In 1959, Romanian playwright, Eugene Ionesco wrote Rhinoceros as a response to and criticism of the rise of fascism that preceded WWII. His play spoke to the challenge of maintaining one’s identity and integrity in a world that had succumbed to brute force and mindless submission.
This June, Chipped Off Performance Collective will be using Ionesco’s text as the starting point and inspiration for our own theatrical response to the present-day politics of divisiveness and fear, by using art to address and resist the trend towards conformity, racism, mob mentality, and small-mindedness.
This performance will be a multi-media theatrical presentation, created and performed by a selected group of Kingston artists working in collaboration with a diverse and inclusive cross section of Kingston community members. We will explore, through the use of poetry, prose, monologue, dance, video art and design, issues of identity versus conformity and how our differences may be the common denominator that unites us.
Rhinoceros or What’s Different About Me? as are all Chipped Off performances, will be a celebration of free speech and expression. Our performances invite audiences to think critically about the ongoing struggles faced by so many, to embrace what is unfamiliar, and to understand that it is our uniqueness and differences that, collectively, define us as a community.