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Grant Fletcher Prewitt and Ian Gould

The Acting Company Presents Tom Stoppard’s “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead”

Contributed by The Acting Company

Grant Fletcher Prewitt and Ian Gould
Grant Fletcher Prewitt and Ian Gould

George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, Fairfax

Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 8 p.m. 


Hylton Performing Arts Center, Manassas

Sunday, March 2, 2014 at 4 p.m.

FAIRFAX and MANASSAS, Va., Jan. 31, 2014 – “The Acting Company endures as the major touring classical theater in the United States,” says The New York Times about this elite troupe of actors who explore two sides of the same story – arguably one of the greatest works in all of English literature and a modern masterpiece based on the original – with performances in Fairfax and Manassas.

The Acting Company first appears at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 8 p.m., bringing a contemporary work that explores the fundamental mystery of our existence. Tom Stoppard’s Tony Award-winning play, “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead,” turns William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” on its head by examining the misfortunes and musings of two ill-fated, minor characters. This humorous work follows Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, the Danish prince’s childhood friends, who are pawns in the king’s plot against his nephew. Much of the action takes place “in the wings” of Shakespeare’s play, as the confused courtiers try to make sense of the dramatic events unfolding among the royal family and their own involvement in them. Tony Award-winning director John Rando directs The Acting Company in its performance of this witty and engaging work.

The Acting Company shows the opposite side of the story when it presents “Hamlet” at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas on Sunday, March 2, 2014 at 4 p.m. For the first time in its 40-year history, the ensemble brings to life Shakespeare’s most famous tragedy, a riveting tale of vengeance, melancholy, rage, insanity, moral corruption and regicide, in which Hamlet seeks revenge for his father’s murder and his mother’s hasty remarriage to his uncle. Soon the young prince finds himself wavering between action and inaction, and sanity and madness, as he explores his own mortality and morality. Ian Belknap, The Acting Company’s artistic director, brings this great masterwork to life.

Rick Davis, the Hylton Center’s executive director and a professor in Mason’s School of Theater, will present a lecture titled “Holding Mirrors Up to Nature: Shakespeare, Stoppard and the World of ‘Hamlet’” on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 at 1:30 p.m. at the Hylton Center. This discussion examines a few of the contested aspects of Shakespeare’s play before exploring how a 20th century playwright with a gift for the absurd creates a parallel universe to “Hamlet,” illustrating the simple yet profound existential (and theatrical) truth that “every exit is an entrance somewhere else.” This lecture is FREE and open to the public but requires an RSVP to [email protected] with the subject line “Shakespeare Weekend.”

Founded in 1972 by the late John Houseman and Producing Director Margot Harley, The Acting Company is one of America’s leading touring repertory theaters. It has launched the careers of some of today’s finest actors of stage and screen, including Kevin Kline, Patti LuPone, Rainn Wilson, Jeffrey Wright, Frances Conroy and Jesse L. Martin. Throughout the years, The Acting Company has performed more than 138 productions for more than three million people across the globe. Many of these performances are part of the company’s education program, which promotes theater and literacy in communities that lack live performance venues and theater arts education. The company has received numerous awards, including Obies, Audelcos, Los Angeles Critics Circle Awards and a Tony Award for Excellence in Theater.  

Please note: pre-performance discussions will be held 45 minutes prior to each performance on Grand Tier III

at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax (sponsored by Friends of the Center for the Arts)

and in Buchanan Partners Arts Gallery at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas. 



Tickets for THE ACTING COMPANY’S production of “ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD” are $44, $36 and $22. Youth Discount: tickets are half price for youth through grade 12. Visit the box office (open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) or charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit The Center for the Arts complex is located on George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the Mason Pond Parking Deck adjacent the Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university Lot K. For more information, please visit Like us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter at @GMU_CFA.



Tickets for THE ACTING COMPANY’S production of “HAMLET” are $44, $36 and $28. Youth Discount: tickets are half price for youth through grade 12. Visit the box office (open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.) or charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit The Hylton Performing Arts Center is located on George Mason University’s Prince William Campus at 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas, Va., 20110. Free parking is available in the lot next to the Hylton Center. For more information, please Like us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter at @Hylton_PAC.

About George Mason University’s Center for the Arts

Great Performances at Mason is a program of George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA). CVPA provides an academic environment in which the arts are explored as individual disciplines and interdisciplinary forms that strengthen one another. The college prepares students for careers as creators, performers, teachers, scholars, arts leaders and arts entrepreneurs. Understanding that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the college, welcomes a variety of professional and world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Students have the opportunity to perform, create and exhibit their work in a wide variety of public venues including a 2,000-seat Concert Hall. CVPA is home to the Schools of Music, Dance, Art and Theater, as well as the Computer Game Design, Arts Management and Film and Video Studies programs.

About the Hylton Performing Arts Center

Dedicated to bringing a world-class performing arts venue to the Prince William region, the Hylton Performing Arts Center was born out of a partnership among Prince William County, George Mason University, the City of Manassas, the Commonwealth of Virginia and individuals and businesses in the private sector. Soaring more than nine stories and boasting a stunning mix of copper, glass and masonry, the 85,000-square foot center is home to two unparalleled performance venues for local arts groups and performers from around the world, as well as university-related activities. Modeled after the intimate European opera houses of the 19th century, Merchant Hall is a 1,123-seat multipurpose proscenium theater, which is encircled by 27 private boxes that rise three levels. The Gregory Family Theater is a flexible, 4,400-square foot space that can be configured for many different types of performances and events. In addition, the Didlake Grand Foyer, with its sweeping staircase, provides an ideal setting for community, corporate and social events. The Hylton Performing Arts Center, the only building of its kind in the area, is sure to quickly become the cultural hub of Prince William County and the surrounding communities and is a shining example of collaboration and commitment to the arts. 

About George Mason University

George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country. Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university. George Mason University – Where Innovation Is Tradition.

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