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Interview with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern

Marielle Hampe | Thursday, November 4, 2010

“Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead” features Pablo Muldoon as Rosencrantz and Brian Rodgers as Guildenstern.


Q: What is your favorite scene from the play?

Brian: I think my favorite scene of the play would have to be the opening. The play starts as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern have been spinning coins 80 times in a row, and each one of them has come up miraculously as “heads.” I really like the way it distinguishes Rosencrantz from Guildenstern — Guildenstern is trying to figure out why the coins have come up heads each time, whereas Rosencrantz simply accepts it and is happy because he is winning all the money. I just love how absurd it is, as well as how comical the way they go about it is.


Pablo: The famous “Questions” scene, where Rosencrantz and Guildenstern play the question game, where one can only speak in question form, in order to practice for finding out what is the matter with Hamlet and why he is acting so strangely. My favorite line is “Or I could lick yours of course.” Intriguing, isn’t it? You’ll have to come watch to find the context.


Q: What’s the best part about acting? What’s the worst part about acting?

Brian: The best part is getting to pretend to be someone else for a while. It is a challenge at times, but once you get the character you’re trying to portray right, it is a really awesome feeling. The worst part is memorizing lines. Guildenstern likes to talk a lot in this play, which means I had to memorize a lot of paragraphs.


Pablo: The best part about acting is having an excuse to act as ridiculously as possible without any social consequences. It’s so much fun to assume a whole different character from yourself and truly explore it and make it real. The worst part about acting would have to be the huge time commitment involved and the withdrawal that comes after shows. You spend so long working on a play and creating a character and with that final bow, it’s gone forever. Don’t get me wrong, there’s relief too, but there is that sense of transience involved in theater.


Q: Why should people come to see the play?

Brian: It offers a sort of theatre many people have never seen before. This is the kind of play that will make people think after they leave the theatre, and really offers a different perspective on a lot of things. It’s also a very funny show.


Pablo: It is a very funny play, basically retelling the story of Hamlet through the eyes of two minor characters. A lot of the humor comes from their confusion, since they seem to have no conception of [whom] they are or what they are doing when they are not onstage in the actual world of Hamlet. It is a clever concept, and there is a lot of witty wordplay and British humor.