John Skelley Stars in HAMLET and ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD at the Guthrie, Beg. Tonight
The Guthrie Theater and The Acting Company (TAC) reunite for a sixth year, presenting Hamlet, Shakespeare's story of a Danish prince's search for vengeance, justice and truth, in repertory with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, a reworking of the same tragedy from the point of view of two minor characters and their static existence in a world beyond their comprehension. This two-week engagement today, April 22 - May 4, on the McGuire Proscenium Stage, will conclude a successful seven-month 42-city tour, during which time these productions played to thousands of adults and students in large and small markets around the United States. Both Hamlet and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead will showcase the talents of graduates of the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater B.F.A. Actor Training Program, as well as alumni of A Guthrie Experience for Actors in Training.
Single tickets for both productions start at $20 and are now on sale through the Guthrie Box Office at 612.377.2224, toll-free 877.44.STAGE, 612.225.6244 (Group Sales) and online at www.guthrietheater.org.
One of Shakespeare's most popular plays and often quoted in popular culture, Hamlet is the tale of Denmark's "sweet prince" who seeks to avenge his father's murder by bringing the new king, Claudius - his uncle and his mother's new husband - to justice. Hamlet vividly portrays the power of overwhelming grief and rage while exploring themes of treachery, revenge, and moral corruption.
A Tony Award-winning tragicomedy by Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is inspired by Shakespeare's Hamlet and centers on the misadventures and musings of two minor characters who are childhood friends of the Prince. The play is structured as the inverse of Hamlet; the title characters are the leads, not supporting players, and Hamlet himself has only a small part. Focusing on free will vs. determinism, the search for value and the impossibility of certainty, the play has a love for cleverness and language, treating it as a confounding system fraught with ambiguity to engage and delight the audience.
Playing the role of Hamlet in both productions is Minnesota native and 2007 University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater B.F.A. Actor Training Program graduate John Skelley. A regular on the Guthrie stage, Skelley was last seen by audiences in 2013's powerful production of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night, in the role of Edmund Tyrone.
The cast of Hamlet also includes Darien Battle (Player King/Fortinbras/Priest), Ernest Bentley (Horatio), Jacqueline Correa (Gertrude), Ian Gould (Bernardo/Guildenstern/First Gravedigger), Robert David Grant (Laertes/Ghost), Angela Janas (Ophelia), Joshua Johnston (Francisco/Player/Osric), Suzy Kohane (Player Queen/Female Attendant), Patrick Lane (Claudius), Andy Nogasky (Polonius) and Grant Fletcher Prewitt (Marcellus/Rosencrantz/Gravedigger).
In addition to John Skelley playing Hamlet, the cast of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead includes Darien Battle (The Player), Ernest Bentley (Horatio/Tragedian), Jacqueline Correa (Gertrude/Pirate), Ian Gould (Guildenstern), Robert David Grant (Tragedian/Guard), Angela Janas (Ophelia/Pirate), Joshua Johnston (Alfred/Captain), Suzy Kohane (Tragedian/English Ambassador), Patrick Lane (Claudius/Pirate), Andy Nogasky (Polonius/Pirate) and Grant Fletcher Prewitt (Rosencrantz).
Hamlet and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead are directed by The Acting Company's Artistic Director Ian Belknap and John Rando respectively. The creative team for both productions includes Neil Patel (Set Design), Candice Donnelly (Costume Design), Greg Goff (Lighting Design), Michael Kiley (Music and Sound Designer), Elizabeth Smith (Voice and Speech Consultant) and Felix Ivanoff (Fight Director). The Property Masters for Hamlet and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead are Faye Armon-Troncoso and Annie Heath respectively.
The company is also joined on tour by Gina Noele Odierno (Production Stage Manager), Brandon Curtis (Assistant Stage Manager) and Devin Brain (Staff Repertory Director).
The GUTHRIE THEATER (Joe Dowling, Director) was founded by Sir Tyrone Guthrie in 1963 and is an American center for theater performance, production, education and professional training. The Tony Award-winning Guthrie Theater is dedicated to producing the great works of dramatic literature, developing the work of contemporary playwrights and cultivating the next generation of theater artists. With annual attendance of nearly 500,000 people, the Guthrie Theater presents a mix of classic plays and contemporary work on its three stages. Under the artistic leadership of Joe Dowling since 1995, the Guthrie continues to set a national standard for excellence in theatrical production and performance. In 2006, the Guthrie opened its new home on the banks of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, the Guthrie Theater houses three state-of-the-art stages, production facilities, classrooms and dramatic public lobbies. www.guthrietheater.org
THE ACTING COMPANY was founded in 1972 by Margot Harley and legendary producer and actor John Houseman with Kevin Kline, Patti LuPone and others in the first graduating class of Juilliard's Drama Division. Since then it has performed 131 plays to audiences in 48 states and 10 foreign countries. In addition to Kline and LuPone, its alumni include Frances Conroy, Jeffrey Wright, Harriet Harris, Jesse L. Martin, David Ogden Stiers, Richard Ooms, Richard Iglewski, Keith David and Rainn Wilson. The Acting Company was honored in 2003 with a Tony Award for Excellence in Theater. Its artistic director is Ian Belknap.
Performance Dates: Today, April 22 - May 4, 2014. Opening Night: Tuesday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead). Performance Times: Tuesday through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m. Matinees on selected Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Matinees on selected Saturdays and Sundays at 1 p.m. Visit www.guthrietheater.org for the complete performance schedule.
The Guthrie Theater - McGuire Proscenium is located at 818 South 2nd Street, Minneapolis, MN 55415. Pricing: Single tickets priced $20 - $45 (Discounts for children, students and seniors available). Tickets may be purchased online at www.guthrietheater.org, or by calling the Guthrie Box Office: 612.377.2224 or 877.44.STAGE. Box Office hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on non-performance days). Closed Mondays. Group Sales: 612.225.6244 or 877.225.6211.