It is the beginning of a new university year: the campus is awakening from its four-month summer hibernation. Everyone is excited for what is yet to come, and no, I am not talking about the new vegan options in the cafeteria, but Theatre St. Thomas productions for this year.
During the fall semester TST will be performing the play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, written by Tom Stoppard.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is “the play of Hamlet from the point of view of the minor characters, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, which are Hamlet’s friends,” said Robin Whittaker, who is the artistic producer of both fall and winter projects.
The play will be directed by Ilkay Silk, who’s taught theatre at St. Thomas for over 30 years. “Ilkay has directed Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead before at TST, so many people are excited to see what she will do with the current students,” added Whittaker.
TST President for Robbie Lynn describes the play as a “classic, very well-known, existential, witty, tragicomedy.”
Topics such as the limits of theatre and at what point may the characters realize they are in a play will be explored. The play will also explore philosophical questions related to chance, fate and the meaning of life.
“There is a lot of physical comedy in it. We want our audiences to enjoy themselves,” said Whittaker.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead will take place on Nov. 22-25 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinée at 2:00 p.m. General admission will cost $10, and $5 for students and seniors.
For the winter season, TST will put on the play festival What’s Next?, a brand new project, with STU student Robbie Lynn as producer.
What’s Next? will present the three winning plays of TST’s playwriting festival, which were written by STU students over the summer. “When I became president of TST, I realized we had a real playwriting community here, and I thought it would be a good idea to feature their plays in the Black Box [Theatre],” said Lynn.
And Above All is written by Thomas MacDougall and directed by Samuel Crowell.
“[It’s] set in a small Nevada town in the 70’s. The Cold War is lurking, and suddenly nuclear war threatens! But don’t worry, because Richie’s Convenience is a designated safe zone,” described Lynn.
Louis Anthony Bryan is the author of I Love This City, the first chapter of a serial detective adventure, set in the Bright Young Things Café.
“It is a very poetic and artistic piece,” said Lynn. Esther Soucoup is the director of the play.
Piece of Paradise, written by Michael Pallotto and directed by Laura Beth-Bird, is about the historical theft of St. Nicholas’s relics.
“When a violent storm threatens the thieves’ journey home, questions of faith must be answered,” explained Lynn.
What’s Next? will take place on Jan. 31-Feb. 3 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinée at 2:00 p.m. The general admission will cost $10, and $5 for students and seniors.
“Both plays are contrasting, but we know our audiences will like to see all sorts of theatre”, said Whittaker.