Costumes for "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" Creative Essay

Costumes for "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead"
A character analysis of the main characters in Tom Stoppard's play "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" as well as potential costuming decisions.
# 154028 | 933 words | 0 sources | 2012 | US

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From the Paper:

"Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead communicates a world full of uncertainty. The main characters wrestle with concepts of reality in addition to their seemingly trivial games of chance. The way these things are handled in a comic yet obviously important way is a definite influence for my vision of the piece. My overall vision for the show is centered around Elizabethan dress in a modern world. I think the juxtaposition of old and new is an apt way to address timeless themes such as existence, free will, and chance. Referencing both modern and Elizabethan times allows play with the absurdity of the text without taking it over the top. Given such broad and intellectually challenging topics, I feel it would be easy to take the play to a very nonsensical place, which I considered, but straying that far from reality would serve little purpose to the actual text and would do little to enhance the vision. Keeping the "world" of the play as relatable to an audience as possible is important to me as a viewer and a designer.
"Rosencrantz, in my mind, is the more dim-witted of the pair of protagonists in this text. While both he and Guildenstern often seem confused or unintelligent, these traits stick out more to me for Rosencrantz. Playing on the juxtaposition of time periods, I immediately saw Rosencrantz and Guildenstern wearing "typical frat guy" clothing, but with Elizabethan collars for their polo shirts. I took that a little further with Rosencrantz, adding the khaki shorts and high socks of today to an Elizabethan place. His collar is more absurd than Guildenstern's, adding another layer of comedy and ignorance to his appearance. The color choice of light blue was to convey a sense of innocence that stems from his simple-mindedness. Additionally, it allows him to naturally fade into nearly any scene. One line that stuck out to me for describing Rosencrantz was when, in act III, he asks, "But what's the point?". This simple question calls the overall theme of existentialism into the forefront, but I feel it also showcases Rosencrantz's lack of understanding of himself and his world."

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