Theatre of the Absurd Comes to UTD
In Form of Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano

RICHARDSON, Texas (March 16, 2005) —The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) will present absurdist playwright Eugene Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano, directed by Scott Osborne, April 8-10 and April 15-17 in the University Theatre on campus. Friday and Saturday performances will start at 8 p.m ., and the curtain will go up for Sunday performances at 2:30 p.m. 

Populated with bizarre characters and ridiculous situations, this uproarious and irreverent comic spectacle invites the spectator to laugh at the strange and mysterious nature of contemporary existence.

Photo, Eugene Ionesco
Eugene Ionesco's play The Bald Soprano
will be performed at UTD's University Theatre.

The play, originally titled La Cantatrice Chauve , is a prime example of what came to be known as the Theatre of the Absurd. This movement stemmed from the belief that the cosmos is meaningless and irrational and that a search for order would bring a person into conflict with the universe. In Ionesco’s world, the standard by which human beings evaluate their surroundingsis completely and utterly absurd: characters are taken aback by the commonplace, yet undaunted by the bizarre and nonsensical.

Ionesco (1912-1994) referred to The Bald Soprano as an “anti-play” and drew inspiration for much of the script from an English-language phrase book, which contained various trivial expressions that he found amusing. He later wrote that “the clichés and truisms of the conversation primer, which had once made sense . . . gave way to pseudo-clichés and pseudo-truisms; these disintegrated into wild caricature and parody, and in the end, language disintegrated into disjointed fragments of words.”

Director Osborne says he relishes the opportunity to bring a 21st century perspective to this sublime, hilarious and illogical work.

“The play’s humor derives inspiration from many types of theatre including Cabaret, Burlesque, Vaudeville and Restoration Comedy,” Osborne said, adding that the UTD production “will incorporate these traditional conventions into an exploratory process that involves uncovering the “Mystery of the Moment” through a mode of creation free from preconception or rationale.”

Osborne champions the play as “a parable about the ridiculous nature of being alive.

The Bald Soprano deftly illustrates that conventional language is useless when seeking absolute truth and attempting to express the human condition,” he said.

Osborne serves as artistic director for Dallas’ Our Endeavors Theater Collective. The Dallas Theater League nominated him for a 2004 Rabin award for his direction of Dainty Shapes and Hairy Apes for Our Endeavors. He previously earned awards from the Dallas Theater Critics Forum, the Dallas Observer and the Dallas Theater League.

Tickets for the show are $15 for general admission and free to UTD students with a valid identification. UTD ticket office hours are from 2 to 5 p.m. Mondays to Fridays and at the door one hour prior to show time. To purchase tickets using Visa, MasterCard or Discover, please call 972-883-2972.

More information about this play may be found at http://ah.utdallas.edu/season0405/baldsoprano.htm

For information about the many musical, arts, theatre, dance and other performances and exhibitions held throughout the year at UTD, please call 972-UTD-ARTS (972-883-2787), e-mail utdarts@utdallas.edu, or visit the School of Arts and Humanities’ Web site at http://ah.utdallas.edu/. Persons with disabilities needing special accommodations may call 972-883-2982, Texas Relay Operator: 1-800-RELAYVV.

About UTD

The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor, enrolls more than 14,000 students. The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university’s web site at www.utdallas.edu.