Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead: A season overview


Amelia Figg-Franzoi

The cast and crew of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead pose following a performance.

October 21, Oshkosh
November 4, Manitowoc
November 18, Whitewater

After spending weeks learning the context of the show, blocking the scenes, building the set, making the light and sound cues, creating costumes, refining and a canceled sub-district competition, the cast and crew of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead headed off to their first competition of the season, the district competition at Oshkosh West High School on October 21, hours before opening night of the fall play.

Owen Gudex, sophomore, who played Alfred, said, “A lot of us felt a bit nervous, for this was our first professional run of the year.”

The cast and crew waited in the dressing room for the judge to give them the score. After hearing the show was well received by the judges receiving an average score of 2.55 out of 3, the show advanced to the next level of competition.

Sectionals were two weeks later at Manitowoc Lincoln High School. The class knew they could still improve, and with judges’ notes, they knew exactly what to work on.

The next two weeks were filled with blocking changes, characterization activities, lighting changes, costume fixes and school performances.

Matthew Seiberlich, sophomore, who played Rosencrantz said, “between district and sectionals, one of the main things we worked on relentlessly was characterization. We did character walks, read lines differently and grabbed chairs in character.”

The day came for Sectionals, November 4. The class boarded the bus to make the hour and a half trek to Manitowoc.

Practically running into the school, the cast and crew sit down to watch other shows before getting into costumes and unloading the truck.

Gudex said, “The space was a lot bigger and we met a ton of awesome people from so many other schools.”

With their fair share of challenges during the performance, the class, once again, sat anxiously waiting for the judge to arrive. When she did, the cast and crew instantly sat down to listen.

The show received a perfect score from all three judges and advanced to the state competition scheduled for November 17-19 at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

The class prepared those next two weeks by fixing the set, ironing costumes and figuring out logistics of the state competition, such as where the class would have their team dinner and roommates.

Seiberlich said, “State was the big guns. We were gone from Thursday right after school until we came back Saturday afternoon.”

So, the class set out one last time to spend those three days in Whitewater. The weekend consisted of seeing a variety of shows, participating in workshops, going to Goodwill together and staying up into the early hours of the morning.

After their performance, the show received the first of two standing ovations of the festival. Overjoyed with how the performance went, they return to the dressing room, anxious for the judge to arrive.

When she did, they received the news that they received all possible awards: Outstanding Directing, Outstanding Technical Theater, Outstanding Ensemble Acting, and the highest award, the Critics Choice. Four actors also received Outstanding Individual Acting Awards, Matthew Seiberlich, Ryan Bennett, Alexandra Berryman and Amelia Eichmeier.

Throughout the whole experience of the class, the cast and crew were able to form a comradery and become a group of tight-knit friends.

Seiberlich said, “This is one of the best groups of people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. I was blown away by how friendly, how accepting, how nice everybody in the cast and the costumes in the crew and everything, just how amazing they all are.”