Still looking for live theater this summer? Princeton Summer Theater brings Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, directed by Emma Watt ’13, to Princeton. It’s the third of four plays PST has brought to the Hamilton Murray Theater this season, following Assassins by Stephen Sondheim(Music & lyrics)/John Weidman (book), and God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza.
For Shakespeare fans, or those who had to read Hamlet in high school or college, you will remember these two minor characters who are featured in Stoppard’s play. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are a half-witted duo who occasionally forget who they are, yet some of Guildenstern’s thoughts can actually get existential.
Prince Hamlet, having been exiled to England by the King of Denmark (his uncle, who murdered his father to procure the throne), found a letter from the King carried by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. The letter ordered Hamlet’s death upon his arrival in England. He rewrote the letter to bid Rosencrantz and Guildenstern’s death and fled back to Denmark.
Billy Cohen (Rosencrantz) and Jake McCready (Guildenstern) are quite funny and convincing as simpletons. They will keep you amused until the end. Olivia Nice is cunning as the Leading Player, who is traveling with tragedians. The rest of the cast worked beautifully together to offer a witty production of Stoppard’s Tony nominated play.
If you are looking for thought-provoking comedy, this is the right play for you. The theater is small and makes you feel like part of the shenanigans, and it’s laugh out loud funny. The audience will change with each performance; however, the small crowd is bound to enhance your experience every time. There are few props, but this eliminates distractions. Under Watt’s direction, this production is a welcomed source of entertainment.
The Hamilton Murray Theater is on the Princeton campus. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead has three acts, one intermission, and a run time of about 2 hours. Tickets range from $24.50 – $29.50, and can be purchased online here or by calling (732) 997-0205. Performing dates: July 21-24 and July 28-31, 2016.
Following Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead is Sam Sheppard’s Fool for Love, directed by PST’s Artistic Director Ogemdi Ude. Additionally, catch The Owl and the Pussycat for families running from July 7-30. Tickets are only $12 and free for children under 3 years old.