The Killing Game
February 13–22, 2025

By Eugène Ionesco
Translated by Helen Gary Bishop
Directed by Conrad Alexandrowicz

Theatre that transcends the ordinary. An absurdist comedy.

Step into the surreal world of Eugène Ionesco’s The Killing Game, a captivating play that immerses audiences in the tale of a town facing a deadly plague. As the body count rises, accusations fly, tensions rise, and the line between reality and absurdity is blurred. Death spares no one, regardless of wealth, age, innocence, or guilt, turning the community into a chaotic mix of paranoia, hypocrisy, and opportunism.

One of Ionesco’s last plays, The Killing Game, filled with humour despite its dark subject matter, reveals how social connections can become fragile when confronted with an existential threat. With razor-sharp wit and keen satire, Ionesco skillfully allows the audience to engage while maintaining a sense of detachment through laughter.

“The human drama is as absurd as it is painful.” —Eugène Ionesco.


The Killing Game is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.



Conrad Alexandrowicz, Director

Photo of director of Killing Game, Conrad Alexandrowicz.

Conrad Alexandrowicz is a Professor in the Department of Theatre, where he teaches movement and physical theatre for actors and directs department productions. He holds a BFA in Dance from York University and an MFA in Directing from the University of Alberta. Originally from Toronto, he performed with a number of Canadian dance companies, principally Dancemakers, where he began to produce his own work, much of which featured original text. He left the company in 1987 to choreograph, direct and perform independently. In 1995, he founded Wild Excursions Performance as the vehicle for his creative endeavours.

Over a decades-long career in performance, he migrated from dance to theatre and has been a dancer, dance critic, choreographer, writer of texts for dance, playwright, actor, director and producer. He created over fifty dance- and physical theatre works, some of which were presented across Canada, as well as internationally, mainly under the producing auspices of Wild Excursions Performance. He and his work have been recognized with Jessie, Sterling and Dora Awards.

Previous to his appointment at the University of Victoria in 2008, he taught at Simon Fraser University, the University of British Columbia, the Vancouver Film School and Capilano College, and directed at Douglas College and Studio 58.

He specializes in the creation of varieties of interdisciplinary performance that address subjects central to the human journey: issues of relationship, gender and power, and the nature of the performance event itself. Between 2012 and 2016, he explored the staging of poetry with actors, dancers and musicians by means of a substantial grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), in collaboration with noted Canadian poets Lorna Crozier and Erín Moure.

Since his appointment at UVic he has turned to academic writing, and his work has been published in Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, Studies in Theatre and Performance, and Theatre Topics. His first book, Acting Queer: Gender Dissidence and the Subversion of Realism, was published by Palgrave in February 2020. He is currently committed to exploring the possibilities for transformation of theatre education in response to the climate crisis. The co-edited collection that he instigated, and to which he contributed, entitled Theatre Pedagogy in the Era of Climate Crisis, was published by Routledge in May 2021. He has just submitted the manuscript of another book for Routledge about actor training in the face of linked environmental crises, entitled Performing the Nonhuman: Towards a Theatre of Transformation. Currently, he is at work on a chapter for the Oxford Handbook of Global Realisms, focussing on gay Canadian theatre.

Eugène Ionesco, Playwright

Eugène Ionesco (1909–1994) was a prominent Romanian-French playwright, celebrated for his significant contributions to the Theatre of the Absurd. Born in Slatina, Romania, Ionesco later moved to France, where his dramatic works challenged traditional theatrical norms. His unique style, marked by absurdity, illogical language, and an exploration of the human condition, earned him global recognition.

In 1950, Ionesco achieved widespread acclaim with his groundbreaking one-act play, The Bald Soprano, sparking a revolution in dramatic techniques and playing a key role in the emergence of the Theatre of the Absurd. Subsequent one-act plays, such as The Lesson (1951), The Chairs (1952), and The New Tenant (1955), and his popular full-length work, Rhinoceros (1959) continued to showcase his penchant for crafting atmospheres both comically absurd and grotesque. His influence on absurdist drama left an enduring mark on 20th-century theatre.

Mr. Ionesco’s “anti-plays” satirized modern society while discovering new uses of language and theatrical techniques. With outrageous comedy, he attacked the most serious subjects: blind conformity and totalitarianism, despair and death. Repeatedly he challenged — and accosted — the audience and his critics. As he said, “The human drama is as absurd as it is painful.” – from the New York Times Obituary.


Show Dates


Tuesday to Friday evenings at 8 p.m.
Saturday matinees at 2 p.m.


Subscription packages are available now.

Single Tickets for this show are available on February 3.

Charge by phone: 250-721-8000
or in person at the Phoenix Box Office
(online ticket purchases are not available)

Box Office Hours

  • Friday & Saturday Evenings:
    All Seats $34
  • Wednesday, Thursday Evenings & Saturday Matinees:
    All Seats $30
  • Cheap Tuesdays:
    All Seats $18
  • Student Rush Tickets:
    30 minutes before each show: $20
  • UVic Alumni:
    Saturday Matinees: $25 (with UVic Alumni ONECard)

Performed in the Roger Bishop Theatre


Cast & Creative

A full cast and creative team list will be posted in the fall.


Preshow Lecture: Friday, February 14 at 7 p.m.

Join us on the first Friday for a guest lecture about themes in the play.

Lectures are free and everyone is welcome, no matter which performance you have tickets for. The lectures are also recorded and audio files are posted here when available. 


Relevant advisories will be posted here. We sometimes receive advisories closer to the production dates. Please inquire at the box office if you have questions or concerns.

The Killing Game deals with the subject matter of a deadly plague. There are many scenes of death.

Suitable for ages 16+