We go back to Stoppard’s fringe festival roots. The emphasis is on language & we explore relationships through cross-gender casting.
Infinite Jest was formed in the summer of 2011 for the express purpose of staging a production of Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead as part of the 2012 Capital Fringe Festival. Co-founders Bill Gordon (producer) and Kari Ginsburg (director) share a passion and a common vision for the play, and wish to return it to the fringe environment that first gave rise to the show in 1966. Bill and Kari are taking a back-to-basics, low-tech approach to the production, placing the emphasis on Stoppard’s brilliant language and the ability of the actors to engage the audience’s imagination.
One of the primary reasons we are so passionate about this play is its exploration of meaning in existence. Although the play is 45 years old, the search for meaning in one’s life is an extremely relevant theme in contemporary society, particularly as we deal with the hardships of a weak economy, high unemployment, and overall uncertainty about the future. Tom Stoppard explores these themes first and foremost through a mastery of the English language, and through the unique relationships he crafts between the play’s two namesakes, as well as with The Player and the characters from Hamlet. Our production delves into these relationships even more deeply by employing cross-gender casting. We have cast female actors in the traditionally male roles of Rosencrantz and Polonius, but we’re not going to draw any attention to the fact that these roles are being played by women.
To comply with the strict time limits of the Capital Fringe Festival, we’ve pared the script down to 90 minutes. Our cast is made up of veteran D.C.-area performers, including Mundy Spears (Rosencrantz), Bill Gordon (Guildenstern), Jeff Clevenger (The Player), James Finley (Hamlet), Bill Aitken (Claudius), Kimberly Pyle (Gertrude), Mary Suib (Polonius), and Emily Webbe (Ophelia). Our band of Tragedians, including Amula Gobah, Chris Herring, Stephen Hock, and Alani Kravitz, round out the cast and double as the remaining characters from Hamlet.
The Festival recently notified us of our venue and performance schedule, we have five performances scheduled, spread throughout the run of the festival (12-29 July 2012). We are currently in the early rehearsal process, which will kick into full swing in early June.
With your support, we’ll be able to concentrate on telling the best story we possibly can. Again, our emphasis is on language, character, and relationships rather than sets and technical wizardry — so we don’t need a lot of money, but we do need some. It’s almost $1,000 just to participate in the Festival. The money we raise on Kickstarter will cover those costs, as well as the cost of acquiring the performance rights. Kickstarter contributions will provide us with the funds we need to costume our 12-member cast; to acquire the props we’ll be using; to create the simple, flexible set pieces that will become the world of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern; to market and advertise the show, so we can attract an audience and stand out among the more than 100 productions in this year’s Festival. Finally, money raised here will help cover the cost of rehearsal space rental when free or donated space is not available (and we’re looking for as much of that as we can find).
We hope you’ll find our reward items sensible and thrifty, ensuring that all of your contributions go directly to supporting the art. And, since our hope is that we will be able to remount this production for a full run if our Festival run is successful, your donation will go even further.
We’ve got the passion, we’ve got the vision, we’ve got the talent, and we’ve a plan. With your support, we will be able to bring to the Festival a fresh, energetic production that will shed new light on this timeless classic.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
pledged of $3,000 goal
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Apr 16, 2012 - May 16, 2012 (30 days)
Pledge $5 or more
Your name shouted in a certain dawn. Well, at least your name will get a shout out on our Facebook page and published in our program. You will have our eternal gratitude, and you will be able to tell a hawk from a handsaw. Wind must be southerly.Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $25 or more
You get everything above, plus a limited edition show poster featuring original artwork. Plus, if you attend any performance, you will be guaranteed a brief philosophical dissertation on the implications of being dead in a box.Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $50 or more
You get everything above, plus an autographed cast photo, your picture (if you send us a digital snap) posted in the “Honorary Tragedians” gallery on our Facebook page, and we'll send you a personalized "thank you" video from the cast. Additionally, we will bet you that the year of your birth doubled is an even number (odd numbers, you win).Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $75 or more
You get everything above, plus your picture (if you send us a digital snap) in the program, and an invitation to join members of our cast for a drink at a Washington, D.C., metro-area watering hole. Everyone pays their own way, of course, and we most likely won’t be on boats.Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $347 or more
2 backers Limited (10 of 12 left)
You shall receive such thanks as befits a king’s remembrance. Which is to say, all of the above, and your name shouted out in a certain pre-show. Additionally, you’ll receive a complimentary pair of tickets to the performance of your choice; a highlighted, marked, dog-eared, and potentially somewhat mutilated script used by an actor during rehearsal of the show; and, if you live in the Washington, D.C., metro area, two dozen homemade cupcakes, truffles, or cookies (donor preference) delivered to your door.Estimated delivery: Jul 2012