Header image  

Rhinoceros Cappie Reviews

Cappie Pic


On Saturday, December 1, 2007 26 reviewers from The Cappies, the critics and awards for high school theatre, were in attendance for the evening's performance of Rhinoceros. Below are the reviews.


Havoc and mass chaos arises as actors in gray military style uniforms charge through the isles of the theatre. They are rhinoceroses; their grueling grunts and hammering marches give the feel of anxiety and mass turmoil, as the stage is now turned bloody red! There lies the tale of South Plantation's production of Rhinoceros.

Rhinoceros written by Eugene Ionesco was produced in 1959 shortly after the horrors of World War II. Rhinoceros is most famous to audiences from the 1974 movie starring the dynamic duo Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder. It tells the story of Berenger a semi-alcoholic whose world is turned upside down when everyone around him is turned into rhinoceroses. The play is often read to symbolize Communism and Nazism; such examples may include the rhinos, which are figures for the Nazi party.

South Plantation's production of Rhinoceros was anchored by a company with immense energy, charisma and stage presence. Their acting choices show they could conquer a complex and mature script far beyond their years.

In the lead role of Berenger, Mario Avazian portrayed this deep character with many levels of emotion and stage presence was quite memorable. Jean, Kevin Pape is also being noted for his depiction of the refined gentleman. His transformation from gracious young man to enraged rhinoceros was truly memorable.

The cast as a whole, held together adequately with allure and chemistry whenever on stage. The ensemble of rhinoceroses stood strong with precision in their movements, almost like unit of soldiers, their performance, as a whole was extremely potent.

Giving the stage its own emotion, James Parrott's vibrant light designs added more to the jungle themed environment.. Despite reported audio issues during past performances, Sound Designer Rene Martinez work pulled through since all actors could be heard very clearly.

Charging in at two and a half hours, South Plantation High's production of Rhinoceros took you to a different world without having to leave your seat.

By Zach Durand, JP Taravella High School



Millions of people around the world exhibit animal-like tendencies of force and range on a daily basis, but few actually turn into pure predators of the animal kingdom. Yet, this predicament is the conceit of South Plantation High School's production of Eugene Ionesco's absurdist comedy Rhinoceros.

Rhinoceros is centered around the unfortunate life of Berenger, an alcoholic government employee who is witness to a sighting of a rhinoceros in a local cafe. Soon after this event, several key people in his life including his best friend Jean and his boss Mr. Papillion suddenly become rhinos themselves. Afraid for his life, Berenger must decide whether to live as a paranoid human or as a complacent rhinoceros.

Mario Aivazian was superb in the lead role of Berenger. He was able to portray a range of emotions from humorously cynical to afraid for his life with incredible ease. Also notable was Jaime Kautzmann as Daisy, the caring but strong co-worker of Berenger. She displayed notable stage presence and a strong character in her important exchange with Berenger in the second act.

Kevin Pape was a standout as Jean with his transformation into a rhinoceros coming across as haunting and darkly comedic. As The Little Old Man and his wife, John Encalada and Anika Gomez brought wit and charm to what could easily have been throwaway parts.

Technically, the show worked on every level and enhanced the themes of the play in clever ways. Lighting was brilliantly used, as the background color scheme changed depending on the tone or action in a scene. Set changes were handled beautifully by members of the cast, as background music accompanied choreographed movements. Also, the use of military costumes for the rhinos was ingenious as it emphasized the conformity of the group. The rhino ensemble were great during the entire show, displaying a synchronicity that was unsettling and admirable at the same time. The only major flaw in the show was that some smaller parts lacked the energy and humor that the leads delivered consistently.

Overall, South Plantation did an extremely successful rendition of a difficult piece with their performance of Rhinoceros. The show was enlightening, captivating, and entertaining, ensuring a quality night out at the theater for all.

By Josh Solomon , North Broward Preparatory School


National Geographic wasn't the only place you could find hordes of rhinoceroses last weekend -- try South Plantation High School's auditorium in the production of Rhinoceros.

Rhinoceros, written in 1959 by Eugene Ionesco, is a play in the classic absurdist style. It examines the idea of conformity and society's delusions of itself, alluding to historical events like World War II and the rise of Communism.

South Plantation High School's production of Rhinoceros was all at once hypnotic and terrifying. The leads and ensemble handled material far beyond their years with a maturity, understanding, and purpose seldom seen in high school theatre. Pairing the outstanding acting with impeccable technical aspects, Rhinoceros was a truly stirring sensory experience.

As Berenger, the leading man, Mario Aivazian executed a multifaceted transformation from an apathetic "Average Joe" to an all-too-human hero brilliantly. His consistent and likeable acting style, along with a gentle sense of humor, made for an arresting and poignant performance. Through expression and manipulation of voice, Kevin Pape (Jean) affected a different kind of transformation superbly, morphing from a chic and cultured gentleman into a gruff, bestial rhinoceros.

One of the most enjoyable and spine-chilling features of South Plantation's Rhinoceros was the ensemble work. The ensemble of militant rhinoceroses was united in purpose and presence, capturing attention as they weaved in and out of the audience during the show. With precision timing and eerie vocal work, the ensemble was unnerving and frightening, adding a sinister feel to the absurdist piece. Also in cameo roles John Encalada (The Little Old Man), Anika Gomez (The Little Old Man's Wife) and Bryan Orr (The Fireman) sprinkled in bits of much-needed humor at some of the darkest moments in the show.

South Plantation High School's Rhinoceros was a technical tour de force. Lighting, designed by James Parrott, was vivid and heady, with chartreuse, magenta, and blues fading together on a white backdrop, representing land and sky. Rhinoceros's set could be described as Stonehenge-meets-Dr. Seuss, with enormous wheeled pillars that created the massive silhouette of a rhinoceros and an inventive breakaway staircase.

South Plantation High School's production of Rhinoceros was a smart, aesthetic masterpiece that truly speaks to our times, assuring us that it's not always "hip to be square.

By Breanne Palmer , JP Taravella High School


Presented by South Plantation High School, Rhinoceros is often read as a response to the sudden upsurge of Communism, Fascism and Nazism during the events preceding World War II, and explores the themes of conformity, culture, philosophy, and morality.

The play presents a typical city going about its business on a Sunday afternoon. Business brunches, leisurely walks and grocery shopping are the order of the day. A gallivanting rhinoceros breaks up the monotony and calls for intense speculation. Where did the beast come from? Why is it here? What does it mean? It soon becomes clear that the presence of rhinoceroses is no jungle invasion but a societal transformation: people grow feverish, then physically turn into horned beasts. By play's end, only Berenger, the lone human holdout, is left to ponder his fate.

South Plantation High School's production was anchored by the outstanding talent and versatility of the entire cast. Every member of the 32-person cast helped create the eerie and conformative society that they lived in. Also, the staging throughout the show was brilliant and couldn't have been better.

Mario Aivazian starred in the role of Berenger. He was both witty and clever as he struggled to comprehend the true meaning behind the transformations in the town. He had fantastic chemistry with his friend, Jean, played by Kevin Pape. Pape is also one to be commended for his transformation from a typical guy to a beast. His heavy breathing and grunting made it very believable.

This show would not have the impact it had without the ensemble or rhinoceroses that help further the story through there marching and stampeding. Each and every ensemble member was fantastic. Playing the role of Daisy was Jaimie Kautzmann. Kautzmann was very sophisticated and delightful as the lead female role.

The technical aspect of this show was fantastic. Even with a warning that sound and lighting may be a little off, they pulled it off beautifully. Even though the set wasn't student made, it added a remarkable feel to the twisted story. And when set changes were being made they all moved so mechanically as if in the army, which also gave it an extra creepy feel to it.

Coming to a close, where conformity has engulfed everything around it comes South Plantation High School's magnificent production of Rhinoceros.

By Tico Baez , JP Taravella High School




The rhinoceros: a symbol of power, violence and … humanity? This absurd but profound symbol in South Plantation High School's production of Rhinoceros revealed the inherent feral nature and conformity of humanity, immersing the audience in a theatre experience that was comic, unconventional, and unsettling.

Written by Eugene Ionesco in 1959, this absurdist play features Berenger, a ne'er-do-well who relies on liquor to survive his tedious job and uninteresting life. Berenger's apathy is soon transformed, as his once meticulous friend Jean and a host of townspeople begin changing into rhinoceroses, wreaking havoc on their humble town and leading even the town's most resolute humans into a struggle between individuality and conformity.

One of the play's most striking aspects was the cohesive and powerful performance of the ever-growing ensemble: the rhinoceroses. Heightening the allegorical significance of the rhinos in their combat fatigues, the members of the cast gradually all transformed into rhinoceroses, leaving no individual vestiges of humankind in their militaristic marching or synchronized roaring. The quick pace and constant activity on stage was a complex and difficult task admirably accomplished by the cast.

Mario Aivazian passionately led the play as Berenger, clearly developing his character's nonchalant attitude toward the pachyderms into one of defiance and eventually, terror. His physical comedy, rapid-fire dialogue, and emotional outbursts provided insight into the inner workings of a man caught in a tragic farce. Serving as Berenger's love interest, Daisy, Jaimie Kautzmann was also a notable presence onstage for her clear diction and her shift from endearing secretary to disillusioned individual. Kevin Pape also conveyed the motivations of his character, whether as a quick-talking, arrogant businessman or a raging, violent rhino.

Although she spoke sparingly, the Waitress (Carol Rock) garnered laughter from the audience through her well-developed characterization and comic gestures, achieving this by adjusting her dress or slapping customers with menus. The Little Old Man and his wife also had memorable performances, speaking in aged voices and timing their dialogue with an evident senility. Although some actors seemed to be inconsistent in their characterizations and the diction was not always clear, the cast as a whole provided a unique experience that broke the fourth wall and formed a distinct connection to the audience.

The lighting, led by James Parrott, was appropriate and captivating. The beautifully lit backdrop, follow spot for the firefighter and green hue used to demonstrate the rhinoceros transformation created distinctive stage pictures that contributed greatly to the production.

South Plantation High School's production of Rhinoceros was a unique experience for the audience, integrating them into the absurdist world of Ionesco.

By Anna Tenutta, Deerfield Beach High School


Being swallowed by society with no where to hide an epidemic of "rhinoceritis" broke out at South Plantation High School’s absurdist play “Rhinoceros”.

Rhinoceros by Eugene Ionesco premiered in 1950 with inspirations from World War II. It takes place in a small provincial town that seems to be invaded by rhinoceros, but soon the townspeople discover they are turning into them and there is no escape. Berenger (Mario Aivazian) witnesses his best friend Jean (Kevin Pape), his co-workers, and his girlfriend Daisy (Jaimie Kautzmann) morph into the very thing that he wished not to become rhinoceros.

Berenger played by Mario Aivazian delivered a realistic and enthralling performance. His acting and quarrelling was authentic. His intimacy with other actors read as a natural chemistry especially in scenes with Jean played by Kevin Pape. His transformation into a rhinoceros captured the intensity of the metamorphosis.

The ensemble worked as a unit in a militant manner. They secured the soundness of their performance with concentrated movement. The sound of their rhythmic stomps brought smallness to the house.

The ensemble, which was also the stage crew, worked as one like an army carrying their characters onstage as they swiftly changed the sets. Costumes color choices were crisp and consistent with scenes. Through some character’s make-up seemed to mask the actor’s expressions, it was overridden by the actor’s clarity of line delivery. Lighting by James Parrott established the mood and assisted in the transition of scenery.

South Plantation High School’s Rhinoceros told many stories about the vicissitudes of society.

by Deanna Susser of American Heritage Center for the Arts


After the tragic times of World War II, many people were afraid and decided to be more reserved on the way they thought. In 1959, finally Eugene Ionesco decided to show the world something funny in which they can relate to by mocking the Nazis in the 1940's.

“One must commit oneself to a significant cause in order to give life meaning”, Jean tells Berenger as he helps him overcome his alcohol problem. This sentence foreshadows the rest of the show. Berenger, who in the beginning is seen as an alcoholic, apathetic person grows more responsible and concern about the world around him. This is also the main theme of the play, since Berenger commits to change himself so he can overcome and try to change the people that are being manipulated around him.

South Plantation High production of “Rhinoceros” was witty, passionate, and it had truly heart racing scenes at times. Every person in the cast truly gave their all and gave a great performance with this intricate play.

Mario Aivazian portrayer of Berenger play was very smart. His character was a hard person to portray since he tended to have many flaws and major changes. In the third act his acting was very impressive, his transformation from normal guy to extreme lunatic made the play’s climax intense and consuming. Jean (Kevin Pape) was witty, intelligent and sophisticated with his character not to mention that that in Act II, Scene II his transformation was fantastic and even scary sometimes.

The ensemble for this show was great. The group of people dressed as soldiers to represents the rhinos had symbolism to the fact that it was related to the Nazis, the fact that in every single scene there were more and more was intimidating. Other characters that really stood out were the little old lady (Anika Gomez) who even though didn’t have much to do with her character it was very comical and lively and Mrs. Boef (Joanna Salas) who made people laugh with her occurrences like taking hold of her crucifix and praying for her husband..

The lighting was very creative and clever; it made the audience feel more interested in the play. It was beautiful when the rhinos came and the lighting in the back changed from a blue to a beautiful red. The sound was very realistic; sometimes it made the audience feel as if they were actually being attacked by rhinos. The makeup for the old gentleman and the costumes for Daisy were very impressive also.

This play had a lot to do with the controversies people deal with today. Anyone can fall into a way of thinking by being persuaded or “brainwashed” by society. The urge to be like everyone else and not standing up for what you believe in.

by Andrea Acosta of Archbishop Edward McCarthy High School


Rhinoceros is a zealous production about conformity, and the role it plays in our lives.  Although conformity is generally an abstract entity, as opposed to a real person that we can see and hear, it takes on a personified form in Rhinoceros.  All but one character ends up conforming in this play; to conform, one has to turn into a rhinoceros, hence the name of the play, either by choice or possibly no choice at all. Part of the energy of this show was the cast’s impressive ability to pull off the fast-paced dialogue with class.  The minority of the cast who didn’t share this aspect, such as the The Little Old Man and The Little Old Man’s Wife, did not need to.  So two thumbs up for the energy of everyone in this play.

The energy all starts on a Sunday morning, in a Small Provincial Town.  The Cafe Proprietor and his Waitress are setting up shop along with The Grocer and his Wife.  A Logician and an Old Gentleman come strolling in, talking animatedly, though the audience is not meant to know what they are saying.  The last two people to come into the scene are Jean and Berenger, who are meeting for a Sunday morning breakfast.  Over the course of their meal Berenger’s drinking problem is publicized to the audience, and Jean’s confidence commands the stage as he gives Berenger a tie and a comb, right out of his pocket, to clean up. The show’s lead actor, Mario Aivazian, plays Berenger.  Jean is played by Kevin Pape.  The bond between Jean and Berenger is one of the best parts of this play.  Right before the first rhinoceros appears, Berenger promises Jean that he will clean up his actóhe will give up drink and enlarge his mind with museums and the theater.

Then a mighty rumble is heard in the distance, and while everyone else remains wary, Jean gets up to look.  The noise is a rampaging rhinoceros.  Comically, those on stage gawk at the large animal, which is really two high school students dressed in camouflage green, shouting “Huh!” rhythmically.  Throughout the play, the rhinoceroses multiply in number.  With each conversion, Berenger becomes more and more against the whole idea of conformity.  But he is all alone.  Eventually, even Daisy, his true love, turns away from him in his fanatic opposition to the rhinoceroses, and joins them.  By the resolution, Berenger, dressed in red, a shocking contrast to the rhinoceroses dark green, is surrounded by them.  His last line is a forceful defiance: “I will not capitulate!” and then the rhinoceroses shoot up their hands and the stage lights shut off.

Rhinoceros was an enjoyable show, from start to finish.  Being an absurdist play, it enlarged the imagination of the audience.  The rhinoceroses stand for the entity of conformity, and Berenger is its antithesis.  Seeing this show raised many questions about individuality, and conformity, and which is better.  Two thumbs way up for the Paladin Playhouse, for putting on such an illuminating performance.  Rhinoceros was truly a fresh thought for all who witnessed it.

by Casey O'Loughlin of Archbishop Edward McCarthy High School

Is the world truly content with being different? Is human kind better off as a conformist society? Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros, performed by South Plantation High School on Saturday, December 1, tackles this question.

First produced in 1959, this absurdist play contains issues still coherent to modern times. The main concern addressed is the issue of assimilating- how far is one pushed before caving into peer pressure? This piece takes place in a small city soon trampled by rhinos.

Although Berenger (Mario Aivazian) is indifferent about this fact, his best friend Jean (Kevin Pape) and the other town locals disagree, resulting in a tiff. By the time Berenger does feel concerned, it is far too late- the whole town, including his love interest, Daisy (Jaimie Kautzmann) and Jean, have transformed into rhinoceroses. Berenger is therefore the last human being on earth. Instead of corresponding, he decides that he will fight all the rhinoceros.

As if the story itself wasn’t dramatic enough, aesthetic lighting added to the effect. Brilliant shades of red and purple filled the stage each time the rhinoceroses stormed the aisles and stage. For calming scenes of dialogue and even humor, more demure colors like green and yellow were shown in the background. Drums and the grunting sounds of rhinos made the audiences shudder as horrific scenes of propaganda and compliance became increasingly realistic. There were scarce technical and sound difficulties.

Humorous moments occurred as well. Pre-intermission, both the Housewife (Crystal Gray) and the Old Gentleman (Jason Rosen) provided plenty of laughs. The Waitress, played by Carol Ann Rock, was equally funny. Post-intermission, it was the Little Old Man (John Encalada) and his wife (Anika Gomez) that made the audience chuckle. With witty one-liners and facial expressions, it was hard to resist laughing at the slap-stick comedy presented.

Overall, South Plantation’s production of Rhinoceros was a success. Smooth and rapid scene changes were the glue that held this production together, as well as enthusiasm and zeal from the actors. With realistic acting, props, makeup and costumes, one had to feel their forehead to check if a rhino horn was growing there!

by Natalya Jones of Archbishop Edward McCarthy High School

There are Rhinoceros’ taking over the city! Everyone is in a full-on panic! Or, at least South Plantation High School is in their rendition of Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros.

This absurdist play was written in 1959 by Ionesco and is often read as a response to the uprising of Fascism after World War II. We begin in a small town square where we see two friends, Jean and Berenger, bickering at a cafe. Soon they witness a rhinoceros run straight through town, shortly followed by another. The townspeople being rapidly changing into rhinos one by one though out the duration until none are left but Berenger.

The play overall was indeed absurd, but enjoyable nonetheless. There were few line flubs and no noticeable mistakes from anyone. Each member of the cast contributed something eccentric and special to the performance, keeping the show light hearted and quite funny.

Mario Aivazian gave an immaculate performance as Berenger, displaying his talent though the intense character development his character shows though out the play. Jaimie Kautzmann portrayed a passionate Daisy very well and had excellent chemistry with Mario (Berenger), in the role of her boyfriend.

The supporting cast is not to be forgotten, featuring Carol Ann Rock as a frustrated waitress, Crystal Gray as a philandering housewife, and Bryon Orr as a hunky fireman. Each and every person added something wonderful and different to the play, making it a lovely experience.

However, the show by far was stolen by the ensemble of rhinos stampeding though the aisles of the auditorium. Each of the growing ensemble stayed in character though some serious inactivity. They took to the floor in twos, jogging in step and calling out in unison to portray the rhinos.

The set of Rhinoceros was incredible with huge whimsical structures that when arranged in a certain order, as seen in the performance, made the shape of a larger-than-life rhinoceros. Gorgeous back lighting set certain moods quickly when needed and were aesthetically pleasing though and though.

All in all South Plantation High put on a riveting performance of Rhinoceros that one could never forget.

by Amber Anderson of Coconut Creek HS

Originally an absurdist play by Eugene Ionesco, Rhinoceros tells the story of a French town plagued by rhinoceroses. These are not ordinary rhinoceroses, but people who have been victims of "rhinoceritis." Or is it something else entirely?  This is what we come to find out as rhinoceroses crowd the stage of South Plantation High School’s production of Rhinoceros.

The "epidemic" of the rhinoceroses serves as a convenient allegory for the mass uprising of Nazism and fascism before and during World War II. Ionesco's main reason for writing Rhinoceros is not simply to criticize the horrors of Nazis, but to explore the mentality of those who so easily succumbed to Nazism. A universal consciousness that subverts individual free thought and will defines this mentality; in other words, people get rolled up in the snowball of general opinion around them, and they start thinking what others are thinking. The main character is Berenger, a Frenchman who likes to drink a lot. Berenger doesn't seem to mind when a rhinoceros first appears running past his town square, while he is talking with his friend Jean. Everybody else is astounded, but they are truly horrified when the same rhinoceros (or maybe another one) returns and even kills a cat. Even that doesn't shake Berenger, unfortunately. The situation is almost dramatically altered later, when Berenger realizes that many of his
acquaintances are turning into rhinoceros without apparent reason. The pertinent questions are quite a few, for instance: will rhinoceros ultimately prevail? And can an average person resist to conformity, or is the temptation to be like everybody else to big? Berenger doubts his own humanity. Ical inspects photographs and cannot recognize any of his former friends, but he does identify himself and hangs three of his pictures on the wall beside the rhino heads. They turn out to be pictures of unattractive people and, compared to the elegant rhino heads, are even more grotesque. He envies the bodies of the rhinos, but at the brink of desperation, he nevertheless decides that he will fight the rhinos, a symbol that humanity will ultimately prevail and will never conform.

Mario Aivazian as Berenger portrayed his lead character with great confidence. He was especially impressive during the last scene of the play when he is confused on whether he conforms to the new society of rhinos or whether he sticks to his morals and overcomes the pressure. Aivazian seemed to understand his character perfectly, with powerful emotion and great presence he shined throughout the entire show drawing the audience closer and closer to his character. Kevin Pape was outstanding as Jean. The transition he made from a human being into a rhinoceros was incredible. Pape’s physical movements, hoarse voice, and powerful rage made the transition not only believable but exceptional as well.

Another noteworthy character included Jaimie Kautzmann as Daisy. Kautzmann played Daisy with a great sense of innocence. She was especially impressive in the last scene when she decides to conform to the new society of rhinoceroses even if it meant losing Berenger and going against everything he stood for.

Another striking part of the show was the technical aspect of it. From the sound and lighting to the set, props, and gorgeous costumes, every part of it was nearly flawless. The lighting was absolutely gorgeous as it changed colors everytime the stampede of rhinoceroses came on stage, it was always on cue and added beauty and suspense to the show. It was absolutely enticing. The sound was also great. Every actor was heard clearly with very little interference. The props and costumes were also very impressive with props such as a dead and beaten cat and the symbolism of the rhinoceroses green costumes with a green cap which added unity to the rhinos.

As a whole, the cast showed outstanding energy and really showed the importance of the symbolism of the show.  Although some actors stumbled with their lines they made up for it with their endless enthusiasm. The ensemble of the show (the rhinos) really showed their unity and added so much to the creepiness, symbolism, and absurdity of the show with their creepy hand motions and their deathlike breathing sounds.

All in all South Plantation High School certainly did not fail to touch the audience with the message and moral of the show, that one should never conform to the pressures of society as Berenger says, “Sometimes one does harm without meaning to, or rather one allows to go unchecked.”

by Alexis Gedallovich of David Posnack Hebrew Day School

How far would you go to conform? Dye your hair a certain color, change your weight, turn into a rhinoceros? Yes, I did say turn into a rhinoceros, because that is what happens in the absurdist play Rhinoceros. Written by Eugene Ionesco in 1959 and performed by the cast of South Plantation High School in 2007, Rhinoceros deals with issues of conformity: how far will you go to fit in and how far not to?

In a small provincial town one Sunday afternoon, Berenger and his good friend Jean meet at a cafe. It is an ordinary calm and peaceful day until suddenly a rhinoceros stampedes through the town. Excitement overwhelms the townspeople, but when a second rhinoceros tramples over a woman’s cat, chaos ensues. The next day at work, Berenger’s colleagues, Dudard and Botard, get into a heated discussion over whether or not the events had actually occurred. Then a third rhinoceros is sighted and everyone is forced to admit the reality. The odd thing is that Mrs. Boef is sure that this rhinoceros is her husband; she jumps out the window onto her husband’s back and rides off with him. More and more sightings are being reported and more and more people are getting “rhinoceritis”.  This doesn’t really faze Berenger until Jean becomes one of them; but by then it is too late.

South Plantation High School’s cast and crew did a fantastic job portraying the intensity of the situation. By having the cast interact closely with the audience, they used the entire theater as part of their stage.

Mario Aivazian (Berenger) was superb. He was able to show how his character matured throughout the play and had great stage presence. His delivery was clear and understandable. Jaimie Kautzmann (Daisy) was also very good. As Berenger’s love interest, she influenced his character’s development.

Kevin Pape (Jean) was excellent. His metamorphosis into a rhinoceros really displayed his acting capability. John Encalada and Anika Gomez (The Little Old Couple) were adorable. Their roles helped the play by adding humor to the intense situation.

The lighting design and execution was beautiful blues and purples when calm and reds during alarm. The costumes were also flawless; the handmade costumes were gorgeous and the use of costume changes was essential to the play’s atmosphere.

Although written from the events of WWII, this play is relevant to our current culture as well as past.

by Meryl Stav of David Posnack Hebrew Day School


In a world of green, anything but is considered absurd. But is it really so absurd to fight for what you believe is right or, more absurd for the whole world around you to transform into rhinoceroses? The last remaining man, all in red, standing in the spot light, told the very symbolic story of Rhinoceros, an absurdist play written by Eugene Ionesco in the late 1950’s and performed this year by South Plantation High School.

Mario Aivazian as Berenger, gave a believable performance portraying a struggling man working his way back up. With great diction, making it easy to understand, he told so much of his internal struggle not only with his lines but with his very humorous physical acting as well. His female counter part, Daisy, played by Jaimie Kautzmann, looked very natural and comfortable onstage also possessing good diction and believable acting skills.
As one of the most difficult parts of high school theater to be pulled off, all of South Plantation’s tech was executed with no visible errors. Beautiful and artistically designed lighting that was used for so much, and microphones that were tuned with the highest standards, to the very abundant props that were always moving though never in the way and never distracted; every aspect joined only to better SPHS’s nearly professional production. 

Besides all the featured actors, many performers left lasting impressions, no matter their amount of stage time. A shirtless fireman there to save the day, had many girls fawning over him with every swig he took from his hip flask. Or, the little old man and his wife whose unforgettable antics as they shuffled to the door, evoked a roar of laughter from the audience. Or even the Logician, who talked non-stop about nothing that would culminate  inconclusively; each of these characters could be considered the final touches, a cherry on top. 

A total sensory experience is the only way in which this SPHS production can be described; the fear of the rhinos that swept the audience as they marched through the aisles or the suggestive lighting that explained so much. All the technical aspects that were wrapped up by the acting ability came together for a superb rendition of Rhinoceros.

by Oren Zadik of David Posnack Hebrew Day School


A deep, guttural grunting filled the air as rhinoceroses crowded all available space, beckoning toward the audience, breathing heavily and reaching for anyone in their vicinity.  So the tension built in South Plantation High School’s rendition of the absurdist play Rhinoceros, by Eugene Ionesco.

Produced shortly after World War II, Ionesco’s drama combines absurd humor with abstract logic in order to convey a deeper message about society to the audience. Themes of will and responsibility, logic and absurdity, fascism and the struggle for individuality recur throughout the play, as an entire village of people gradually transforms into rhinoceroses.

Mario Aivazian shone as the protagonist Berenger with consistent strength and confidence in his persona. Aivazian transformed his character from an apathetic alcoholic into the savior of humanity seamlessly, delivering each line with emotion and aptitude.

Kevin Pape delivered a memorable performance as Jean, Berenger’s cultured, arrogant friend. Pape’s transformation into a rhinoceros at the conclusion of Act I was especially striking, as Pape progressively augmented his aggression and deepened his vocal tone with definite talent.

The production’s atmosphere was heightened with impeccable lighting by James Parrott. Each cue was precise and beautiful, with colors ranging from pacific blues and yellows to intense reds and hues of magenta. Despite the odd glitch, sound by Rene Martinez was also unblemished and enhancing.

The illusion of rampaging rhinoceroses was masterfully accomplished through the usage of creative costumes, designed by Kellie Smith. The ensemble of rhinos was dressed in a uniform of dark green army fatigues, with a military cap representing a horn. This application was not only creative, it was also necessary to showcase a vital theme of fascism in the play, creating the illusion of hordes of Nazi-like soldiers filling the theatre.

The entire cast worked together to create a fantastic, flowing show. Functioning as the cast and crew, the ensemble of rhinoceroses represented a unified, formidable force of power and energy. South Plantation High School’s production of Rhinoceros will have the “song of the rhinos” ringing in your ears for days to come.

by Seren Gedallovich of David Posnack Hebrew Day School


Obscurity runs amuck in the form of rhinoceroses as anarchy takes over a small town in South Plantation High School’s production of Rhinoceros.  The sensory-pleasing show alloyed complex issues of conformity with the whimsical theatre of the absurd format.

The acclaimed play was written in 1959 by Eugene Ionesco, a forefront playwright of the absurdity movement who intended his animal-ridden script to be a response to the nefariousness of Nazism and Fascism.  The play was later adapted as a film starring Gene Wilder as well as a musical.

Rhinoceros begins with a conversation between dear friends clean-cut Jean and drunkard Berenger.  Abruptly, a rhinoceros tramples through the scene, in this case, the entire theatre.  Confusion and disgust toward the vulgar creatures soon turns to admiration and desire of their free spirit.  Characters gradually become rhinoceroses, including Berenger’s foil Jean, leading Berenger to question his morality and sanity.

Mario Aivazian communicated his role as Berenger exquisitely.  Combining an intended gruff diction with the air of impressive paranoia of the rhinos, Aivazian almost seemed like a caricature, perhaps as homage to the absurd theme of the play.  As Berenger’s best friend Jean, whose slow metamorphosis was aesthetically met with his jerky and seemingly unprecedented movements, Kevin Pape mastered the hoarse intonation during his infamous scene of transformation.

The ensemble cleverly worked as the crew with unctuous scene changes, all the while dressed in green military outfits to represent the Rhinos.  The rhinoceroses’ entrances throughout the show were announced with militant runs and thundering grunts, serving as a rhythmic yet apt cutting atmosphere to each transmutation of the characters.

James Parrott ingeniously added to the show with his design of vivid-colored lighting.  A red background for each conversion, a spotlight scanning the theatre during a search, and a manipulation of light as a lone window added a layer of art, an excellent comprehension of the absurd play.

Rhinoceros mirrors virtually every era where societal behavior repeats itself.  South Plantation High’s production was a memorable form of farce and proved to be a delightful show.

by Ara Parikh of Deerfield Beach High School


The sounds of thundering feet and eerie groans filled the theatre, drawing the audience in to the climax of South Plantation High School’s production of “Rhinoceros", an absurdist play written by Eugene Ionesco to illustrate the dangers of conformity with an effectual exaggerated plot.

Jean, a sophisticated young man, meets his friend, the scruffy and semi-alcoholic Berenger, to discuss his indiscretions. As they chat, the peaceful town is disturbed by a stampeding rhinoceros. As time passes, Berenger realizes that the number of rhinoceroses is growing; whereas, the human population of his provincial town has dropped significantly. The townspeople are willingly choosing to become rhinoceroses. When Berenger watches the refined Jean transform before his eyes, it becomes increasingly apparent to him he must resist the transformation, and save the townspeople.

Mario Aivazian (Berenger) displayed an adept portrayal of his character, bringing in passion and fear, which added to the tension build of the play. Also notable was Aivazian’s chemistry with Kevin Pape, who portrayed Jean. The pair demonstrated a great connection throughout the character’s friendship, and an appropriate strained interaction during the arguments. Pape’s delineation of Jean’s transformation was a memorable moment in the play, as it was hoarse and passionate.

The production was dotted with moments of comedy, such as the short-lived presence of Jean’s elderly neighbors, as well as the Fireman’s brief, yet memorable appearance. These moments of comedy served well to offset the incredible suspense created by the ensemble of rhinoceroses, who maintained a savage, eerie unity which properly represented the message of conformity.

Overall, the technical aspects of this performance were aesthetically pleasing, in addition to having purpose driven by the script and good execution. The lighting designed by James Parrott used colors to not only set the mood for the moments of pachyderm presence, but also highlighted details like the entrance of light to a scene through a window.

The set design consisted of five odd-shaped columns painted shades of green, which in the final act, formed the shape of a rhinoceros, a detail which allied the idea of total transformation.

South Plantation High School’s production of “Rhinoceros” was a celebration of a strong ensemble matched with appropriate technical feats, clearly highlighting the absurdist nature of Eugene Ionesco’s script.

by Caroline Sileo of Deerfield Beach High School


Our society has changed over the past centuries at a fairly consistent rate; that is to say, constantly. Whether it is fashion, war, or space travel, decisions are being made on a daily basis which will change the future of mankind. What exactly is it that allows these decisions to take over and change our society? What makes them so powerful? South Plantation High School answered these questions via their production of “Rhinoceros”, which allowed its audience to experience the changes of a society through the loss of individuality in the conformation of people.

“Rhinoceros” is an absurdist play which was written by Ionesco, post World War II, in order to express how he viewed the fiendish activities displayed by humans, extracted by the war. Though it was first produced in 1959, the issues, emotions, and conformity the play highlights are all factors which are still prevalent in our society today, almost fifty years later.

Though some chemistry within the production felt forced, and some characters seemed to swallow their lines in the fast pace of the production, the amount of energy, the smooth technical affects, and the use of the auditorium in order to involve the audience and literally make the play an experience to participate in emotionally, rather than connect to visually, not only drew attention away from these flaws, but made up for them.

Mario Aivazian (Berenger) managed to accomplish something which is truly difficult in the acting world; that being displaying the growth of a character. His character started out gawky and awkward, unsure of himself, and not very well put-together. Throughout the course of the production, Mario managed to grow into an individual who was willing and strong enough to be the sole survivor of the human race, and at a believably progressive rate.

Kevin Pape (Jean) displayed a range of emotions as he went through his transformation on stage that was powerful, believable, and eerie. Kevin managed to stand out from the ensemble, particularly at the end, because everything from his facial expressions to his mannerisms contrasted the character once known as Jean. Jason Rosen (The Old Gentleman) delivered his lines with a savvy which made his portrayal of a perhaps phony old man an eye-catcher and an amusing aspect of the play. Though his role was short-lived, everything from his spotlight introduction to his few delivered lines collaborated to make Bryon Orr (A Fireman) an unforgettable part of the show.

Lights, designed by James Parrott, proved to be beautifully transitioned, and the mood lighting was appropriate to the growth of play. Though set changes weren’t necessarily time-efficient, they too appeared to be part of the play. The members of the stage crew duplicated the mannerisms of the rhinoceroses, walking in as a stoic army and completing their tasks with precision.

Through an incredibly well-rehearsed ensemble, technical aspects which only added to the overall production, and the involvement of the audience, “Rhinoceros” was, as promised, a play which one must be there to experience.

by Dana Nieuwkerk of Deerfield Beach High School


The historical elements of pre-World War II fascism, communism, and Nazism intertwined with rhinoceros metamorphoses in a small town are all incredibly prevalent in South Plantation High’s production of Rhinoceros.

Eugene Ionesco’s tragic farce is set in a small, provincial French town.  It tells the story of Berenger, an apathetic man known for his tardiness and his proclivity to alcohol.  His friend Jean tries to persuade him continuing to live his life in such a way, but the two begin quarreling with each other and Jean storms off.  Meanwhile, rhinoceroses are terrorizing the town.  One-horned ones, two-horned ones ñ no one truly knows, but they are becoming ever more numerous.  Eventually everyone except Berenger has succumbed to the metamorphosis.  However, the protagonist of the play refuses to be consumed by it and vows to fight the rhinos.
Each performer is to be commended for his or her contribution to the success of the overall production.  Onstage the cast exhibited poise, energy, and consistent characterizations throughout the course of the performance ñ a daunting task that most high school performances cannot fully accomplish.  Even though there were some lapses in articulation and occasionally some lines were swallowed, the performers overcome their problems with their multifarious acting talents.

Mario Aivazian commanded the stage with his leading role as Berenger.  Not only were his facial nuances and characterizations able to truly capture the hysteria that was prevalent in Berenger’s little town, but his words also paralleled the action with masterful articulation.

Kevin Pape displayed his exceptional acting talents in his portrayal of Jean.  Especially notable was his rather violent transformation into the rhinoceros- the hoarse voice, heavy breathing and grunting, and frantic disposition all encapsulated an incredible performance.

Jaimie Kautzmann magnificently developed into her character of Daisy between the second and third acts.  She displayed a wide range of performing abilities, especially in her emotional last scene with Berenger.  And of course, who could forget the memorable cameo appearance of Bryon Orr as A Fireman?  The reaction from the female members of the audience as he came onstage simply epitomized his enticing performance.

The ensemble of the Rhinoceroses was as unique as it was exceptional.  The members’ displayed their abilities of rhythmic grunting, peculiar rhinoceros-like singing, and synchronized jogging and marching.  The very last scene in which the entire ensemble surrounded the unyielding Berenger was one of the best in the entire production. 

The technical screw was nearly without fault in the performance.  The military-precise, efficient scene changes were fluid and swift.  Although there were a few problems with the sound, they were absolutely overshadowed by the beautiful lighting design by James Parrott that accentuated the intense performance. 

A play that is incredibly absurd and comical and yet intellectually stimulating in regards to its historical and symbolic value, Rhinoceros makes for a difficult task, but the cast and crew of South Plantation High made it seem easy.

by Mohammad Islam of Deerfield Beach High School


With underlying fascist themes that can still be applied to today’s society, South Plantation’s production of “Rhinoceros” was creative, visually stunning, and at times shockingly realistic.

Written by Eugene Ionesco in 1959, “Rhinoceros” is an absurdist play that centers on a man named Berenger and his journey towards individuality. The production commences in a small provincial town, where a rhino stampede startles the citizens. At first, the townspeople seem determined to put an end to these stampedes, but as the play continues more rhinos appear and gradually all of the characters transform into rhinos themselves. Finally, Berenger is the last human left, and it is up to him to either stand on his own or conform with the masses and become a rhinoceros.

Mario Aivazian, as Berenger, rendered a phenomenal performance. His transformation from a drunk, careless fool into a caring and perceptive individual is truly exceptional. As Jean, Berenger’s best friend, Kevin Pape portrayed the role magnificently. Relying solely on his acting abilities to become a rhino, his metamorphosis scene, was particularly astonishing. Jaimie Kautzmann depicted the role of elegant Daisy, Berenger’s love interest, with refined grace and poise.

As the emotional Mrs. Boef, a woman who witnesses her husband conform to the rhinos, Joanna Salas conveyed immense passion and conviction.  The strikingly handsome and hilarious fireman, Bryon Orr, not only captured the attention of the characters on stage, but of the entire audience as well. The little old couple (John Encalada and Anika Gomez) added much needed comic relief with their humorous performances.

During set changes, the rhino ensemble would cleverly move set pieces in military-like movements, bestowing an eerie feeling throughout the entire production. Their unified grunts, marches, and various hand movements, very similar to those of famous Fascist movements, were at times powerfully disturbing.

The gigantic, “jungle-like” canvases of the set were pleasing to the eye, and at a closer glance resembled pieces of a rhino. The doors and windows were all camouflaged within the structures, while the beautiful light hues added to the spectacle of the entire show. The sound was impeccable throughout the performance; especially enjoyable were the rhino sound effects as they take over the radio station with their propaganda.

The costumes, some of which were designed by Kellie Smith, were beautiful and appealing. Cleverly using green to differentiate between the rhinos and the other characters, it was no surprise when Berenger walked on stage with a red robe, symbolizing his non-conformity. The props, designed by Mercedes Brandt, were also extremely impressive. From a “run-over” cat to an authentic typewriter, they enhanced the atmosphere of the entire production.   

Thought-provoking, breath-taking, and at times utterly absurd, South Plantation high school’s production of “Rhinoceros” was nothing short of brilliant.

by Leanne Agmon of JP Taravella High School



Just beyond a small provincial town and an epidemic of Rhinoceritis, lay EugËne Ionesco’s “Rhinoceros”, the story of Berenger, a man who drinks too much, believes too little and is struck by the savageness around him. His companions, neighbors and all others in the town begin to gradually morph into rhinoceroses, leaving Berenger contemplating his “sense of duty to his fellow man.”

The ensemble, consisting of human rhinoceros, worked together in perfect harmony. Each marched step and grunt was rhythmic and consistent even while stampeding through the house. As a whole, the ensemble maintained a high level of professionalism and energy, which made the production appear crisp and extremely well polished.

Mario Aivazian masterfully portrayed Berenger, the free-spirited alcoholic. His progression from a refined man to a product of savageness was particularly chilling. Especially captivating was his monologue in the mirror, when he began to question his place in society and was undeniably consumed by conformity. His authentic relationships with each character, particularly Jean (Kevin Pape,) provided some wonderfully breath-taking moments.

One marvelous aspect of the production was the creative use of color scheme. Different shades of greens and grays appeared in the furniture, clothing and props, which portrayed conformity and was extremely pleasing to the eye. Set changes led by Joe Rawda were seamless and professional. Performers entered and exited briskly, making these changes as smooth as possible while contributing to the uniformed appeal of the production.

Despite some flubbed lines and minor awkward pauses, sound operated by Rene Martinez was executed efficiently and each cast member was audible throughout the entire production. The elaborate lighting (James Parrott) was tackled ably, with resplendent changes and silhouettes working effectively to create an intense setting. Each change in the lighting appropriately set the atmosphere for the mood being portrayed on stage, whether it be lighthearted and comical or powerful and angry.

South Plantation High School's riveting production of "Rhinoceros" was carried by a herd of undeniably talented and dedicated performers and accented by creatively complex technical aspects. As a whole, cast and crew, whether African or Asiatic, one horned or two, rose to the task of this poignant production with capability and ingenuity.

by Samantha Sehter of JP Taravella High School




“Rhinoceros,” by Eugene Ionesco, is an extraordinary tale of one man’s struggle to retain his humanity while the world around him has chosen otherwise. As an absurdist play in response to the atrocities of World War II, the piece carefully questions the role of the individual in society, which South Plantation High School portrayed superbly.

Berenger, an ordinary and upright man, has fallen in love with his charming coworker, Daisy. After a rhinoceros tramples through the streets of their provincial town, Berenger and his friend, Jean, argue about the animal’s appearance until Jean leaves in a fit of anger. As he attempts to apologize for the dispute, Berenger witnesses his comrade transform into one of the beasts, and is horrified to find that the epidemic has spread to the townspeople as well. Once Daisy succumbs to the temptation, Berenger is faced with the decision of surrendering to the rhinoceroses, or maintaining his individuality and fighting their widespread conformity.

Mario Aivazian was outstanding as Berenger. Infusing his performance with passion and excitement, Aivazian mastered the show’s difficult dialogue and created a character that was engaging from beginning to end. As Jean, Kevin Pape played the affluent entrepreneur with immense audacity, and his dynamic chemistry with Aivazian was particularly noticeable. Jamie Kautzmann, too, exuded confidence and compassion as Daisy, demonstrating a true understanding of her character through fitting mannerisms during the production.

As the Housewife, Crystal Gray instilled the frenzied feline-lover with enthusiasm that had the audience laughing whenever she appeared onstage. Anika Gomez, as the Little Old Man’s Wife, and Carol Ann Rock, as the Waitress, likewise gave noteworthy performances, commanding attention for their hilarious portrayals that defined memorable moments within the play.

Behind the elaborate set, a vibrant backdrop shifted between vivid colors to fit both the setting and transformations of the characters. Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the show, however, was the enormous ensemble work seen throughout. By using the aisles as pathways for rampaging rhinos, South Plantation’s production proved itself to be more than simply a visually entertaining experience.

Although occasional glitches in sound were present, the technical crew should be commended for their near flawless execution.

With a impressive cast to take on a piece as challenging as “Rhinoceros,” South Plantation successfully put on an exceptional performance deserving nothing short of applause.

by David Friedman of North Broward Preparatory School


Theater of the absurd is known for being a complete sensory experience unlike anything ever seen; South Plantation High School’s production of Rhinoceros was no exception. The perfect blend of tragedy, comedy, and sophistication, this production of Rhinoceros (written in 1959 by Eugene Ionesco) was nothing short of mesmerizing.

Rhinoceros begins in the town square of a small, provincial town, on a calm morning with two men, Berenger and Jean talking at a cozy cafe. A rhinoceros unexpectedly stampedes through the village and all sense of peace disappears.  An uproar ensues throughout the town and the two men begin to argue. Berenger later meets Jean at his apartment to apologize but notices that Jean is not acting like himself. Soon like many of the other townspeople, Jean transforms into a rhinoceros. Finally only Berenger and Daisy, his coworker and love interest, remains human. However, ultimately Berenger is the only person who could defy the rhinoceroses and remain human amidst all the horror.

Mario Aivazian gave a passionate and powerful performance as Berenger. Aivazian displayed a keen understanding and commitment to the show itself. His impeccable timing in both comedic and dramatic scenes was truly exceptional. Kevin Pape, as Jean, maintained a meritorious level of energy and concentration and executed his transformation from man to rhinoceros with great focus. Jaimie Kautzmann, as Daisy, displayed superb stage presence and showed her commitment to her extremely complicated and intricate role flawlessly.

John Encalada, as the Little Old Man, and Anika Gomez, as The Little Old Man's Wife, displayed admirable comedic timing and complemented each other beautifully. Crystal Gray, as the housewife, also displayed excellent comedic timing. Joanna Salas, in her role as Mrs. Boef, delivered each line with extremely infectious enthusiasm and displayed great energy. Bryon Orr as a fireman made the most out of his part. Orr displayed such stage presence that he was simply unforgettable.

The beautiful set made each scene a pleasure to watch and eventually each set piece fit together to form a rhinoceros. The lighting design was simply exquisite and set changes were executed with flawless fluidity by the ensemble of rhinos.

Minor problems included missed microphone cues and some simple set changes took more time than necessary.

South Plantation's compelling production of Rhinoceros was a sophisticated adaptation of an unforgettable piece of Absurdist Theater not to be missed by any theatergoer.

by Jessica Kent of North Broward Preparatory School


Stampede! A herd of rhinoceroses are on the attack! In fact, the rhinoceros epidemic has already affected South Plantation High School. Their magnificent presentation of the absurdist play Rhinoceros by Eugene Ionesco created a panic of whether the audience, too, would transform into green, horned creatures.

Rhinoceros follows Berenger, an average working citizen, in his struggle with the constantly increasing rhinoceros population in an average French provincial town. He and his best friend, Jean, argue over whether the rhinoceroses that pass by have one horn or two horns, and their fight leads Jean to turn into a rhinoceros. Before long, all of the townspeople and office workers, including a grocer, a waitress, and a logician, begin dropping like flies, or rhinoceroses.

Each and every member of the cast and crew gave a flawless performance. They had astounding chemistry amongst one another, and their dedication and joy throughout the show was palpable. The most notable action was that of using the house as part of the stage. The audience was forced to be constantly on the lookout for the militant herd of rhinoceroses to enclose the large theatre.

Mario Aivazian (Berenger) gave a captivating performance. He was extremely believable and maintained his character throughout the show. With the most stage time, not only did he not fumble on a single line, but he also carried the weight of the production most eloquently. Daisy, portrayed by Jaimie Kautzmann, transformed enormously throughout the show. She introduced herself as cute, but by the end she was emotionally significant and intense.

Kevin Pape (Jean) had excellent chemistry with Mario Aivazian (Berenger), and his realistic transformation into a rhinoceros left nothing to be desired. His attachment to Berenger even after he became a rhinoceros was eerie and disturbing, rightly so. The Old Gentleman (Jason Rosen), the housewife (Crystal Gray), the Little Old Man (John Encalada), the Little Old Man’s Wife (Anika Gomez), and Dudard (Rob Oda) all added to the production both comedically and convincingly. Additionally, the fireman (Bryon Orr) was a memorable cameo performer. The ensemble of rhinoceroses was exact and haunting. Not only did they do the scene changes with militant precision, but they also added enormously to the second act as they followed Berenger across the front of the stage.

Every technical aspect of the show added to the performance. The costume choices, especially through Berenger and Daisy, were noteworthy. As Daisy’s attire and everyone else’s, moved toward green, like a rhinoceros, Berenger’s moved in the opposite direction, from green to bright red, exemplifying his resistance to conformity. The lighting enhanced the production as well. The beautifully lit backdrop changed to red or magenta when the rhinoceroses came through the audience, which helped set the stage.

Rhinoceros presented a significant message against conformity. Sometimes it is best not to turn green, but in South Plantation High School’s case, perhaps not.

by Gerri Sterne of West Boca High School


Welcome to this small provincial town where everyone knows each other and they all turn into rhinoceroses. Yea, you heard me, rhinoceroses. On Saturday night, I saw a very creative version of Rhinoceros at South Plantation High School.

Rhinoceros is a play written by Eugene Ionesco. This is an absurdist play written about the issues raised after World War 2. Rhinoceros is about a small town whit all its citizens slowly turning into rhinoceroses. At the top of the play a rhinoceros, or two, run through town and has people freaking out about it. After the first couple of transformations, the town is quickly engulfed with them. Ionesco cleverly uses the rhinos as a symbol for some sort of army that forces people to “voluntarily” turn into one of their own.

South Plantation High Schools production was anchored by the high intensity and energy. It was serious when it needed to be and when it was getting to intense, something funny was said to lighten the mood. The energy and intensity was not only from the principle cast, it was also coming from the ensemble.

The leads of this show were awesome. The character Jean, played Kevin Pape, had the transformation in act 3, and he did it beautifully. It could have been awkward and unrealistic, but that was not the case here. By the end of the scene, you could have sworn you saw a horn growing on his forehead. The character Berenger, played by Mario Aivazian, had a very interesting personality that shone through every time he was on the stage. At the end when he was on stage with all the rhinoceroses surrounding him, he demanded the audience’s attention with his strange intensity. Jaimie Kautzmann’s character was consistently growing and by the end of the play she was fully developed and a person could really relate to her.

Without the ensemble, there would be no rhinoceroses, and without the rhinos, the show would not be Rhinoceros. The ensemble took the role of the rhinos like an army. Very uniform and very creepy. They really added to the play nicely. They were not overpowering the people on stage, but you were aware of them eerily “singing” in the background.

Although there was some microphone feedback, the actors handled it professionally. The lighting to this show was gorgeous, blending beautifully and changing in appropriate times. The costumes gave a very nice touch. I love how as the other characters costumes got closer to the green of the rhinos, Berenger got further from green ending in a bright red robe. I also thought having the ensemble be the crew in rhino costume was very creative. The scene changes were very smooth and uniform, army like.

From the lighting to the acting, this show was done creatively and professionally. This show was written and performed well. I’m sure it was difficult to keep that level of intensity up, but the entire cast did a wonderful job. Overall, Rhinoceros  was an amazing show and a pleasure to watch.

by Jaimie Payano of West Boca High School


Looking to see a little romance, a little historical referencing, and a lot of people turning into rhinoceroses? Then you would have greatly enjoyed South Plantation High School’s rendition of Rhinoceros, on Saturday, December 1st 2007.

Produced shortly after World War II, the plot alludes heavily to the struggle with conformity to the Nazi party during the time of the war. Not only does this piece refer to historical times, but to man’s fight between individualism vs. conformity in today’s world as well. One by one, each townsperson turns into a rhinoceros, and by the end of the show the entire town has transformed with the exception of one man.

This performance included many unique aspects that set this show apart from many others. The sharp, militant movement of the rhino’s throughout the entire show was bone chilling and their unity engulfed the entire house. The technique of not blacking out during set changes successfully kept the flow of the play and the use of classical music while doing it was an impressive touch of creativity. These two techniques, along with many others, gave the play an individual flare.

During the first act, we are introduced to our two leading men, Jean, played by Kevin Pape, and Berenger, played by Mario Aivanzian. Both performances had an ordinary start, but it wasn’t before long, we were exposed to the undeniable talent of both men. Pape was consistent in his confident, clean character, but really broke out in scene III of acts II when he began to transform into a rhinoceros. The mannerisms of scratching his body, and constant grunting along with the sudden change in posture and body language proved Pape’s dedication to his role. Aivanazian proved himself worthy of all the stage time he got from beginning to end. From being clumsy, to hysterical, to torn inside and back again, he showed his true versatility as an actor. His performance was close to flawless and captured the hearts of many while on stage. The chemistry between the two was quite palpable and added a real aspect to such an absurdist piece. 

Although the lead characters were captivating, it was truly the ensemble that stole she show. Each member added something different to make for a powerful whole. The full commitment to each move they made added a certain strength and intensity to the show. Some rhino’s doubled as cameos to add some comic relief throughout. Bryan Orr, playing the fireman, broke the tension of a stampede with his drunken nature and pleasing pectorals, while others like the old Gentleman, played by Jason Rosen, portrayed the classic girl crazy old man, with his adorable and gullible character.

Technical aspects such as the lighting were very appropriate in every scene and took the play to a new level by contrasting the light when the rhinos came out vs. the regular lighting. The costumes were appropriate for each character, and Daisy’s outfits portrayed her character well. Aside from some mic issues, very little technical problems were noticeable.

Overall, South Plantation High school put on an impressive performance, showing creativity at its best.

by Monica Lewinger of West Boca High School


The pressures of conformity and the trouble finding individuality in a sea of sameness are two prevalent people today face. When the inhabitants of a rural town suddenly morph into rhinoceroses, the few remaining humans struggle to maintain their sanity and will power. Thus was the course of events of South Plantation High School’s production of Rhinoceros.

An abstract play, Rhinoceros was written by Eugene Ionesco shortly after WWII. His play is filled with many allegory symbols and subliminal themes which still apply to life today. This eccentric and though provoking show stresses the dangers of manipulation and submission. One by one, the townspeople transform into rhinos, leaving the few remaining humans isolated and frightened. The suspense quickly heightens as the numbers of humans dwindle away.

South Plantation’s performance was nothing short of extraordinary! Both cast and crew took on the complex task of staging an abstract play and performed it for the most part, without one flaw. The cast and crew seemed to get along extremely well together and worked as if they were a single unit (or a fluid herd of rhinos!)  Difficult scene changes were executed smoothly and a tricky parallel scene was done with perfect comedic timing! 

The lead character Berenger (who is one the last humans in the town as the epidemic spreads) was played brilliantly by Mario Aivazian. Aivazian’s wonderful stage presence and acting skills made him a favorite among the audience. He displayed remarkable talent as showcased his abilities during very emotional scenes. By doing this, Aivazian allowed the audience to feel the anguish and frustration his character experienced. The sweet and strong willed character of Daisy was portrayed by Jaimie Kautzmann.  Kautzmann showcased her character’s vulnerability and inner-strength poignantly. She engendered a feeling of hope during the most dark and dismal of scenes. Her chemistry with Aivazian should also be commended as the audience held on to their edge of their seat, riveted by her character’s actions. 

The standout among the rhinos was Kevin Pape, who played Jean. His transformation into a rhino was extraordinarily well done. His progression of different stages of morphing into a rhinoceros was very impressive.   The ensemble of rhinos worked in a unified, army-like fashion. Their exquisite militant mannerisms and timing contributed to the eerie mood that was slowly building as the play progressed. Whether trotting up and down the aisles, or moaning and creeping across the stage, the ensemble was a necessary evil to depict the premise of the play. The ensemble should be duly noted for their ability to always remain in character even when some of the featured actors slipped out.

The technical aspect of this show truly made the play wonderful to unfold. The lighting provided by James Parrott was executed beautifully with an assortment of hues.

This thought- provoking play is definitely one worth seeing.

by Stefanie Anarumo of West Boca High School



    Hosting Service donated by Cyrix Systems