Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Preview: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Two men sit and wait, summoned to the Danish court for a special assignment: discover what is wrong with Hamlet. Stoppard's comic masterpiece follows these two as they negotiate their way around Elsinore and beyond, only to realize what little control they have over their fate.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are peripheral figures in Shakespeare's play: so expendable, in fact, that Laurence Olivier omitted both characters from his Oscar-winning 1948 film adaptation. Until Stoppard, the virtually (and literally, in some cases) interchangeable duo held as much significance as the Ambassadors and rogue Norwegian princes that peopled the world of Elsinore. By brilliantly reversing the negative, Stoppard pulls Hamlet's schoolmates, brought to court to discover the reasons behind his distemper, to the forefront, and reduces the Danish courts to supernumerary status. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern appear in the same scenes they populate in Hamlet: they meet the King and Queen; question the prince; watch a play; discover a murder; set sail for England. But they also live, argue, wager, and wait, Godot-like, in between Shakespeare's scenes, flipping coins, discussing their task, and pondering an existential crisis that threatens to rival Hamlet's. Beyond these titular characters, Stoppard delves into the world of the Players - wise travelling philosophers who help our hapless heroes better understand their own predicament. Stoppard's trademark wit lives at the forefront of this re-examination of familiar settings, a humour so incisive that after a viewing, it becomes difficult to view 'Hamlet' in the same way again.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead opens on February 7th and runs till the end of February.  Click here for a complete calendar of performance dates and times, and to purchase tickets.

Oliver Dennis, Tragedian
Leah Doz, Ophelia
Ted Dykstra, Rosencrantz
Diego Matamoros, Claudius
Nancy Palk, Gertrude
Jordan Pettle, Guildenstern
Gregory Prest, Hamlet
Peyson Rock, Tragedian
Paolo Santalucia, Alfred
William Webster, Polonius
Kenneth Welsh, Player
Daniel Williston, Tragedian
Joseph Ziegler, Director
Dana Osborne, Set & Costume Designer
Kevin Lamotte, Lighting Designer
Mike Ross, Sound Designer & Composer
Nancy Dryden, Production Stage Manager
Janet Gregor, Assistant Stage Manager

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