Dark Comedy “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” runs Feb. 19-23

  • Posted: Thursday, February 14, 2013 12:01 a.m.
The dark comedy ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead’ stars Cody Gasquen, Craig Kolkebeck, Catawba Theatre Arts guest artist, and Katie Johnson.
The dark comedy ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead’ stars Cody Gasquen, Craig Kolkebeck, Catawba Theatre Arts guest artist, and Katie Johnson.

A dark comedy that deals with big issues, “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” opens Tuesday at Catawba College’s Hedrick Little Theatre.

The play, written by Academy Award and Tony Award winner Tom Stoppard, takes two small characters from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” and turns them into larger than life comics in his hysterical and absurdist piece.


Catawba Theatre Arts associate professor Dr. Beth Homan says that the play deals with “life/death, fate/free will, illusion/reality and does so in a very thoughtful, existential way, while at the same time pointing out the frequent absurdity of human existence.”

Her plan is “to showcase the work of one of our greatest living playwrights as well as the intellect and intuition of a fine company of young actors.”

“Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” relies heavily on the manipulation of the English language.

The shear craftsmanship of Stoppard’s writing makes it stand out as a 20th century masterpiece.

Catawba will showcase Stoppard’s piece as a staged reading, a feature that makes it unique within the theatre department’s current production season.

When asked what she hopes the audience will leave with, Homan simply says, “Food for thought and a good laugh.”

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