In the midst of Art Basel and Miami’s busiest art season of the year, the New York Film Academy (NYFA) South Beach will contribute to the thriving international celebration of art and culture through Art Talks at SPECTRUM, a partnership with PULSE — and a thought-provoking production of Eugene Ionesco’s “Rhinoceros” at the Miami Theatre Center’s Sandbox Series.
With artists visiting Miami from around the world to examine the meaning and state of contemporary art, revisiting this classic existential play could not come at a more perfect time.
“Rhinoceros” explores the apathetic Berenger’s metamorphosis from a disconnected, depressed and isolated individual to a hero motivated by unconditional love and responsibility for his fellow man, in the midst of an epidemic where weak-willed people are inexplicably turning into rhinos.
Ionesco wrote the play as a response to WWII, examining not only the psychology behind Fascism and Nazism but also the human need to imbue life with meaning by following a cause.
The surrealist piece is to be mounted by the New York Film Academy South Beach’s Fall 2015 class of the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting for Film program as an end-of-semester production that includes each and every student from the cohort. The cohort includes:
Nothando Palesa Xulu
Directed by veteran NYFA instructor Paul Tei, known for his work in a dozen TV shows including Netflix’s “Bloodline,” “American Horror Story,” and “Burn Notice,” this adaptation of “Rhinoceros” exposes how relevant Ionesco’s questions on man’s search for meaning and the nature of interpersonal responsibility and connection are still extremely vital to contemporary art, and beyond.
Paul Tei received his MFA in directing from the prestigious Theatre School at De Paul University, and his BA in theatre from Barry University. He is the artistic director and founder of The Mad Cat Theatre Company, where he has directed numerous productions and world premiers. Paul’s directorial work outside the company has been seen in New York, where his production of “BUMP” had a sold-out run at The Henry Street Settlement, as well as in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New Hampshire, Vermont, and across the pond in Manchester and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for Mad Cat Theatre Company’s premier production of “Going Green the Wrong Way.”
The New York Film Academy South Beach, like all NYFA locations, focuses its programs on the philosophy of learning by doing. Acting for Film students learn to act for film by actually performing in films, while also training in the essential acting techniques and skills rooted in theatre. The end-of-semester performance of “Rhinoceros” is a part of their Play Production Workshop, a course focused on developing the skills and techniques of live performance as a foundation for their craft.