Aug 3-13, 2017

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead

Loading

In this hilarious and mind-bending comedy by the Oscar-winning screenwriter of "Shakespeare in Love," "Hamlet" is brilliantly retold through the eyes of two minor characters. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two bewildered schoolmates sent to pull Prince Hamlet out of a descent into madness, grapple with fate, free will and the game of life. CSF’s production brings its full "Hamlet" cast on stage to inhabit Stoppard’s ingenious parallel universe of wit and wisdom.

Complete your Shakespearience with a pre-ordered dinner from Boulder's Savory Cuisines. Learn more

Read more

Plot Synopsis: Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are puzzled. As they journey toward Elsinore, the coins they have been flipping keep landing on heads. Have the laws of probability been suspended? Does this reflect their current situation? And where exactly are they going? They encounter a group of actors who invite them to participate in their performance for a fee. Instead, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern use the irregular odds of the coin toss to their advantage while betting with the tragedians. Eventually the tragedians move on and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern find themselves thrust into the ever-so-perplexing world of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are instructed to ascertain the cause of Hamlet’s irregular behavior and draw the melancholy Dane into pleasant pastimes. The confused friends do their best to navigate the world of the play. The tragedians arrive at the court and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern attend a dress rehearsal of a play that depicts the events of Hamlet, including their own deaths. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern fail to recognize themselves in the play and they question an actor’s ability to represent death. Hamlet offends the king, who sends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to escort Hamlet to England. The king sends a letter which, unbeknownst to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, orders Hamlet’s death.

On the voyage to England, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern discover the contents of the letter and debate their control over the circumstances. They resolve to do nothing. While they sleep, Hamlet replaces the letter with one that condemns the two friends and subsequently disembarks when pirates attack. The two wonder if they could have done anything to avoid their impending death. The play ends in the final moments of Hamlet, when the ambassador from England announces that, in Shakespeare’s own words, “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead.”

—Gillian Riley Nogeire, Dramaturg

 

News & Reviews

This summer’s indoor productions are packed to the gills with beloved Colorado actors, every single one ready to take on the unique challenge of playing the same character in two different plays.

Colorado Shakespeare Festival

Read the full review - News & Reviews

Howarth's take on "Hamlet" will also align neatly with "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead," a comedy that features two bit players from Shakespeare's signature tragedy as main characters. The simultaneous staging of both shows offers a unique opportunity — the same actors will play the same roles in both shows.

A. H. Goldstein, Boulder Daily Camera

Read the full review -

News & Reviews

The feeling we’re going for is that ‘Hamlet’ is happening just on the other side of the curtain, just around the corner.

Timothy Orr, CSF Producing Artistic Director

Read the full review - News & Reviews

News & Reviews

Sean Scrutchins and Michael Bouchard make a truly compatible duo, playing both against and with each other. 

Beki Pineda, Boulder Magazine

Read the full review - News & Reviews

News & Reviews

As the two leads, Bouchard and Scrutchins combine the philosophical angst of Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot" with the comic timing and expert clowning of Abbot and Costello.

Adam Goldstein, Daily Camera

Read the full review - News & Reviews

News & Reviews

The cast, pulling double-duty, is just as enjoyable as in "Hamlet."

Ginny Quaney, PlayShakespeare.com

Read the full review - News & Reviews

News & Reviews

Like a modern day Laurel and Hardy or Abbot and Costello, Bouchard and Scrutchins make an excellent comic duo.

Gary Zeidner, Boulder Weekly

Read the full review - News & Reviews

Director

Director

Timothy Orr

+
Read Bio for Timothy Orr

Cast

Sam Gregory*

The Player

+
Read Bio for Sam Gregory*

Rodney Lizcano*

Polonius

+
Read Bio for Rodney Lizcano*

Kristofer Buxton

Alfred

+
Read Bio for Kristofer Buxton

Lenne Klingaman*

Hamlet

+
Read Bio for Lenne Klingaman*

Emelie O'Hara

Ophelia

+
Read Bio for Emelie O'Hara

Gary Wright*

Claudius

+
Read Bio for Gary Wright*

Mare Trevathan

Gertrude

+
Read Bio for Mare Trevathan

Blake Williams

Tragedian/Ambassador

+
Read Bio for Blake Williams

Alan Nelson

Attendant/Soldier

+
Read Bio for Alan Nelson

Elise Collins

Tragedian

+
Read Bio for Elise Collins

Cindy Spitko

Tragedian

+
Read Bio for Cindy Spitko

Austin Terrell

Tragedian/Voltemand

+
Read Bio for Austin Terrell

View all cast

Artistic Team

Scenic Designer and Lighting Designer

Stephen C. Jones^

+
Read Bio for Stephen C. Jones^

Costume Designer

Hugh Hanson

+
Read Bio for Hugh Hanson

Dramaturg

Gillian Nogeire

+
Read Bio for Gillian Nogeire

Assistant Lighting and Scenic Designer

Whitney Brady

+
Read Bio for Whitney Brady

Stage Manager

Paul Behrhorst*

+
Read Bio for Paul Behrhorst*

Assistant Stage Manager

Darion Ramos*

+
Read Bio for Darion Ramos*

Rosencrantz

Michael Bouchard

+
Read Bio for Michael Bouchard

Guildenstern

Sean Scrutchins*

+
Read Bio for Sean Scrutchins*

Resources

Download CSF 2017 Calendar
Download File

CSF 2017 Calendar

Download 915.9KB
Download Plot synopsis, director's notes & dramaturg notes
Download File

Plot synopsis, director's notes & dramaturg notes

Download 6.5MB
Download History of CSF
Download File

History of CSF

Download 2.1MB

Getting Here

Get directions, parking suggestions, performance information and more.

Your Visit - Getting Here

Visiting Boulder

There’s something for everyone in beautiful Boulder, Colorado, from hiking to dining to shopping. Why not stay a while?

Visit Boulder - Visiting Boulder

2017 Shakespeare Season View all events

Twelfth Night

Loading
Jun 7-Aug 11, 2019

Twelfth Night

By William Shakespeare
Starting at $19

Ring in the summer season with an uproarious comedy about thorny love triangles, mistaken identities … and a pair of twins lost at sea. Wh...

As You Like It

Loading
Jun 21-Aug 10, 2019

As You Like It

By William Shakespeare
Starting at $18

After fleeing home to escape political persecution, Rosalind finds herself hiding in the countryside among a boisterous cast of characters, making une...

Romeo and Juliet

Loading
Jul 7-Aug 10, 2019

Romeo and Juliet

By William Shakespeare
Starting at $18

From the moment Romeo and Juliet first meet, they fall passionately in love despite their families’ historic feud. The lovers’ oaths are s...

King Charles III

Loading
Jul 19-Aug 11, 2019

King Charles III

A future history play by Mike Bartlett
Starting at $17

In "King Charles III," playwright Mike Bartlett uses Shakespearean verse to envision a near future where personal privacy, public betrayals and a thre...

King John

Loading
Aug 4, 2019

King John

By William Shakespeare
Starting at $21

For one night only, see one of Shakespeare’s rarest history plays just as his own audiences did as part of CSF’s revered Original Practice...

Sponsored by