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Politics of the Absurd Reading Series Comes to Baruch Performing Arts Center

Absurdist comedies by Eugène Ionesco, Franz Kafka, and Harold Pinter highlight modern political themes.

Adrienne Campbell-Holt will direct The Trial as part of the Politics of the Absurd reading series.
(© David Gordon)

A new reading series, Politics of the Absurd, will launch in February at the Baruch Performing Arts Center, featuring three classic absurdist comedies that speak to the current political climate.

The first selection is Eugène Ionesco's Rhinoceros (February 5-7), directed by Srda Vesiljevic. The play is described as follow: "It starts with two rhinoceroses (or was it the same one twice?), rampaging through the quiet town square, a momentary disruption to daily life. Very soon there are more, grunting and snorting, running amok and destroying everything in their path. Berenger, a kindhearted drunkard, is determined to resist, even as more and more of those around him make the transformation – but what can one simple man do in the face of such a monstrous force?"

Next will be Steven Berkoff's The Trial (March 5-7), adapted from the novel by Franz Kafka and directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt. "On the morning of his 30th birthday, Josef K. is unexpectedly arrested by two unidentified strangers from an unidentified agency for an unspecified crime. Confident of his innocence, despite not knowing the charges, K. sets out to face the justice system with the help of an increasingly bizarre cast of characters. With the web tightening around him, K. struggles to make sense of what is happening as he stumbles towards his inevitable fate."

The final piece of the series will be Harold Pinter's The Hothouse (April 5-7). "The scene is a government institution, possibly mental or possibly medical and presumably penal, run by Roote, a pompous man who may be even more psychologically disturbed than his wards. Faced with a perplexing dilemma — one of the patients has been murdered and another is pregnant, but no one seems to know anything about it — Roote orders his scheming lackeys to find the perpetrator. But the search for truth amongst the group of bumbling, sometimes sinister bureaucrats may have unexpected consequences."

Politics of the Absurd is presented by the 2016 T. Fellow Christopher Maring/CM Stage Productions.

For tickets and more information, click here.