Students produce absurdist play in Riverview Lounge

Jennifer Burns

Tone Gherardini, Peter Griffith, and Ravi Katkar rehearse their roles in Eugene Ionesco&s The Bald Soprano, which they will perform March 6-8. (Alissa Thompson)

Take a couple proud of their English mannerisms, another husband and wife who realize while sitting across from each other that they know each other from somewhere, a maid who claims to be Sherlock Holmes, and a fireman, and place all the characters in a living room. The result is the play The Bald Soprano by Romanian playwright Eugene Ionesco.

Having grown up in Romania and later moved to Paris, Ionesco wished to learn English as a third language.

Upon reading his English phrase book, he noticed the barrenness of English common phrases. This inspired him to write his first play, The Bald Soprano, in order to satirize the British society and the ridiculous formalities many conform to.

Ionesco also draws attention to language by dissecting it in order to show greater distinctions in the masking and the revealing of English reality.

Contradictions, menial sounds, and superficial prattle are just a few of the ways Ionesco goes about deconstructing the same words he has employed in writing the play.

Because of this dissection of language, along with a lack of conventional plot and minimal character development, many critics consider Soprano to be an anti-play. After noting the great success that followed after Soprano‘s premiere, Ionesco launched himself into a career as a playwright, developing what is now considered the “Theatre of the Absurd.”

Bringing The Bald Soprano to Lawrence is student Dana King. According to King, the play is “very funny and well worth attending.”

The production is a combined effort by students all across campus.

Performances will be held in Riverview Lounge on Thursday, March 6, at 9 p.m., Friday, March 7, at 10:30 p.m., and a matinee performance on Saturday, March 8, at 2:00 p.m.

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