Last play of semester premieres Friday

The Theatre Department’s rendition of ”Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead”–a spinoff of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”–premieres Friday, April 26 in the Temporary Performing Arts Complex as the last play of the spring semester.

The inventive tale of Hamlet is told through the eyes of two minor characters, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, played by Nick Yastremski and Brian Graves, respectively. The two actors that are not part of Pierce College, but have been in previous plays on campus from years ago.

“The challenge is what brought me to this play. This is the biggest role I’ve ever been in. I hope people walk away with a new interest in acting,” Yastremski said.

The Tony Award-winning Broadway hit “Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead” was originally written by Tom Stoppard in 1966, taking place “in the wings” of Shakespeare.

Valorie Grear, chair of the theatre and dance departments, directs the twisted tragicomedy that includes an action-packed sword fight.

Graves has been actin for years and has played many roles in different plays written by Shakespeare. In fact, his Los Angeles debut in acting was a role in the tragedy “Julius Caeser.”

Although Graves went into auditions with the intent on landing the role of Rosencrantz, getting Guildenstern has made him find the character within himself.

This historical aspect is the headline of this play, and it gives students, faculty and the community a taste of Shakespeare’s legendary stories.

“It’s not the same one-liner comedy like ‘Laughter on the 23rd Floor.’ This play is more for imagination and connecting with the actors. It’s more in a theoretical form, but its still funny,” said Michael Sande, managing director of the play.

This play will be acted out in a more contemporary way that is still based on the 17th century time period but not in the Shakespearean language.

“I heard it was a Shakespeare play and those are pretty hard to follow along. It’s good to know that it will still be appealing to non-Shakespeare fans,” said Sabrina Whitten, a communications major.

Closing out the spring semester for the acting students after the play will bring a new semester for more actors and more opportunities to get involved. A week after “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern” closes out, the Theatre Department will be announcing the upcoming productions for the fall semester.

“Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead” opens on Friday, April 26 at 8 p.m., and continues on Saturday, April 27 at 8 p.m., Sunday, April 28 at 2 p.m. (sold out), Friday, May 3 at 8 p.m., Saturday, May 4 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 5 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are priced at $12 for students and seniors and $15 for general admission. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 818-719-6488.