Onstage: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Through January and early February, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s (CSC) production of Hamlet captivated audiences. Two minor characters, Hamlet’s college chums Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, wat

click to enlarge Billy Chace & Justin McCombs, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern
Billy Chace & Justin McCombs, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern

Through January and early February, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s (CSC) production of Hamlet captivated audiences. Two minor characters, Hamlet’s college chums Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, watched from the sidelines. 


In Tom Stoppard’s 1967 play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, the pawns become the central characters, while Prince Hamlet, Queen Gertrude, King Claudius, Ophelia and others wander by. It’s a quirky take on a classic — now a classic itself. At CSC, the same cast that played Shakespeare’s great tragedy is now enacting Stoppard’s existential comedy with two befuddled clowns trying to make sense of their perhaps fictional lives. 

Showtimes Thursdays-Sundays. Through March 9. $22-$35. Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, 719 Race St., Downtown, 513-381-2273, cincyshakes.com

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