On Wednesday, March 5, the senior class took a field trip to see the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company perform Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, a play by Tom Stoppard. All seniors have read Hamlet in their English classes, and AP Literature and Composition students read Stoppard’s spin-off of the Shakespeare classic as well. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead shows the major events of Hamlet from the perspective of two minor characters, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, friends of Hamlet who complete various assignments for the king.
The Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is a “resident ensemble Theatre Company bringing Shakespeare and the Classics to life for audiences of all ages.” The company consists of a variety of talented professionals who work to make Shakespeare’s creations visible and lifelike to the best of their abilities for today’s adults and high school students. The company performed the play exclusively for the McNicholas seniors, who filled the theater.
“The English department wanted the seniors to experience this play live, as opposed to just reading it,” English teacher Katie Caster said. “It enhances their knowledge of Hamlet as well as giving them exposure to absurdist theater that they may not have had otherwise.”
Senior Riley Whitehouse agreed that experiencing the play helped bring the text to life. “It helped me visualize the scenes and understand Shakespeare’s many stage directions,” Whitehouse said. “It allowed me to realize Shakespeare’s wide variety of writing styles from tragedies to comedies.”