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Gonzaga University Theatre's "Rhinoceros"

Josh Stamoolis and Justin Bees offer insight into Eugène Ionesco's allegorical play

Justin Bees and Josh Stamoolis, two members of Gonzaga University Theatre's main stage production of Rhinoceros, entered the KPBX studio to talk with E.J. Iannelli about the show.

The conceit of Eugène Ionesco's 1959 play is that the inhabitants of a small provincial town are turning into rhinoceroses. The antihero, Bérenger, is skeptical of the transformation and unwilling to submit to it himself. Often categorized as absurd, Rhinoceros is deeply allegorical and parallels Ionesco's own experiences in Romania during the rise of fascism.

Stamoolis is directing this production, and Bees is the Gonzaga student in the lead role of Bérenger. They explained the ways in which the characters rationalize their "rhinocerization," the costuming challenges associated with the characters' transmogrification and what they hope audiences take away from the show.

Rhinoceros opens this Friday, March 24, and runs until April 1 at the Harry and Colleen Magnuson Theatre (502 E Boone Ave) on the Gonzaga campus.

Tickets and more information are available by calling (509) 313-2787 or visiting

E.J. Iannelli is Spokane Public Radio's Arts and Music Director