New York City
With an Oscar for Shakespeare in Love and four Tony Awards for Best Play, twice as many as any other author, Sir Tom Stoppard is one of the most acclaimed and riveting playwrights alive today. He burst onto the stage with the contemporary classic Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, an ingenious reworking of Shakespeare centering on the misadventures and musings of two minor characters from Hamlet. It is structured as the inverse of that tragedy: the title characters are the leads, not supporting players, and the melancholy prince himself has only a small part. The duo appear onstage in this play when they are off-stage in Shakespeare’s, apart from a few short scenes in which the dramatic events of both coincide. It features Stoppard’s trademark verbal gymnastics and elaborate games with language, treating it as a confounding system fraught with ambiguity to engage and delight the audience.
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