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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard

Chapman University and Pacific Symphony’s collaborative “Shakespeare Reimagined” series offers a chance to enroll in a semester’s worth of music, film, and theatre, beginning with a staging of Hamlet to Tom Stoppard’s fabulist classic Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. This makes perfect sense and nonsense, staging the enduring absurdist, avant garde, super-self-conscious meta-drama about two ambitious minor characters and the triumph of art over the limits of reason, the enduring power of life on the stage to bring meaning to our lives in front of it. Hopeless, hilarious, inspiring, these two dead and deadpan anti-heroes take over moments of the famous play about their presumed school pal, the Prince of Denmark, doing on stage “things that are supposed to happen off.” They get their existential commeupance, yet are weirdly triumphant in the fact of their appearance (and disappearance) at all.

April 9-11, 7:30 p.m.; April 16-18, 2015