‘R&G are Dead’ Premieres at Transylvania

by Jake Hawkins

Starting tonight, the Transylvania University Department of Drama will be presenting “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead,” an absurdist comedy written by Tom Stoppard, first performed in April 1967.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, played by senior Nick Ledgerwood and junior Patrick Davis, are not only the stars of the Stoppard play but are also original characters from Shakespeare's "Hamlet".Though the play draws from “Hamlet,” knowledge of the Shakespearian tragedy is not a prerequisite. In fact, one of the only points in which confusion may arise to those not familiar with “Hamlet” is the ending monologue spoken by Horatio. This ending is the very same ending as Shakespeare’s – an interesting way to end the play by tying the two parallel stories together.

Transy junior Patrick Davis, who plays Rosencrantz for one of casts, says “It’s a show that makes you think. But it’s also a show that makes you laugh. If you like either of those things, you will enjoy ‘R&G.’ ”

Dr. Tim Soulis, the play’s director, cast “R&G” with an interesting twist. The cast, which is 16 characters strong, is comprised of eight men and eight women, and the genders alternate roles for each performance. This gender bend has, according to Soulis, “really been revealing regarding the way the two genders differentiate motivations, nuances in line readings and character qualities, each with equally stimulating results.”

“R&G” will be presented in Little Theater Nov. 5-6 and Nov. 11-14 at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 7-8 at 2 p.m. A colloquia led by English professor Dr. Elizabeth Corsun will follow the matinee performances on Nov. 7 and 8. Tickets for all performances are $5 for members of the Transy community and $10 for all others. Tickets can be purchased at the Little Theater box office 1:30-4 p.m., Monday-Friday, in person or by phone at 233-3621.


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