HOME > Season Archives > 2008 - 2009 Season > Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead


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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Directed by Adam Arian


@ Mandell Weiss Forum STUDIO

November 13 - 22

About the Play

About the Author

Earning Sir Tom Stoppard his first of five Tony Awards for Best Play, this laugh-a-minute production is a refreshing, retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Don't miss it!

Tom Stoppard's modern masterpiece Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, is the fiercely intelligent, and deeply chilling tale of Hamlet as told from the worms-eye view of two of its least remarkable players, the two bewildered chums Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Perfect for an election year, the play explores the role of the little guy in a society undergoing massive upheaval. It questions the idea of free will in a universe where all the lines seems to have already been written, as it strongly references and echoes Samuel Beckett's existential masterpiece Waiting for Godot. Most of all, though it makes you laugh. A lot. Stoppard's razor sharp wit is on as his Shakespearen Laurel and Hardy finally get to take the lead role in this confusing world where illusion and reality intermix, where the boundary between onstage and off is never quite clear, and where fate will eventually lead them to their tragic but inevitable end.


Tom Stoppard has been called perhaps the most brilliant (if not widely accessible) modern English playwright. His first work to play on Broadway was Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead in 1967. His later works to reach New York included Jumpers (1974), Travesties (1976), Dirty Linen and New-Found-Land (1977), Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (1979), Night and Day (1980), The Real Thing (1984), Artist Descending a Staircase (1989), Hapgood (1995), Arcadia (1994), The Invention of Love (2001), and Indian Ink (2003). Several of his other plays have been popular with little theatres and elsewhere, although they have been denied the benefit of Broadway's approval. His best plays show a marked influence of the theatre of the absurd but, unlike most examples of the school, also manifest a traditional theatrical construction, superior character development, and his signature witty dialogue.


About the Director

Adam Arian hails from Larchmont, New York. After attending college at Brown University, he moved to New York to act and direct. Now in his second year at UC, San Diego as candidate for a Master of Fine Arts in Directing, his directing credits include, at UCSD: The Attic Dwellers as part of the Baldwin New Play Festival; In New York: Adam directed plays and readings for the New York Fringe Festival, New York Theater Experiment, Reverie Productions, Prospect Theater Co., H.E.R.E. Arts Center, Irish Arts Center, Barhoppers, and the Kraine Theater; Regionally he has directed for the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts, and the Winnipesaukee Playhouse in New Hampshire. Adam worked as an Assistant Director on Memphis at the La Jolla Playhouse, assisting Christopher Ashley; at Williamstown, also with Mr. Ashley; at the Roundabout Theater Company in New York with David Warren; and here at UC, San Diego with Andrei Belgrader on Pericles; and Isis Saratial Misdary on Medea. Adam is also an actor and singer, having appeared in the Broadway national tour of The Scarlet Pimpernel, Off Broadway in, The Taming of the Shrew; I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change; and The Bomb-itty of Errors, and at other New York theaters such as Urban Stages, Reverie Productions, 3rd Man Productions, Brooklyn Rep, Irish Arts Center, and The Lark. Outside of New York he has performed at the Trinity Repertory Company, and The Hamptons Shakespeare Festival. He has appeared on Law and Order twice, in numerous commercials, and several small independent films. Adam is thrilled to have the chance to present one of the great masterpieces of our Time, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, with such a fabulous company of artistic collaborators and in such a wonderfully supported setting as the UC, San Diego Department of Theatre and Dance.

The Cast

The Creative Team

Guildenstern: Johnny Wu
Rosencrantz: Jessica Watkins
Player: Irungu Mutu
Gertrude: Pearl Rhein
Hamlet: Joel Gelman
Claudius: Hugo Medina
Polonius: Cate Campbell
Ophelia/Horatio: Zoe Chao
Alfred/Soldier: Kyle Anderson
Tragedians:Ed delos Reyes
Lee Montgomery
Brett Rader
Joanna Stern
Courtiers:Naqiya Ebrahim
Steven Ren
Nathan Turner
Katie Willert

Director - Adam Arian
Production Stage Manager - Hannah Wichmann
Scenic Designer - Rob Tintoc
Costume Designer - Christine Crook
Lighting Designer - Stephen Sakowski
Sound Designer - Christopher M. Luessmann
Choreographer - Rebecca Salzar
Asst Director - Jeffrey Wienckowski
Directing Associate - Mary Plant-Thomas
Asst Scenic Designer - Ian Wallace
Asst Costume Designer - Alina Bokovikova
Asst Lighting Designer - Omar Ramos
Asst Stage Manager - Tareena Devona Wimbish
Asst Stage Manager - Evangeline Rose Whitlock



Thu Nov 13 at 7:00 pm PREVIEW
Fri Nov 14 at 8:00 pm OPENING
Sat Nov 15 at 2:00 pm MATINEE
Sat Nov 15 at 8:00 pm

Thu Nov 20 at 8:00 pm
Fri Nov 21 at 8:00 pm
Sat Nov 22 at 8:00 pm CLOSING

Located at: Mandell Weiss Forum STUDIO

Limited Seating and No Late Seating

Parking Passes Required: Monday through Friday. Weeknight passes are $2 per vehicle from the vending machines located in the UC San Diego Theatre District/La Jolla Playhouse parking lots and entry display case. Please remember your parking space number. You will need it to purchase your parking pass.

Note: Machines take all major credit cards except Discover and when paying with cash you must use exact change, NO CHANGE GIVEN.

Parking Passes Not Required: Saturdays and Sundays


Cars without permits are subject to ticketing by UCSD Campus Police. The Theatre & Dance Department does not have the authority to waive and cannot pay parking tickets.



Advance tickets for this production are available Monday-Friday, noon to 6 pm by calling the Box Office at 858.534.4574 or in person at the Theatre District’s Central Box Office at the Sheila & Hughes Potiker Theatre. 

At-the-Door tickets, if available, can be purchased one hour before show time at the performing theatre’s box office at Mandell Weiss Forum STUDIO.

General Admission: $20
UCSD Faculty/Staff and Seniors (over 62): $12
UCSD Students/UCSD Alumni Association (with ID): $10
*Preview performance on Thursday, November 13th at 7:00 pm is offered at the reduced ticket prices of $15/$8/$6.

Reserve Tickets


Production Photos

Coming Soon.  

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