The Cast on Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
We asked the cast of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead what they are dying to share with you about their experience with Nashville Repertory Theatre's production/Tom Stoppard's play.
I always feel honored and privileged to step on stage with Nashville Repertory Theatre. (Clybourne Park and Larries) As an actor there are always a few things you can count on at the Rep. -Outstanding direction from René D. Copeland, beautiful costumes by Trish Clark and a mind blowing set by Gary C. Hoff. Check all three boxes for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.
R& G is one of my favorite plays of all time. It’s a wonderful blend of Hamlet, Waiting for Godot and a really dark sit-com. I also refer to it as an Existential Buddy comedy.
The text is so dense, so deep, so thought provoking… yet our playwright, Tom Stoppard, tells us everything we need to know. I think he wants us to just deal with the hear-and-now. It’s our humanity that chases after answers to questions we may never truly understand.
All that… and then the play is just flat out funny as well. Patrick Waller (Rosencrantz) Matt Garner (Guildenstern) and Jacob York (the Player) have carried this show on their shoulders with their amazing focus and impeccable comic timing. I am cherishing every moment on stage with these talented individuals. I hope all of the Nashville Theatre Community makes it out to see Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.
I couldn't be more thrilled to have the opportunity to be in a show that is consistently entertaining and thought provoking. It has been such a privilege to work with so many talented individuals on this production who I continue to learn so much from. This incredibly unique show allows me to make discoveries every night, on stage and off. Every performance is a truly unique and enjoyable one, and I am having the best time in the process. Being a part of this journey and sharing it with an audience has been profoundly rewarding, and getting to wear the most gorgeous dress I've ever put on is definitely an added bonus.
I had no idea The Player was a dream role until I started doing it.
There's something in the text that demands one looks deeper, and still chastises you for trying to make it something it isn't.
Does that sound complicated? Imagine my last month.
The Player asks nothing more than to be taken exactly as he is in that very moment. Not to worry about what comes next, because we don't have any control over that. He's the only character, in my estimation, that realizes he's in a play. The fourth wall doesn't exist for him. And he wields that knowledge like a weapon throughout.
I have a pet theory that he's an alternate reality Guildenstern and the more I've thought about it, the more it makes sense. And the second it starts making too much sense, I find something that doesn't click at all, and it feels like a little trap Stoppard has set for the actor. I don't know that I've ever worked on anything as dense, yet so simple.
It's a contradiction. The whole thing. We take direction. There is no choice involved.
Matt Garner (Guildenstern), Patrick Waller (Rosencrantz), and Jacob York (The Player) are individually and collectively master classes in elocution, timing and fearlessness. Their precision is spot on. It's a treat to hear them every show! I'm truly loving the relationship that Matt and Patrick have onstage. I'd hate for anyone to miss these performances! There are 11 more chances to experience this existential roller coaster and the brilliant performances in it.
What an unusual but much welcome pleasure it is to be in a show with characters who are both incredibly well-spoken, but also immediately identifiable. It's a testament to Stoppard's strength as an artist that he gives his actors so much to work with, and still manages to stay true to his distinct style. His talent of creating juicy and challenging roles is especially evident in the Tragedians, crafted by Stoppard to move this story along and to function as the platters on which he serves his themes. Although the actors portraying them are given few words to work with, it's not hard for us to find new and exciting aspects of the characters to explore each performance. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is such a considerate gift to actors and audiences alike, and it is a privilege to be able to unwrap it every night.