Rhinoceros has specific scenic requirements in order to carry its absurdist style. When the audience comes in, it is important that what they see meet their most basic, preconceived notions of what a simple play should be. Their first impression of the set should be that a nice, gentle, light0comedy might occur here. This is how the play begins. Reinforcing this heightens the humor when everyone is suddenly watching pachyderms charge through the distance and yelling, “Christ! A Rhinoceros!”
The show calls for four distinct settings. I played around with a variety of methods to accomplish this. Ultimately the revolve seemed to be the best method, combined with drops. Both drops and revolves are very traditional “stagey” devices, and work well with the scribbly watercolor quality of the paint. At intermission, the walls were redressed for the two bedrooms in the second half. The entire set had a curvey, Art-Nouveau influence, rendered very loosely, reminiscent of an old Pink-Panther cartoon.