Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead at Mary Baldwin

September 20, 2004

What happens when you take two minor characters from the Bard’s Hamlet, named Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, mix them with a group of bawdy players, add a liberal dose of confusion, and put it in Tom Stoppard’s oven? You end up with two acts of hilarity, a never ending coin toss, a verbal tennis match and more twists and turns then an English garden maze.

The Mary Baldwin University Theatre Department presents Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead September 29 to October 3 in the Fletcher Collins Theatre, Deming Hall, Staunton. Directed by Terry Southerington Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead is hailed as one of Stoppard’s crowning achievements.

An irreverent look at Hamlet, the play takes us behind the scenes and shows us the comings and goings of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern as they contemplate, who they are, where they are and what are they doing there, anyway? Stoppard’s wordplay and humor keep the audience enthralled and perpetually wondering what will happen next.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are played by Ash White and Mandy King, respectively. Local actor Michael Lafferty portrays The Player with fellow Tragedians Erin Burk, Kristi Morgan, Amanda Patricks, Shannon Perry, Betsy Shortt, and Samantha Sprole. Hamlet and Ophelia are played by Jay Knowlton and Misty Critzer. Steve and Sarah Henley nobly present King Claudius and Queen Gertrude. The cast would not be complete without Mary Baldwin faculty member, and director of the master’s program in Shakespeare, Frank Southerington as Polonius. Catlin Clements and Sedonia Williams complete the cast.

Reservations are strongly recommended. The campus box office is open for credit-card reservations Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at (540) 887-7189. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. Season tickets are still available for all five productions in the 2004-05 season, $25 for adults and $15 for students and seniors.