Shakespeare’s Hamlet contains two minor characters, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who are childhood friends of Prince Hamlet. The two are summoned to the castle by King Claudius (Hamlet’s uncle who usurped the throne) and unfortunately aid the King in spying on Hamlet, which turns the prince against them. Hamlet leaves Rosencrantz and Guildenstern on a boat bound for England with a letter ordering their execution. In Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Stoppard flips the action, making these two peripheral characters the center of attention, leaving the main action of Hamlet to occur mostly offstage.
The hapless Rosencrantz will be played by Writers’ Theatre favorite Sean Fortunato. Sean has the distinction of having worked here since our early days. WT credits include The Chosen, Rough Crossing, A Phoenix Too Frequent, Spite for Spite and Incident at Vichy. He is currently performing up in Door County, Wisconsin with the Peninsula Players. You may recognize Sean from his many and varied appearances around the city including productions at Chicago Shakespeare, The Marriott Theatre and Drury Lane Oakbrook.
Playing opposite Sean as the equally hapless Guildenstern will be Timothy Edward Kane. Tim returns to Writers’ Theatre after previously appearing in Arms and the Man. He is excited to be playing Stoppard back to back, having just starred in Rock ‘n’ Roll at the Goodman Theatre. Tim has the good fortune to be married to Kate Fry, who currently lights up the stage as Candida in our world premiere musical, A Minister’s Wife.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard will be directed by Writers’ Theatre Artistic Director Michael Halberstam. Performances begin September 29, 2009 at 325 Tudor Court in Glencoe.