MANCHESTER >> How do you combine Laurel & Hardy, "Who's on First," and Shakespeare? Tom Stoppard did it brilliantly with his 1967 play "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead." Shakespeare on Main Street of Vermont will perform this absurdist tragi-comedy this summer in Manchester and Brandon.
Cleverly re-interpreting Shakespeare's Hamlet from the point of view of two minor characters, the play-within-a-play-within-a-play turns Hamlet on its head by giving the bewildered Rosencrantz and Guildenstern major roles, and subjugating former major characters to minor roles. This is one of the themes of the play: if life were a play, most of us would be minor characters in it. While we may call ourselves "masters of our domains," when we think about how many things in our lives over which we actually have control, it is not a long list, especially when it comes to our imminent death.
"A coruscatingly brilliant, endlessly thought-provoking masterpiece." — The Wall Street Journal.
The play also explores language and communication, fate and free will, foolishness and folly, and whether death, and how we view it, is significant or commonplace.
Come join us this summer for a frolicking romp where reality and illusion intermix, and word play abounds. July 22-24 at Hunter Hall of the Maple Street School in Manchester Center; and July 29-31 at the Brandon Town Hall Theatre in Brandon. "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.