Theatre St. Thomas opens its 2017-18 Season with Sir Tom Stoppard’s award winning play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.
Theatre St. Thomas will stage its first play of the season this week with a production of Sir Tom Stoppard’s award winning play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. For this production, the school’s extra-curricular theatre company welcomes the return of director Ilkay Silk, who ran the program for 36 years.
“It feels wonderful to be back in The Box,” said Silk, referring to the school’s Black Box Theatre. “The Box, STU, and TST are leaders in the theatre landscape in Fredericton and in New Brunswick. The theatre remains one of the best performance spaces in the province. Directing in the Box is a joy. I am glad that the vision STU had for this space continues to inspire!”
First staged in 1966, Stoppard’s play-within-a-play (and, by times, within-another-play!) focuses on two minor characters, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet. Often described as an existentialist tragicomedy, the play follows their trials and tribulations as they wait offstage to go onstage during a production of Hamlet. Childhood friends of Hamlet, they are summoned by Hamlet’s uncle and mother to discover what to do with the prince as he appears to descend into madness. As Guildenstern and Rosencrantz take centre stage, audiences will recognize, Claudius, Gertrude, Ophelia, Polonius, Horatio, and Hamlet himself as they make appearances throughout Stoppard’s brilliant and hilarious play.
In Silk’s opinion, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is “an ideal play to work on with students. It challenges, it educates, and it engages actors and directors alike. There are many lessons in performance to be learned in this script and many moments of sheer fun to be had!”
St. Thomas University have been producing theatre for over 60 years and Theatre St. Thomas has called The Black Box Theatre home since it first opened in 1993. Working under the professional direction of STU faculty and staff, students act and work backstage alongside fellow students, STU alumni, and members of the Fredericton theatre community to learn and develop their stage skills in an educational, fun, and enriching cross-disciplinary environment.