A.C.T. Closes Its 2018–19 Season with RHINOCEROS

A.C.T. Closes Its 2018–19 Season with RHINOCEROS

American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) announced the full cast and creative team for Eugène Ionesco's Rhinoceros, closing out A.C.T.'s 2018-19 season. In the opening moments of Ionesco's masterpiece, a rhinoceros rampages through a village square. At the local café, people argue over what they saw. Was it really a rhino, or just fake news? As the eccentric villagers shed refined façades for hides and horns-smashing windows and crushing flowerbeds-rumpled everyman Berenger faces a desperate choice: take a stand against the armored brutes or join the mindless herd? Hailed as "masterful . . . and downright hilarious," this outrageous, comedic story of a civilized community shifting from defiance to compliance is chillingly resonant and riotously funny. From Tony Award-winning director Frank Galati (1776 at A.C.T.) comes an all-new adaptation of this wickedly entertaining comedy about power, conformism, and mass culture. Rhinoceros is based on the production directed by Galati at Asolo Repertory Theatre. Rhinoceros performs at A.C.T.'s Geary Theater (415 Geary St., San Francisco) May 29-June 23, 2019. Press night for Rhinoceros will be held on Wednesday, June 5, 2019. Single tickets (ranging from $15-$110) are available at the A.C.T. Box Office at 415-749-2228 or online at www.act-sf.org. Ticket prices are subject to change without notice.

Says MacKinnon: "This is a great play explored by a world-class director and his collaborators. I cannot wait to share with A.C.T.'s audiences Frank Galati's ongoing obsession with Ionesco's Rhinoceros, as he continues to build and deepen this modern classic with a team of designers, actors, and singers who are committed to exploring simple human foibles and landing both visceral humor and surprising moments of terror."

"It is a joy for me to be back at A.C.T.," adds Galati. "I am particularly moved that Pam has chosen Rhinoceros to be a part of her amazing inaugural season. This play is the comic masterpiece of the 'theater of the absurd.' It is the progenitor of an artistic movement that culminated in the works of Edward Albee. How delightful that those gorgeous and cerebral lizards in Albee's play came from the same intellectual ooze that produced a Rhinoceros stampede. And how timely and scary that we have had more than a glimpse of 'what rough beast . . . slouches towards Bethlehem to be born.' Here's to pure theater as only A.C.T. can deliver it: bold, unflinching, and hilarious."

Rhinoceros is directed by Frank Galati and features David Breitbarth ("A totally alive, searingly real performance"-BroadwayWorld) and Matt DeCaro ("A tour-de-force performance"-Sarasota Herald-Tribune) reprising their celebrated performances as 'Berenger' and 'Gene,' respectively, from the Asolo Repertory Theatre production. Joining them are (in alphabetical order) Rona Figueroa (Wild Goose Dreams at La Jolla Playhouse; Miss Saigon on Broadway) as 'Daisy'; Trish Mulholland (The Mousetrap and Phaedra at Shotgun Players) as 'Mrs. Boeuf';Göran Norquist (A.C.T. M.F.A student; A Christmas Carol at A.C.T.) as 'Marcel';Danny Scheie (The War of the Roses at California Shakespeare Theater; A House Tour at Z Space) as 'Mr. Papillon'; Lauren Spencer (Men on Boats and King Charles III at A.C.T.) as 'Collette'; Teddy Spencer (Hamlet at A.C.T.; Eureka Day at Aurora Theatre Company) as 'Dudard'; and Jomar Tagatac (Vietgone at A.C.T.; King of the Yees at San Francisco Playhouse) as 'Botard.'

The creative team for Rhinoceros includes Robert Perdziola (Set and Costume Designer), Chris Lundahl (Lighting Designer), and Joseph Cerqua (Sound Designer and Original Music).

In connection with Rhinoceros, A.C.T. will offer numerous InterACT events-many of which are presented free of charge-that will give patrons opportunities to get closer to the action while having an entire night out at the theater. Visit act-sf.org/interact to learn more about subscribing to these events throughout the season.

Photo credit: Cliff Roles

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