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Shakespeare to be staged two ways by WCSU Department of Theatre Arts this month

Image from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
Thomas Ovitt, as Guildenstern, and Howard Hendrix Powell (foreground), as Rosencrantz

DANBURY, CONN. — The Western Connecticut State University Department of Theatre Arts will present two takes on Shakespeare with performances of “Hamlet” and “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” this month in the Studio Theatre in the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury.

Often described as one of the greatest tragedies in literature, “Hamlet” is a story of politics, murder and revenge. Prince Hamlet wreaks havoc upon his Uncle Claudius after the Ghost of his father reveals that he has been murdered by his brother, who married his wife and seized the throne.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead” is the absurd journey of Hamlet’s best friends and what happens to them as the events of “Hamlet” unfold around them. The duo of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern engage in philosophical debates related to their experiences and the world around them in Elsinore.

Performances will be as follows: “Hamlet” at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 20 and 21; at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 22 and Saturday, Oct. 28; and at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017. Get tickets at / “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead” will be at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21; 7 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 22; 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 27; 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28; and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 29. Tickets for this show can be found at

Area high school students interested in theatre are invited for free with school ID to see “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead” at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19, and “Hamlet” at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 26. Ticket information for these performances is available at

The cast includes Sam Everett, of Kent, as Hamlet; Noah Todd, of New London, as Ghost; Joey Calabrese, of Harwinton, as Claudius; Alicia Napolitano, of Woodbury, as Gertrude; Stephanie Brown, of Waterbury, as Ophelia; Larry Weatherspoon, of Buffalo, New York, as Laertes; Leah Ciccone, of Wolcott, as Horatio; John Mudgett, of Danbury, as Polonius; Howard Powell, of West Haven, as Rosencrantz; Thomas Ovitt, of New Milford, as Guildenstern; Christina Branfuhr, of Northford, as Voltimand; Lloyd Simmons, of Danbury, as Cornelius; Jason Keane, of Trumbull, as Bernardo and Osric; Jake Capelli, of West Haven, as Marcellus; Jeff Jannito, of Hamden, as Gravedigger; Kevin Durkee, of Orange, as Fortinbras; Ryan J. Taylor, of New Fairfield, as Player; and Katrina Karl, of Bethel, as Player Queen.

The ensemble also includes Colin Gallaher, of Wappingers Falls, New York; Kezia Waters, of Waterbury; Julia Purdy, of Highland, New York; Victoria Purdy, of Highland, New York; Jordan Cowan, of Sherman; Jared Hirsch, of Monroe; and Serena Kelly, of Auburn, Massachusetts.

“Hamlet” is directed by Anthony Cochrane. Pam McDaniel is directing “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.” McDaniel is producing both shows.

Get tickets at



Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.