Project Description

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

“And yet it doesn’t seem enough; to have breathed such significance. Can that be all? And why us?”

Looking through the prism of this simultaneously freewheeling and nihilistic play, I found there to be three distinct character worlds to explore: the unshakable bond between the rather ordinary citizens Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, the dynamic of a traveling Shakespeare company composed of sex workers, and the crushing threat of the King Claudius’s court and influence, seen here as more of a modern dictator. We chose to imagine our production of R&G in a contemporary world adjacent to ours, a Denmark and monarchy trapped within the confines of a motel lobby waiting room. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern spin round, trapped in the crosshairs of an unstable royal power struggle, tossed about at the whims of everyone except themselves, and wondering aloud where to find meaning in it all.


Playwright: Tom Stoppard

Directed: Arin Arbus

Scenic Design: by Oscar Escabedo

Costume Design: by Megan Rutherford

Lighting Design: Joshua Martinez-Davis

Venue: Atlas Theatre

Company: New York University

Photography: Ella Bromblin