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MCT PROPOSAL - Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead

Updated: Nov 14, 2022

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, by Tom Stoppard

Proposed by director quinn b. rodriguez

Play Synopsis

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is an absurdist, existential tragicomedy. The play expands upon the exploits of two minor characters from Shakespeare's Hamlet, the courtiers Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and the main setting is Denmark.

The action of Stoppard's play takes place mainly "in the wings" of Shakespeare's Hamlet, with brief appearances of major characters from Hamlet who enact fragments of the original's scenes. Between these episodes, the two protagonists voice their confusion at the progress of events occurring onstage without them in Hamlet, of which they have no direct knowledge.

Vision Statement

As a nonbinary disabled/chronically ill Latine director, my desire is to elevate Stoppard's already heady, self-aware, absurdist text by examining the text through a Brechtian lens. Brecht's theory of the alienation effect is what we would today refer to as "meta": the fourth wall is intentionally shattered in order to remind the audience they are watching a play, and that in watching they are complicit. These themes are already present in Stoppard's text, and highlighting them in a nebulously modern setting outside of a black box theatre would provide a unique viewing experience. I intend to highlight members of the queer, trans, disabled, and BIMPOC communities in this surreal take on a famous play. The play occurs in a liminal space, and I would like to highlight that by showing off the liminality of the theatre itself. I believe theatre should be a space for marginalized individuals to bravely and boldly be themselves. This production would provide an opportunity for marginalized folx to take on intense, meaty roles that they would (and likely have) so often been denied.

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