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Communications:
Media Release Archives
For Immediate Release
February 18, 2008
Contact: Pam Joseph (419) 995-8284 or Lesley King Fry (419) 995-8671

Ohio State Lima presents Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

The Ohio State University at Lima Department of Theatre will present Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead in Stage 2 of the Martha W. Farmer Theatre for the Performing Arts in Reed Hall at 8 p.m., Thurs., Feb. 21; 8 p.m., Fri., Feb. 22; 8 p.m., Sat. Feb. 23; and 2 p.m., Sun., Feb. 24, 2008. Ticket prices are $5 for students, $6 for adults, and $4 for seniors and children. Seating is limited. Call the Box Office for ticket information at (419) 995-8382.

Dr. Christina Ritter is the guest director. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

Synopsis from the director

Tom Stoppard’s 1966 play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead made the playwright an international sensation. Three decades and a number of major plays later, Stoppard is now considered one of the most important playwrights in the latter half of the twentieth century.

A consistently clever and daring comic playwright, Stoppard startled and captivated audiences with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead when he retold the story of Shakespeare’s Hamlet from the point of view of two of the famous play’s relatively insignificant characters. In Shakespeare’s play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are little more than plot devices, school chums summoned by King Claudius to probe Hamlet’s odd behavior at court and then ordered to escort Hamlet to England (and his execution) after Hamlet mistakenly kills Polonius. Hamlet escapes Claudius’s plot and engineers instead the executions of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. In Stoppard’s play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern become the major characters while the Hamlet figures become plot devices, and Stoppard’s wildly comic play becomes the story of two ordinary men caught up in events they can neither fully understand nor control.

Stoppard’s play invites comparisons with Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and also brings to mind works by George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, and Luigi Pirandello. "Stoppardian" is now a recognizable epithet that suggests extraordinary verbal wit and the comic treatment of philosophical issues in often bizarre theatrical contexts.

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Editors’ Note: If you would like to come to a rehearsal at 8 p.m., Monday or Tuesday, call the Box Office at (419) 995-8382.

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