The Illinois State University School of Theatre and Dance will present Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, opening February 17, 2017. Performances will be held in Westhoff Theatre and will run through February 25.

An acclaimed modern dramatic masterpiece, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead tells the classic Shakespearean tale of Hamlet from the viewpoint of his dim-witted friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. In Tom Stoppard’s best-known work, these two minor Shakespearean characters finally get a chance to take the lead role in a brave attempt to understand their world of reality and illusion, which eventually leads them to an inevitable fate.

Director Paul Dennhardt says, “Stoppard’s wickedly funny play asks profound existential questions about how we are challenged to play the game of life. Do we have agency or are our actions controlled by others, or fate? How do we face the inevitability of death, ‘the undiscovered country,’ that, like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, we are all facing together? Stoppard does this with a sense of playfulness, the absurd, theatricality, and incredibly witty wordplay. I’m extremely excited to work on this iconic piece of theatre during the fiftieth anniversary of its premier production.”

Performances of Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead will be at 7:30 p.m. February 17, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. February 18, at 2 p.m. February 19, and at 7:30 p.m. February 21-25. All performances will take place in Westhoff Theatre .

For tickets or more information, contact the ISU Center for Performing Arts Box Office open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 309-438-2535, or purchase tickets online by visiting Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students, seniors, and Illinois State University faculty and staff. Performance parking is available for free in spots 250 and above at the School Street Parking Deck, 400 W. Beaufort Street, Normal.