SUU to stage classic tragicomedy ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead’

Image courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News

CEDAR CITY —  Southern Utah University College of Performing & Visual Arts’ Theatre Arts & Dance Department will present Tom Stoppard’s comedy “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead” on Sept. 29, October 2, 5, 6 and 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for alumni with card, and $5 for youth. SUU faculty, staff and students can get in free with a valid ID card.

“This play reflects what Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are constantly asking: “Who are we and what are we doing here?” said graduating senior Bailey Smith from Pullman, Washington, who plays Guildenstern. “Though these two are placed in a particularly absurd situation, it is something that individuals in any given circumstances ask themselves. Audiences can connect to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who really are two sides of the same coin, by experiencing the pair as they try to figure out what’s going on.”

Smith enjoys working with the director.

Director JR Sullivan. Undated | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News

“Working with our guest director, J.R. Sullivan is a unique opportunity that I have been fortunate enough to take advantage of. He is a professional director currently working in the business. Through his help, I was able to grow as an actor and a professional myself, and glean an in-depth training by creating this show.”

Sullivan is known in the area for his directing work at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Some of his productions include Hamlet, King Lear, Amadeus, Richard III, Stones in His Pockets, The Odd Couple and The Glass Menagerie.

“Working with the SUU cast, crew and design team has been a joy for me,” Sullivan said. “This play, one of Tom Stoppard’s very best and his first major success as a playwright, is an extraordinary delve into meaning, purpose and the always comic human condition of seeking reason in the inescapably absurd.

“It is a tragicomic backstage look at two minor characters in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Tom Stoppard turns Shakespeare’s tragedy into an inverse of itself, and thus a comedy about two everyman types who happen to be us as much as they are two nonentities named Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.”

For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Event details

  • What: Southern Utah University presents “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead,” a play by Tom Stoppard
  • When: Sept. 29, Oct. 2, Oct. 5-7, at 7:30 p.m.
  • Where: Engelstad Shakespeare Theater, 200 W. College Avenue, Cedar City
  • Details: $10 for adults, $8 for alumni with card, and $5 for youth. SUU faculty, staff, and students can get in free with a valid ID card.

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