Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead Available to Stream February 27-28 Posted on February 19th, 2021 by

Sam Albright '22 (left) as Rosencrantz and Sam Peters '23 (right) as Guildenstern in "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead." Picture Credit: Ryan Weber

The Gustavus Adolphus College Department of Theatre and Dance will present its production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead in a virtual format on Saturday, February 27 at 7 p.m. and Sunday February 28 at 3 p.m.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead focuses on two minor characters from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Framed by scenes straight from Shakespeare, the play follows what is happening to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in between the scenes from Hamlet. “You’re watching Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and you see Hamlet walk by with a little snatch of ‘To Be or Not To Be,’” director Amy Seham says. 

Audience cutouts help give the feeling of live theatre to viewers of the production.

The play is comedic at times, while also diving into existential questions. “It’s really about the nature of our existence,” Seham says. “It becomes like a deconstruction of all the assumptions that hold Shakespeare’s world in place.” 

The entire show was rehearsed and shot in a little less than a month. Using both the Anderson Theatre’s three-quarter-thrust stage and site-specific locations around the theatre building, the production embraces locations that would not have been possible in a traditional performance. The cast even filmed an opening sequence outside in the College’s Arboretum. “It’s interesting to try to see what things have been detrimental, and in what ways COVID has opened new doors because we’re forced to find alternative ways to accomplish things,” Seham says. 

Junior Sam Albright ’22, who plays Rosencrantz, says the experience of filming was unlike anything he’d done before. “You tend to approach the script differently when the performance you’re going to give that day will be recorded concretely and will be the only time you ever get to do that scene,” he says.

“Because we had to cope with the question of how to do anything during COVID, we’re now exploring techniques that we wouldn’t have explored and that are very relevant to our students’ potential careers going forward,” Seham says. Sophomore Sam Peters ’23, who plays Guildenstern, agrees. “I learned new techniques that helped me develop my character and take advantage of the opportunities that film offers,” he says. Gustavus alumnus Nick Campbell ’18 returned to campus to serve as the videographer for the performance.

The production will be available to stream via a link on the Gustavus Theatre/Dance website. It will premiere Saturday, February 27 at 7 p.m. and will also be available to view Sunday, February 28 at 3 p.m. Tickets are not required, and there is no cost to view the production, but viewers are welcome to donate directly to the department.


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