“Rosencrantz and Gildenstern are Dead” is an absurdist production that examines the world of art versus the world of reality. The show is based off Shakespeare’s Hamlet with the side characters of the original show, Rosencrantz and Gildenstern, as the leads. Pia Wyatt, who directed the show and was nominated by The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) for Directing, did a marvelous job with the production.
The use of comedy throughout the show thoroughly balanced out the complex topics, just as a true Shakespearian show would. Madalyn Mullins, who portrayed The Player and was nominated by KCACTF for the Irene Ryan acting scholarship, had such an incredible understanding of the text, even when it would delve into iambic pentameter, that anyone in the audience was able to follow along with her every word. Kyle Munson’s portrayal of Rosencrantz as the perfect comedic fool throughout the show had me cackling constantly. Munson was also nominated for the Irene Ryan acting scholarship. Meanwhile, Rosa Campbell, Gildenstern, perfectly balanced out that of Munson’s half-witted character. Her portrayal allowed the play to always turn around on its heels and continue forward, therefore truly leading the show. Campbell is the last of the cast to earn an Irene Ryan nomination.
The set was nearly bare for most of the show, which I enjoyed. Sounds, props and lighting were later used to allow for scene and set changes. The light design for Act Three was absolutely marvelous. After intermission, the show begins again on a boat. The lighting was as if the entire theatre were underwear, and it was absolutely captivating.
If you were unable to see this production, you simply missed out. It was definitely one for the books for NSU. In the spring, NSULA Theatre and Dance will be producing two shows; “Cat in the Hat” as a dance production and “1940’s Radio Hour.” I can promise, you won’t want to miss those either.