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Photo Flash: First Look at Folger Theatre's ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD

Folger Theatre concludes its highly successful 2014/15 season with Tom Stoppard's fabulously inventive, existentialist tragicomedy Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Directed by four-time Helen Hayes Award-winner Aaron Posner (Stoppard's Arcadia, The Taming of the Shrew at Folger), this modern classic will play at Folger Theatre now through June 21, 2015. BroadwayWorld has a first look at the cast in action below!

Winner of four Tony Awards, including "Best Play," Stoppard's feast of wordplay and wit thrusts two of Shakespeare's most incidental characters into the limelight. Courtiers and close compatriots Rosencrantz and Guildenstern find themselves in Elsinore with the dubious task of identifying what afflicts their childhood friend Hamlet. Can this bewildered duo manage to keep their heads as they engage with a ragtag group of bedraggled players, find themselves on the high seas, and are attacked by a band of pirates?

Seattle-born actor Romell Witherspoon will star as Rosencrantz. Witherspoon appeared in Macbeth at the Lucas Theater in Savannah, Georgia, and has since appeared in prominent television series such as The Good Wife, Blue Bloods, and Madam Secretary. Starring as Guildenstern will be Adam Wesley Brown, who has performed in the Broadway smash musical Once, as well as numerous Shakespearean productions at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, The Old Globe Theatre, The Walden Theatre, among others. A singer/songwriter as well, Brown's debut album, Live at Bowery Poetry, will be released later this year. Both actors will be making their DC debuts in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

Folger favorite and three-time Helen Hayes Award nominee Ian Merrill Peakes will star as The Player. Peakes has starred in a number of acclaimed productions at Folger Theatre, including Henry VIII, Macbeth (directed by Posner and Teller), Measure for Measure, and Othello. In addition, he has garnered Barrymore Awards for his performances in All My Sons, Sideman, and Something Intangible. Having played Rosencrantz in Posner's 2003 production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead at Arden Theatre, Peakes returns to Stoppard as the unscrupulous leader of a ragtag group of travelling players who stumble upon our flummoxed antiheroes.

The outstanding cast also includes Biko Eisen-Martin as Hamlet, Andy Prosky as Polonius, Kimberly Schraf as Gertrude, Brynn Tucker as Ophelia, and Craig Wallace as Claudius. The production also features Maggie Donnelly,Luis Alberto Gonzalez, Stephen Russell Murray, Jacob Yeh, and Rachel Zampelli.

The creative team includes Paige Hathaway (scenic design), Helen Q. Huang (costume design), Thom Weaver (lighting design), and Eric Shimelonis (music composition and sound design).

Tickets are available for purchase online at www.folger.edu/theatre or by calling the Folger Box Office at (202) 544-7077.

Photos by Teresa Wood and Jeff Malet

Photo Flash: First Look at Folger Theatre's ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD
'This is not the first time we've spun coins.' Adam Wesley Brown (Guildenstern, top) and Romell Witherspoon (Rosencrantz)

Photo Flash: First Look at Folger Theatre's ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD
Claudius (Craig Wallace, center) directs Rosencrantz (Romell Witherspoon, right) and Guildenstern (Adam Wesley Brown) to glean what is afflicting Hamlet. Kimberly Schraf pictured in background.

Photo Flash: First Look at Folger Theatre's ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD
Travelling tragedians (Stephen Russell Murray and Rachel Zampelli) rehearse for a performance of The Murder of Gonzago.

Photo Flash: First Look at Folger Theatre's ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD
Romell Witherspoon as Rosencrantz (left) and Adam Wesley Brown as Guildenstern

Photo Flash: First Look at Folger Theatre's ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD
Romell Witherspoon as Rosencrantz (left) and Adam Wesley Brown as Guildenstern

Photo Flash: First Look at Folger Theatre's ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD
Adam Wesley Brown as Guildenstern

Photo Flash: First Look at Folger Theatre's ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD
The Player (Ian Merrill Peakes, center left) explains the limitless possibilities to Guildenstern (Adam Wesley Brown). Also pictured, left to right: Luis Alberto Gonzalez, Maggie Donnelly, Stephen Russell Murray, Rachel Zampelli.

Photo Flash: First Look at Folger Theatre's ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD
Claudius (Craig Wallace) and Gertrude (Kimberly Schraf) share a laugh with a bewildered Rosencrantz (Romell Witherspoon) and Guildenstern (Adam Wesley Brown, far right).

Photo Flash: First Look at Folger Theatre's ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD
Guildenstern (Adam Wesley Brown, left) and Rosencrantz (Romell Witherspoon) try to figure out what their next plan of action will be.

Photo Flash: First Look at Folger Theatre's ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD
Guildenstern (Adam Wesley Brown, left) and Rosencrantz (Romell Witherspoon, right) try to assist their childhood friend Hamlet (Biko Eisen-Martin).

Photo Flash: First Look at Folger Theatre's ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD
Romell Witherspoon stars as Rosencrantz

Photo Flash: First Look at Folger Theatre's ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD
The Player (Ian Merrill Peakes, center) tries to share his wisdom with Guidenstern (Adam Wesley Brown) and Rosencrantz (Romell Witherspoon, right).

Photo Flash: First Look at Folger Theatre's ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD
Brynn Tucker stars as Ophelia

Photo Flash: First Look at Folger Theatre's ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD
The Player (Ian Merrill Peakes) commands the stage in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Also pictured, left to right: Stephen Russell Murray, Romell Witherspoon, Jacob Yeh, Rachel Zampelli, Adam Wesley Brown.

Photo Flash: First Look at Folger Theatre's ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD
Ian Merrill Peakes leads a ragtag group of performers as The Player.

Photo Flash: First Look at Folger Theatre's ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD
Guildenstern (Adam Wesley Brown, left) and Rosencrantz (Romell Witherspoon) contemplate their fates.


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