The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

To Sequel, or Not to Sequel?

A school production gives new life to a Shakespeare classic—and proves to be hilariously funny
To Sequel, or Not to Sequel?

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead. Or so the colorful poster reads outside the Performing Arts Center, where the DVC Drama Department held its first showing of Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead on March 29. 

“We started [production] almost two months ago,” said director Ed Trujillo, describing the show. “The set is very complex with language that is very hard to decipher and took a long time to make. But [the play] is very funny.” 

Written by Tom Stoppard and first performed in 1966, this black comedy follows the dynamic duo of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern as they navigate the events of the play they are originally a part of, Hamlet. 

While many may not recognize the names of Rosencrantz or Guildenstern, the story of Hamlet surely rings a bell even to the most casual Shakespearean. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are minor characters in the classic tragedy of a prince who struggles over whether or not he should kill his scheming uncle, whom he suspects of murdering his father. 

Yet in this adaptation, Prince Hamlet is not the only character Rosencrantz and Guildenstern run into. King Claudius, Queen Gertrude, and even Ophelia make brief appearances throughout the runtime, if only to poke at the absurdity and satire of their actions. 

“[Rosencrantz and Guildenstern] become their own play,” Trujilo said of the play’s themes.

“But it doesn’t have a beginning, middle, or an end like most plays. Most of it’s never really resolved.”

He added, “The audience is left to make their own assumptions about what really happened.” 

Shakespeare and his works remain in the elite echelon of English literature more 400 years later, from his timeless tales of star-crossed lovers and unlikely romances, to horrifying character studies of madmen hungry for power and bloodshed. 

But this play is not just a love letter to one of Shakespeare’s most beloved works. It’s also a 4th-wall piece that challenges the audience to look deeper into the story and themselves. Because isn’t that what a play should do: provoke reflections of our personal life and dreams? 

Looking ahead, the Drama Department will perform its next play, Hangmen—set in mid-1960s London after the death penalty has been abolished—on April 19.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Kelly Dwyer, Staff Writer

Comments (0)

By commenting, you give The Inquirer permission to quote, reprint or edit your words. Comments should be brief, have a positive or constructive tone, and stay on topic. If the commenter wants to bring something to The Inquirer’s attention, it should be relevant to the DVC community. Posts can politely disagree with The Inquirer or other commenters. Comments should not use abusive, threatening, offensive or vulgar language. They should not be personal attacks or celebrations of other people’s tragedies. They should not overtly or covertly contain commercial advertising. And they should not disrupt the forum. Editors may warn commenters or delete comments that violate this policy. Repeated violations may lead to a commenter being blocked. Public comments should not be anonymous or come from obviously fictitious accounts. To privately or anonymously bring something to the editors’ attention, contact them.
All The Inquirer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.