MST Presents Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead

RosGuil-photo1Marin Summer Theater (MST) presents the comedy Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead on July 22 23 24 and 25 as the second offering of its 2010 season.  In this comic masterpiece by Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Laurel and Hardy like clowns who are thrust into the middle of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.  They don’t know why they are there or what they are supposed to do.  They can’t even keep their own names straight while Hamlet, Ophelia, the players and all of the other characters of Hamlet barge in from all sides.

 “This play is dazzling in its humor, concept, and language,” says Artistic Director Patrick Nims.  “Those who don’t know Hamlet will find it every bit as funny as those who do.  It is like one of those nightmares where something important is happening and everyone knows what is going on except for you.  But in this case the nightmare is funny”.

RosGuil-photo2Playing the leads are Andy De Leon as Rosencrantz and Fernando Siu as Guildenstern.  Both are residents of Terra Linda as are fellow cast members Jane Reagan and Brian Breen.  Also featured are Nicolas Chuba of Santa Rosa; Kyla Ainsworth, Skylar Collins, Daniel Eggart, Steve June, and Sam Levy  of Novato; AJ Roy and Ross Bronfenbrenner of San Rafael; and  John Watson of Woodacre.

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead is famed playwright Tom Stoppard's first and perhaps most famous full-length play.  It presents a worm's-eye view of a classical tragedy -- Shakespeare's Hamlet --  filtered through the existential sensibilities of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot.  It won international critical and popular acclaim when first produced.

The title is taken directly from a passage in the final scene of Hamlet and is repeated in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern. The action of the play takes place mainly 'in the wings' of Shakespeare's, with appearances of major characters from Hamlet  who enact fragments of the original's scenes. Between these episodes Rosencrantz and Guildenstern try to make sense of events which—occurring onstage without them in Hamlet—they have no direct knowledge.

RosGuil-photo3The Players come and go; Prince Hamlet comes through reading words, words, words; foul deeds are done; Hamlet is sent abroad, and escapes death. Can Rosencrantz and Guildenstern escape their certain fate?

According to Nims, the cast of Rosencrantz has been hard at work for the past 4 weeks while preparing for CHICAGO at the same time.  “At MST, everyone does everything.  Andy worked backstage and Fernando ran lights for CHICAGO and rehearsed for Rosencrantz in between.”

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead opens on July 23 at 8pm at the Emily Gates Student Center at San Marin High School in Novato.  A pay-what-you-will preview performance will be given on July 22 at 8pm.  Other performances are on July 24 at 8pm and July 25 at 2pm.

RosGuil-photo4MST is a theater company of 70 young actors, singers, dancers, musicians, directors, designers, technicians, and crew.  After Rosencrantz, MST will present “Some Enchanted Evening – The Songs and Dance of Rodgers and Hammerstein” (a song and dance review) on July 29, 30, 31 and August 1.  The MST program is sponsored by San Marin Music Boosters with valuable support from San Marin High School, the Novato Unified School District and individual donors and volunteers.