Saint Sebastian Players Conclude Season with ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD

The Saint Sebastian Players (SSP) conclude the company's 36th season with an absurd twist on Shakespeare, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard. Performances run April 28-May 21, 2017 at St. Bonaventure, 1625 W. Diversey (enter on Marshfield), Chicago.

There will be post-performance discussions with members of the cast and production team after theSunday matinees April 30, May 7 and May 14. And on Mother's Day (May 14), in contrast to Hamlet's unusual relationship with his mother Gertrude, every person who buys a full-price ticket may buy a ticket for his/her mother for only $5.

The play concerns the misadventures and musings of two minor characters from Hamlet who are childhood friends of the prince, shifting the focus to place their actions in the foreground with the events of Hamlet in the background. The two are leading characters in this version, appearing on stage here when they are off-stage in Shakespeare's play, except a few times when the events of both plays coincide. In Hamlet, the King uses Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to discover Hamlet's motives and plot against him. Hamlet, however, mocks them derisively and outwits them. Thus, the action in Hamlet, while typically viewed as tragic, is largely nonsensically comical from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern's perspective.

Directing Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is SSP co-founder Jim Masini, who previously directed The Tempest, As You Like It, Lend Me A Tenor, The Rivals and many others for SSP. The cast features SSP member Eric S. Prahl as Rosencrantz and, new to SSP, Alexander Johnson as Guildenstern. Other cast members include SSP members Alexandra Cross, Jessica Goforth, George Manisco, Natalie Reff, Renae Stone and Brian Vabulas, as well as Nathan Dunn, David R. Feiler, Kathryn Miller, Lauren Miller, Elise Soeder and Christopher Wilson. The production staff includes SSP company members Cortney West as set designer, Robert-Eric West as costume designer, AaRon Harris Woodstein as sound designer, Alex Demetralis as dramaturg, Brittany Eude as properties master, Joshua Messick as assistant director and Marshall Jacobson and Nancy Pollock as co-producers. Also on the production team are Nick Coso as lighting designer, Taylor Hobart as stage manager and Kathryn Miller and Jess Minogue as technical assistants.

SSP began producing theatre in 1982 at its original home, the St. Sebastian parish, located at the corner of Halsted Street and Wellington Avenue on Chicago's North Side. When the parish closed in 1990, SSP relocated to its current home, St. Bonaventure, at 1625 W. Diversey. During its history, the company has produced original and previously produced dramas, comedies and musicals; original audience-participation mysteries for special events; and the Monologue Matchup Competition, as well as provided support for smaller Sebastian Studio Projects produced by company members. For a complete production history, visit saintsebastianplayers.org/production-history/.

Performances of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead take place April 28-May 21, 2017, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. at St. Bonaventure, 1625 W. Diversey, at Marshfield just west of Ashland, in Chicago. Free parking is available in two lots. Full-priced tickets are $20; tickets for seniors, students with valid IDs at the door and children younger than 12 are $12. Group rates also are available. All programming is subject to change. For information, call 773-404-7922 or visitsaintsebastianplayers.org.


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