Maltz Jupiter Theatre


Students are spending their summer producing Eugène Ionesco’s Rhinoceros

July 13, 2016 (Jupiter) – A cast and creative team made up of local middle and high school students is spending their summer at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre producing a powerful avant-garde drama.

Under the guidance of industry professionals at Florida’s largest award-winning professional regional theatre, students are taking part in a free summer mentorship program to produce Eugène Ionesco’s critically acclaimed play Rhinoceros. 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?

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.

“Each season, we strive to choose a play that not only challenges the students’ artistic abilities but provides a forum for discussion of social issues relevant to the text,” said Julie Rowe, the Theatre’s director of education. “This year’s production of Rhinoceros is no exception, with such themes as peer pressure, conformity, being true to oneself and destruction of the environment. It is always a rewarding experience to listen to these talented young people dialogue, debate and collaborate.”

After passing through an extensive interview and selection process, the student creative team consists of: Lauren Thomas (producer), 15, of Palm Beach Gardens; Abbie Levasseur (director), 17, of Jupiter; Emily Betts (stage manager), 16, of Jupiter; Alexander Goodwin-Elam (assistant stage manager), 12, of Hobe Sound; Shannon Komm (scenic designer), 15, of Jupiter; Skye Alyssa Friedman (sound designer), 14, of Jupiter; Chloe Laine-Lobsinger (lighting designer), 12, of West Palm Beach; Nicole Giddens (costume designer), 11, of Stuart; Madeline Gilbert (props master), 18, of Palm City; Dylan Lugosi (run crew), 14, of Palm Beach Gardens; Ashley Smith (public relations director), 14, of Jupiter; Taylor Buddemeier (public relations associate), 16, of Jupiter; and Natalie Beck (social media manager), 14, of Lake Worth.

“The Youth Artists’ Chair program is an amazing opportunity for local students because it allows us to create a theatrical work of art while under the guidance of experienced theatre professionals,” said the production’s student director Abbie, a senior at Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts. “This year’s play is particularly exciting because Rhinoceros is such an abstract piece of theatre. Its themes are incredibly relevant to many of the world’s issues still faced today.”

Rhinoceros is sponsored by The Clark Family Private Foundation Inc.

Tickets are on sale now for Rhinoceros, which will take place on the Theatre’s stage on Saturday, August 13, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for children. Visit or call (561) 575-2223.

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 100,000 people annually, serves a subscription base of nearly 7,600 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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Calendar listing:

Youth Artists’ Chair presents Rhinoceros – Saturday, August 13
A small town is besieged by one roaring citizen who becomes a rhinoceros and proceeds to trample on the social order. As more citizens are transformed into rhinoceroses, the trampling becomes overwhelming and begins to destroy everything in its path. One man (Berenger) remains; will he stay true to himself or follow the herd? Sponsored by The Clark Family Private Foundation Inc. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for students and $25 for adults. Phone: (561) 575-2223. Visit

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