Sunday, October 1, 2023

CoSA Brings Hamlet-Inspired Dark Comedy to the Stage with “Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead” 

Two Wayward Characters Search for Purpose in “Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead." Performances on Feb. 10,11,12,17,18, 2023.

CoSA Musical Theatre & Drama is treating audiences to the clever and immersive play, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead, opening Friday, February 10, with five showings which will conclude on Saturday, February 18. The production, which takes place “in the wings” of Hamlet, focuses on two minor characters in Shakespeare’s play who have no idea that their fate is already decided.  

“As Rosencrantz and Guildenstern try to sort out their situation, they are constantly interrupted as the play crosses with the main character of Hamlet,” said Levi Kaplan, Director. “The humor of this script is in clever wordplay. It’s about two friends stuck in a place, longing for direction.” 

Kaplan says that, unlike most shows that are designed and staged by the director, this one was designed collaboratively, with lots of input from the student actors. The production required a high level of creativity and problem-solving on behalf of the actors, who were charged with much more than execution, according to Kaplan. 

“From the moment of auditions, I was looking for students to bring their thoughts to the table,” said Kaplan. The students are incredibly excited about this show. They have been given great creative license, and are really proud of that.”

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead highlights humankind’s struggle to find meaning and rationalize its existence, while simultaneously being destined to die. Kaplan says the play relies mostly on language to communicate its ideas and themes.

I enjoy this script. It’s one of my favorites. I think it is smart, I think it is funny, and the more I dig, the more there is to find,” said Kaplan. “This cast has been easy to work with, and excited to try the new things I’ve asked of them.” 

There will be five performances at the Coronado Performing Arts Center, 650 D Avenue: Friday, February 10 at 7pm, Saturday, February 11 at 7pm, Sunday, February 12 at 2pm, Friday, February 17 at 7pm, and Saturday, February 18 at 7pm. Tickets are available for purchase here.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead was first staged at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1966. Currently, CoSA is one of 25 schools selected from across the country to participate in the American High School Theatre Festival at the Edinburgh Fringe—now the largest theatre festival in the world. CoSA students will be performing on a world stage in the summer of 2024. Community members and business partners are invited to reach out to CoSA to donate and help fund the experience of a lifetime.

About CoSA 
Coronado School of the Arts (CoSA) is San Diego County’s premier public school arts conservatory, home to 200 scholar artists grades 9 through 12, who attend the nationally ranked Coronado High School. CoSA provides an intense, pre-professional arts education to students from Coronado and from all over San Diego, who are admitted after a competitive application/audition process. 
Each school day CoSA offers three or more hours of instruction, pairing young artists with educators who are also industry specialists. With a curriculum designed by professional artist/educators, students are immersed in their chosen specialty in one of six conservatories: Classical and Contemporary Dance, Digital Arts (Animation, Filmmaking, Game Design, and Graphic Design), Instrumental Music, Musical Theatre & Drama, Theatre Production, Design & Management and Visual Art. CoSA is a State of California-approved Career Technical Education program.  
Our award-winning student artists perform and exhibit at the Coronado Performing Arts Center on the Coronado High School campus at 650 D Avenue, in either the 570 seat Main Stage theatre or 80 seat Black Box theatre. Coronado Performing Arts Center is also available for rent to local organizations. About twenty five percent of the CoSA budget is raised each year by the CoSA Foundation. If you would like to see the arts continue to thrive in education, please consider making a donation at