Rosencrantz & Guildenstern, Tom Stoppard's satirical meditation on Hamlet will be Theatre 40's first production of the year 2000, opening Jan. 22 and closing on Feb. 20. Betty Olevin is the director. She is literature director at Oxford University and is also performing arts supervisor for the city of Pasadena.
While participating in a colloquium sponsored by the Ford Foundation in Berlin in 1964, Stoppard worte a one-act play which later became Rosencrantz. The play, which focuses on two minor characters from Hamlet, examines the ideas of fate and free will. First performed by the National Theatre at the Old Vic in London in 1967, it received immediate and widespread acclaim, making Stoppard famous at age 29.
In New York, Stoppard was honored with both the Tony and New York Drama Critics Circle Awards. The New York Times called the play, "Very funny, very brilliant, very chilling; it has the dust of thought about it and the particles glitter excitingly in the theatrical air."
Theatre 40 is located at 241 Moreno Drive in Beverly Hills. For tickets and information call (323) 936-5842.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent