Maltz Jupiter Theatre

Eugène Ionesco’S ‘RHINOCEROS’

A free ‘summer intensive’ mentorship program offers one-on-one guidance
to produce the show on the Theatre’s professional stage

March 18, 2016 (Jupiter) – The Maltz Jupiter Theatre is offering local high school students the chance to produce a powerful avant garde drama.

Under the guidance of industry professionals at Florida’s largest award-winning professional regional theatre, the Theatre is inviting high school students to apply to be part of a free summer mentorship program to produce Eugène Ionesco’s critically-acclaimed 1959 absurdist classic Rhinoceros, as translated by Derek Prouse. The show will take place on the Theatre’s stage on Saturday, August 13.

One of the major influences of absurdist theatre, the play explores the themes of conformity, culture, mass movements, mob mentality, philosophy and morality. It follows the residents of a small French town who begin to experience disconcerting run-ins with a raging rhinoceros. Events begin to take a strange turn as one by one, citizens are transformed into rhinoceroses. As the trampling becomes overwhelming and the animals destroy everything in their path, one man remains. But will he stay true to himself or follow the herd?

“Though it was written in 1959, Ionesco’s play still resonates with its themes of conformity, totalitarianism, mass movements and the consequences and rewards of thinking for oneself,” said Julie Rowe, director of education for the Theatre. “The absurdism of Rhinoceros hits on many touchstones of the human experience, and I think this will be a wonderful drama for our students to produce.”

Known as the Youth Artists’ Chair, the project aligns high school students with individual Theatre staff members for one-on-one mentoring and guidance during the creation process of the show. Through the project, students have produced the dramas The Glass Menagerie, The Crucible, Hamlet, The Laramie Project and The Good Times are Killing Me since 2011.

“Absurdism is one genre of work that our students have not yet explored, and Eugene Ionesco’s plays depict human existence in a wonderfully poetic and tangible way,” Rowe said. “The Maltz Jupiter Theatre’s mentorship program has become a place where students can spend their summer working on a relevant, important project with their peers.”

Applicants for the project will be interviewed and chosen by a committee. Winning students will then take on specific roles throughout the summer months that include producer, director, set designer, costume designer, lighting designer, sound designer, properties designer, stage manager, assistant stage manager, marketing, press relations, development, carpentry, run crew, wardrobe and electrics. The students will then lead three weeks of rehearsals before mounting the show on stage.

“The Theatre’s annual Youth Artists’ Chair project is an integral part of our community outreach and mission statement, which is to entertain, educate and inspire our community,” said Andrew Kato, the Theatre’s producing artistic director and chief executive. “We feel fortunate to have this opportunity to mentor the next generation of the theatre industry’s leaders, and we are honored to be showcasing such a unique drama on our stage.”

The deadline to apply for the project is April 13, with interviews that will take place through April 16. Submission packets are available by visiting

Those chosen for the role of director and producer will also assist in casting the show’s young performers. With casting open for local students in grades 9-12, open auditions and callbacks for the show will be held April 23 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Students interested in auditioning for Rhinoceros should come prepared with a one-minute monologue in the style of the author; pre-registration highly recommended. For additional audition information, call (561) 575-2672.

Rhinoceros is sponsored by The Clark Family Private Foundation Inc.

About the Maltz Jupiter Theatre
The not-for-profit Maltz Jupiter Theatre has become one of Florida’s preeminent professional theatres, committed to production and education through its collaborations with local and national artists. Currently the state’s largest award-winning regional theatre, the Theatre draws nearly 100,000 people annually, serves a subscription base of more than 7,626 and has world-class classroom facilities in support of its Goldner Conservatory of Performing Arts, which serves hundreds of youth and adults. The Theatre is a member of the prestigious League of Resident Theatres and has earned numerous Carbonell Awards, South Florida’s highest honor for artistic excellence, including the prestigious Bill Von Maurer Award for Theatrical Excellence. For more information about the Theatre’s upcoming shows and Conservatory, visit or call the box office at (561) 575-2223.  

Media Contact:
Linnea Bailey (561) 972-6132

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