Maltz Jupiter Theatre


The performance will take place for one night only on August 13 on the Theatre’s stage

August 2, 2016 (Jupiter) – Almost 60 years since its premiere, the absurdist drama Rhinoceros is back – and it’s as relevant as ever.

Praised as “an allegory for our times” by The New York Times, Eugène Ionesco’s 1959 play will be produced and performed entirely by local students at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre for one night only on Saturday, August 13, at 7:30 p.m., on the Theatre’s stage.

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?

The New York Post raved that the play’s “satirical humor, combined with its provocative theme and surprisingly moving ending” culminates in an unforgettable evening of theatre.

The play is the result of months of work by area middle and high school students who have spent their summer working with industry professionals at Florida’s largest award-winning not-for-profit regional theatre to produce the play.

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 free summer mentorship program, students have produced the dramas The Glass Menagerie, The Crucible, Hamlet, The Laramie Project and The Good Times are Killing Me since 2011.

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 show’s directors and producer also cast the show’s young performers. They are: Leandre Thivierge (Berenger), 14, of West Palm Beach; Sophia Gonzalez (Logician/ Papillon), 16, of Jupiter; Annaya Osborne (Housekeeper/ Botard), 19,of West Palm Beach; Natalie Czochanski (Waitress/Dudard), 20, of Jupiter; Vincent Bolchoz (Jean), 18, of Jupiter; Kerstin Brown (Shopkeeper), 18, of Okeechobee; Mitchell Hockenson (Elegant Old Man), 14, of Jupiter; Kara Grozan (Daisy), 18, of Jupiter; and Katelyn Smallwood (Mrs. Boeuf/Boss), 15, of Jupiter.

“We are so grateful to be given the opportunity to produce an absurdist classic on the Maltz Jupiter Theatre’s stage this summer,” said the production’s student director Abbie, a senior at Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts. “With crucial themes paralleling today’s society, Rhinoceros is a story that everyone can learn from. As students and artists, this piece has allowed us to work together to create something truly special under the guidance of theatre professionals.”

Rhinoceros is sponsored by The Clark Family Private Foundation Inc.

Tickets are on sale now for Rhinoceros, with one performance slated for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 13. Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for students. For information about the show and to purchase tickets, 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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