Showing posts from June, 2019

Rhinos 101

By Annie Sears

As the title would suggest, Eugène Ionesco’s Rhinoceros—playing through June 23 at The Geary—features some lumbering pachyderms. The play isn’t really about rhinos, but they’re a constant onstage presence. Characters are always talking about rhinos, gawking at rhinos, or in some cases, transforming into rhinos. Our marketing department visited the San Francisco Zoo & Gardens to learn some fast facts about these mysterious creatures.

1. A group of rhinos is called a crash. Does that make the Rhinoceros cast a crash? A crashing cast? A casting crash?

2. Their horns are made of keratin—the same protein that makes up human fingernails!

3. Some rhinos have one horn. Others have two. Gene and Berenger have a disagreement about this in Rhinoceros, so let’s break it down: There are five different species of rhinos. Two of those species, the black rhino and the white rhino, are African rhinos. The other three—Javan rhinos, Sumatran rhinos, and greater one-horned rhinos—are…

Catching Rhinoceritis

By Annie Sears

Eugène Ionesco’s Rhinoceros, playing at The Geary through June 23, presents a series of challenges to theater-makers. How do you fill a stage with stampeding rhinos, wreaking havoc on a French provincial town? And how does one portray a rhino convincingly? Actor Matt DeCaro has figured out how to take the audience on “an imaginary ride,” says DeCaro. “I want it to be fun to watch.”

For many actors, the first consideration when stepping into a physical role is where the character’s energy emanates from and which part of the body initiates motion. To discover a rhino’s primary impetus, DeCaro took a trip to the zoo. “I looked at rhinoceroses for a while to try and see how they move,” says DeCaro. “Well, they didn’t move much, but I noticed a lot of it is from the shoulders.” So DeCaro leads with his shoulders, sometimes moving unilaterally—using only one side of his body—and sometimes bilaterally, using both sides simultaneously. No matter which way he’s moving, DeCaro si…