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John Sanford, News Service (650) 736-2151; e-mail:

Ionesco's The Chairs opens July 19 at Stanford

Stanford Summer Theater will stage The Chairs, Eugène Ionesco's 1952 comic-absurdist play, four nights a week beginning July 19 through Aug. 12.

The play reunites the actors and director from last year's Stanford Summer Theater production of Waiting for Godot: Geoff Hoyle, who has performed in one-man shows, on Broadway, with the Berkeley Repertory Theatre and the San Francisco-based American Conservatory Theater, as well as in movies and as a clown with the Pickle Family Circus and Cirque du Soleil; Jarek Truszczynski, a veteran of the Polish National Theater in Warsaw; Rush Rehm, associate professor of drama and classics and founder of Stanford Summer Theater; and director Aleksandra Wolska, a former Stanford doctoral student and an assistant professor of theater arts at the University of Minnesota.

The Chairs, which Ionesco called a "tragic farce," is about an elderly married couple ­ an Old Man (Truszczynski) and Old Woman (Hoyle) ­ living on an island where, one evening, a horde of invisible guests arrives. The Old Man has a revelatory message that the Orator (Rehm) is supposed to deliver to the unseen visitors sitting on a multitude of chairs.

Performances are scheduled for 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday at Stanford's Pigott Theater, next to Memorial Auditorium. A matinee is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11. A reception will follow the play's July 19 performance.

Tickets are $20 (general admission) or $15 (with any valid student ID) and may be purchased at the Stanford Ticket Office or by calling (650) 725-ARTS or online at


By John Sanford

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