Rhinoceros Auditions

directed by George M. Roesler


Auditions on Monday, October 30 & Wednesday, November 1 at the theatre. Doors open at 6:00 pm and auditions begin at 7:00, and continue until everyone is seen. No appointments; people are seen in the order they arrive. The show performs January 5 through 28, 2018 (Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 2:00 pm).

Auditioning for an ensemble of 10 to 12 actors. Several roles are not gender-specific; all ethnicities are invited to audition.

Auditions will be a prepared monologue. You can:
~ read a 1-2 minute monologue of your choice, OR
~ read one of the monologues below, OR
~ present a 1-2 minute memorized monologue (director’s preference).

CLICK HERE for the form you can fill out and bring to the audition. (Forms will also be available at the desk.)

Minimum age for all roles is 18.

The protagonist, Berenger is messy and disorganized, a foil for his friend Jean. He has a drinking problem that is the source of much ridicule from both Jean and from the woman he loves, Daisy. Despite his unkempt appearance and low self-esteem, Berenger firmly believes in humanity, morality, and individuality. He is the only character with the courage to live up to his own potential and think for himself.

A friend of Berenger, Jean is tidy and well-dressed. He appears to live the “better” life as compared with Berenger. But his fate proves that he has no spine or substance. Like all of the characters in the play, we never learn how he came to be the way he is. Jean raises the question of what defines a person’s character: is it the person’s appearance, perceptions, or strengths? By at first appearing perfectly fine but then becoming a rhinoceros, Jean reverses expectations and engages the audience’s interest in the “rhinoceros phenomenon.”

Daisy is Berenger’s romantic interest. She works in his office and is a young blond woman. Although good-hearted, Daisy eventually falls prey to the false logic and systematic propaganda of the rhinoceroses. She represents the romantic desire that people feel; she is the person who makes one’s heart jump, the beauty that captures one’s interest and holds onto it. As Daisy turns to a rhinoceros, however, Ionesco questions the longevity of such desire.

Papillon is Berenger’s boss and head of the Department. Although an authority figure, has trouble with individual thought and quickly decides to join the rhinoceros’ movement. 

Dudard works in the office with Berenger. Like Daisy, appears to mean well and have a good heart, but does not prove strong and freethinking in the end. In the final act of the play, we fully understand Dudard’s thinking as he decides to join the animals. Dudard is a weak “everyman,” for he perceives the world around him but cannot fully commit to a strong individuality or purpose.

Botard works in Berenger’s office and argues with false logic by ignoring and misconstruing the evidence. Botard therefore sees the world how he wants to see it instead of how it is.

The Logician
The Logician is obsessed with only analyzing issues from a logical point of view. A classical philosopher using the primary idea of a syllogism as a manner of interpreting the universe. The ludicrous reasoning immediately introduces the idea of false logic. 

The Waitress
The Waitress represents simply the easily persuaded everyman. She is easily prone to accept whatever true or false arguments surround her.

The Grocer
Spends a great deal of time looking at the people walking by. The character is the first to rush out when the housewife drops her bags when the rhinoceros charges by.

The Grocer’s Wife
She bad-mouths the housewife as she walks by claiming that the housewife is very snobbish and acts as though she is too good for them.

The Housewife
A woman of fairly high social status. She is walking by the café’ when a rhinoceros charges by. The first time it rushes past she drops her groceries but manages to hold on to her cat. The second time it runs by she drops the cat, and the cat is trampled to death by the rhinoceros

The Old Gentleman
The Old Gentleman is another common person who is kind and means well but who is easily susceptible to going along with the world around him. He wanders around spending most of his time in deep conversation with the logician and making passes at the housewife.

The Café Proprietor
Concerned with only one thing-making money. Charges the waitress for every plate that is dropped. Very greedy and cares little for the feelings and/or well-being of others.

Mrs. Boeuf
Mrs. Boeuf arrives at Berenger’s office because her husband, Mr. Boeuf, has turned into a rhinoceros. In her frenzy, Mrs. Boeuf suggests that people make hasty decisions in rash circumstances. As she decides to stay with her animal husband, Mrs. Boeuf illustrates her fear of being alone. She would rather be with a rhino than be alone.

The Firefighter
A dutifully civil servant who rescues Daisy, Berenger, Dudard, Botard, and Papillon when the stairs are destroyed by one of the rhinoceroses.

Women’s Monologues
Men’s Monologues

It’s a typical morning in a small American town — until a rhinoceros charges down the street. No one is really alarmed, but Berenger soon discovers everyone around him is turning into a rhinoceros – his friends, his co-workers, the townspeople. He’s desperate to save them but no one will listen, until he’s left alone to question what it is to remain human in the face of the trampling herd. Provocative, funny, and frightening, Ionesco’s most renowned work has become a classic parable of social conformity – and human nature.