENGEANCE last season which scored a New York Times Critics' Pick. New Yiddish Rep is dedicated to creating modern theater which speaks to a diverse contemporary audience, including those who never might have thought they could connect to a performance in a language other than their own.

For more information, visit

buy tickets

Related Articles

More Hot Stories For You

Before you go...

Like Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Follow Us On Instagram