Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead

Ros and Guild - Works best as a play

In a 1991 review of the film, Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead, Roger Ebert speculates that Ros and Guild works better as a play than as a film. 

"The theatrical experience of "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern," which I saw in London during its first run in the 1960s, was an intellectual tennis game between playwright and audience, with Shakespeare's original text as the net. There was an audacity and freedom to the way Stoppard's characters lurked in the wings of Shakespeare's most perplexing tragedy, missing the point and inflating their own importance - they were the ants, without the rubber tree plant. The tension between what was center stage and what was offstage was the subject of the entire evening.

There is no offstage in the movies. The camera is a literal instrument that photographs precisely what is placed before it, and has trained us to believe that what we are looking at is what we should be looking at. Any medium that can make a star out of Mark Harmon can make heroes of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. As for Hamlet and his uncle, and Gertrude, Ophelia, Polonius, Laertes - if they're so important, where are they? If Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were interesting characters on their own, this movie might yet survive its medium. But they are not. They are nonentities, and so intended. The most memorable performance in "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern" is the one by Richard Dreyfuss, as the leading player of the visiting troupe, and he becomes memorable in the time-honored way, by stealing his scenes."

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About Marin Summer Theater

Marin Summer Theater (MST) is an award winning non-profit theater company for students of performing arts between the ages of 13 and 23. The MST company prepares and presents three fully-staged productions in a six-week summer season. MST's mission is threefold: To present exciting, professional quality drama, musical theater and musical revue productions; to keep tuition as low as possible so that cost is not a barrier to participation; to create a diverse company of college and high school students.

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