Buy Tickets From the 2012-2013 Season: Hamlet and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (in repertory) Playing May 02, 2013 to June 23, 2013

Jonathan Horne in Hamlet / Nick Faircloth & Paul Hester in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

Directed by Heidi Cline McKerley

A Suzi Recommended Show!
Performances June 7, 9, 13, 15, 21, 23, 2013

The secret midnight utterings of a Kingly ghost will set events in motion that seal the tragic fate of Denmark’s royal family. Witness Hamlet grapple with his mind and heart as he tries to make sense of it all. See why it is often considered the greatest tragedy of all time.

Tom Stoppard’s
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
A Suzi Recommended Show!
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead Presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.
Directed by Jeff McKerley
Performances June 2, 6, 8, 14, 16, 20, 22, 2013
The hilarious inverted tale of Hamlet seen through the eyes of the two minor friends of the Dane. See what goes on in the bumbling, surreal, existential world of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern while the plot of Hamlet plays out in the background.

Hamlet is a part of The Shakespeare Evolution Series!

Join the cast and crew members of Hamlet for a lively Question and Answer session on Sunday May 12 after the show!

Join the cast and crew members of R&G are Dead for a lively Question and Answer session on Sunday June 2 after the show!

Read the Plot Synopsis

Hamlet Synopsis
from The Pocket Companion to Shakespeare’s Plays by J.C. Trewin

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, has not succeeded his father as King. On the throne is his uncle Claudius, who married Queen Gertrude immediately upon the death of her husband, the first King Hamlet. At midnight the ghost of the dead King (whom Claudius had poisoned) appears to his son on the battlements of the castle and commands revenge. “If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not.”

Hamlet, unsure at first, simulates madness (Act II) which overwhelms Ophelia (daughter of the Lord Chamberlain, Polonius) whom he loves. When a company of actors arrives, Hamlet asks for the performance of a play with a plot much like his father’s murder, so that he can see how the King responds. Claudius, deeply alarmed, plans (Act III) to send Hamlet at once to England. Before this can be done, Hamlet, going to his mother’s closet, fiercely reviles her for yielding to Claudius; then, hearing a noise, he stabs through the curtain, killing Polonius who has concealed himself there.

Two courtiers (Act IV) conduct Hamlet towards the voyage to England, bearing letters that order his death when he arrives. Meanwhile, Laertes, son of Polonius, enraged by the news of his father’s end finds that his sister Ophelia is helplessly mad, and swears to kill Hamlet (now coming home after a sea-fight in which he was saved by pirates).

Ophelia drowns herself; Hamlet is in time to see her burial (Act V). Later, at a fencing match where Laertes, after plotting with the King, seeks to stab Hamlet with a poisoned rapier, both men are wounded: Queen Gertrude drinks, in error, the poisoned wine Claudius has prepared for Hamlet as a second device. Laertes and Gertrude die; Hamlet, after killing Claudius, collapses in the arms of his friend Horatio and dies. Fortinbras, Prince of Norway, whose army has invaded Denmark, enters to take the throne that Hamlet, with his “dying voice”, has bequeathed. Fortinbras orders him to be borne up with military ceremonial: “For he was likely, had he been put on,/To have prov’d most royal.”

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead Synopsis
Rosencrantz (“R”) and Guildenstern (“G”) are flipping coins, which keep coming up heads. Each time a coin lands on heads, R wins it. While G worries about the improbability of a coin landing on heads so many times in a row, R happily continues flipping. G wonders if they have entered a world where the laws of chance and time are absent. The pair struggles to recall why they are traveling and remember only that a messenger called them.
They encounter a troupe of actors, the Tragedians, whose leader is known as the Player. G turns the improbable coin-flipping episode to their advantage by offering the Player a bet. The Player loses but claims he cannot pay. G asks for a play instead. G starts to leave as the Tragedians prepare, and the two characters are suddenly inside Elsinore, the royal castle of Denmark where Claudius explains that he sent for them so that they could ascertain what is bothering Hamlet, their childhood friend.
Bewildered, R and G discuss how they might probe Hamlet for the cause of his supposed madness. They play a game of question-and-answer, further confusing themselves about their purpose and even their identities. As scene after scene from Shakespeare’s Hamlet unfold through R’s and G’s perspectives, the two despair about how little they learn of Hamlet’s feelings. They cannot decide whether he is insane.

After a performance of The Murder of Gonzago—the play within the play Hamlet— R and G find themselves on a boat, with the Tragedians, taking prince Hamlet to England. They are to give the English king a message telling him to kill Hamlet. Instead, Hamlet discovers this and switches the letter for another, telling the king to kill R and G. During the voyage, they are ambushed by pirates, lose Hamlet, and resign themselves to their fate.

Show Information


Hamlet:  70 min / 60 min / 55 min Rosencrantz - 45 min / 60 min / 40 min

Show Roles

In repertory May 2-June 23, 2013

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
Directed by Jeff McKerley

Rosencrantz - -Nicholas Faircloth
Guildenstern - Paul Hester*
Player King - Drew Reeves*
Player Queen - Matt Felten
Hamlet - Jonathan Horne
Claudius - Clark Taylor
Gertrude - Laura Cole
Polonius - Jeff Watkins
Ophelia - Kelly Criss
Alfred - Matt Felten
Tragedians - Enoch King*, Matt Nitchie, Spencer G. Stephens, Vinnie Mascola, Chris Rushing

Directed by Heidi McKerley
Hamlet - Jonathan Horne
Claudius - Clark Taylor
Gertrude - Laura Cole
Polonius - Jeff Watkins
Ophelia - Kelly Criss
Horatio - Enoch King*
Laertes - Matt Felten
The Ghost of King Hamlet - Matt Nitchie
Rosencrantz - Paul Hester*
Guildenstern - Nicholas Faircloth
Player King - Drew Reeves*
Player Queen - Matt Felten
Players- Chris Rushing, Vinnie Mascola, Spencer G. Stephens, Matt Nitchie
Reynaldo - Chris Rushing
Fortinbras - Chris Rushing
Gravediggers - Spencer G. Stephens (1st), Vinnie Mascola (2nd)
Priest - Matt Nitchie
Francisco - Chris Rushing
Marcellus - Spencer G. Stephens
Bernardo - Vinnie Mascola
Osric - Matt Nitchie
English Ambassador - Spencer G. Stephens
Captain - Vinnie Mascola
Voltemand - Nicholas Faircloth
Cornelius - Paul Hester*
*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States

Show Times
In general, shows at The Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse begin at 7:30pm, except on Sundays, when they begin at 6:30pm.

Bardometer Rating

How difficult is this Shakespearean play to grasp? On a scale of 1 to 10.
What does rating this mean?

These are plays you may have read in high school or college. The plot is fairly uncomplicated, though some of the themes may be dense or dark. These plays may include supernatural elements, straight-forward politics, historical content or religious content. In these plays, there may also be bawdy language and certain adult situations. If we feel a show contains a plethora of Graphic Elizabethan Poetry (or is very bloody/violent/triggering) we will put that disclaimer in the blurb about the show.

Note for all plays: The performers of The Atlanta Shakespeare Company are specially trained to make Shakespeare’s text and intention clear, no matter the plot or the subject matter. They know precisely how to get to the emotional core of each line, each moment, each scene. We promise you will understand everything! Leave the heavy lifting to us!

Additional Information