ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD
by Tom Stoppard
E-52 | Fall 2009
"We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke and a presumption that our eyes once watered."
There is a mystique about Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead to students of English literature (as I was when I first directed this piece) and lovers of theatre alike. When I met with veteran director Jewel Walker to pick his brain before rehearsals started, he told me I should probably select an easier play. (I didn't listen.) R&G has a reputation as an erudite, challenging and wickedly funny piece of work. Yet its intellect, existential dread, and deep connection with Hamlet lend the play a gravitas that often translates on stage to earnest seriousness rather than raucous comedy. We took tried to push the humor and the absurdism as far as we could.
Our designers created luscious costumes on top of a flat set, emphasizing the interplay between the rich internal lives of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern with the stock Hamlet characters.
Stage Manager: Chriss Pingaro
Set: Lisa Lafferty and Tyler Rodriguez
Lighting: Camille Turner
Sound: Andrea Fendt
Costumes: Abby Stenner