Wellfleet, MA – In celebration of 35 years of theater, Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater returns to its roots, with a twist. Rhinoceros, Ionesco’s absurdist masterpiece and the play that started it all at WHAT, opens September 7. Running in tandem with Rhinoceros is Austin Pendleton ingenious Orson’s Shadow, opening September 14.
Written in 1959 in alarmed reaction to the mid-20th century proliferation of totalitarianism, Rhinoceros takes aim at the underlying roots and the seductively corrosive lure of herd mentality. Rhinoceros runs through September 28 and is directed by Daisy Walker, daughter of WHAT Founder Dan Walker– director of the 1985 production.
Orson’s Shadow is the tale of two Hollywood giants—Orson Welles and Laurence Olivier. The time is 1960; the place is a West End theater. Legendary critic Kenneth Tynan has made a startling proposal: Welles should direct Olivier and the young Joan Plowright in Rhinoceros. But it is the rehearsal process that brims with absurdity as titanic personalities wrestle the muse in this witty and incisive depiction of drama, both on and off-stage. Orson’s Shadow is directed by Brad Dalton and runs through September 29.
Previews for Rhinoceros are at 7:30 pm, September 5 & 6. Previews for Orson’s Shadow are at 7:30 pm, September 12 & 13. Ticket holders for Opening Nights, September 7 (Rhinoceros) and 14 (Orson’s Shadow), are invited to a 7 p.m. pre-show raw bar with champagne toast, and a post-show reception.
Performances are at 8 p.m. Tues.-Sat., and 2 p.m. Sundays and selected Saturdays. Please see calendar at what.org for dates and ticketing.
by Eugene Ionesco
Previews: 7:30 p.m. Sept. 5 & 6
Shows: 2 p.m. Sept. 8, 22 & 28; 8 p.m. Sept. 7, 18, 19, 21, 24 & 27
by Austin Pendleton
Previews: 7:30 p.m. Sept. 12 & 13
Shows: 2 p.m. Sept. 15, 21 & 29; 8 p.m. Sept. 14, 17, 20, 25 & 26
Tickets: $25-$39 (student and senior discounts available)
Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater
2357 Route 6, Wellfleet
508-349-9428 | www.what.org