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KC Actors Theatre to Present HAMLET and 'ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN' in Rep This Fall

Kansas City Actors Theatre has announced the opening of the centerpiece of its 10th season: a rotating repertory of Shakespeare's Hamlet and Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. The plays will be performed on alternating nights at Union Station's H&R Block City Stage and begin previews on August 26th. The opening nights will be September 4th for Hamlet and September 5th for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.

The creative theme for this landmark season is "The Art of the Family". Both of these plays squarely address that topic, though in very different ways. The two have the same characters -- and the same 16 actors -- but one is tragic and widely regarded as the greatest play ever written, and the other is a Tony-winning clever comedy.

Perhaps the quintessential dysfunctional family, Hamlet offers a chance for the company to sink its teeth into the work of William Shakespeare. Given the impressive breadth of Shakespearean experience among the company members, Actors Theatre is thrilled and ready to bring its take to this most classic of stories. Mark Robbins will direct.

Viewing this family from an alternative angle, Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead is the perfect comic complement to Shakespeare's Hamlet and offers Actors Theatre the chance to return to their favorite format, rotating repertory. Stoppard's play turns Hamlet on its head by taking two minor characters, the Laurel-and-Hardy-like pair of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and making them the stars of this absurdist comedy. Richard Esvang, Professor of Theatre at Kansas Wesleyan University, directs.

Thanks to Actors Theatre's indefatigable players, the public can see both plays performed on the same day -- perhaps the most challenging aspect of rotating repertory. These "Festival Days," on which Hamlet is performed in the afternoon and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in the evening, are scheduled for September 6, 13, 21 and 28. Gourmet boxed dinners will be available for sale at the theater or may be ordered in advance through Central Ticket Office.

Tickets are on sale now through Central Ticket Office, (816) 235-6222 or online at

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