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Spokane Shakespeare Society's "Hamlet" and "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead"

S3's executive director and repertory cast talk about their two outdoor summer plays

Amanda Cantrell, Jeffrey St. George, David Hardie and Preston Loomer of the Spokane Shakespeare Society (S3) joined E.J. Iannelli in the KPBX studio to give the details on their 2023 summer productions of Hamlet and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

S3 is staging the two plays in repertory, which means that audiences can see them on alternating nights during two outdoor summer runs at various local parks. The first run opens tomorrow (July 20) and continues through August 6. The second run is from Aug. 31 through Sept. 17.

Cantrell serves as S3's executive director and is directing Hamlet. She and St. George explained why they've been itching to stage these two works—one by William Shakespeare, the other by Tom Stoppard—in this fashion for several years.

St. George, who plays Hamlet, also delivered one of the character's well-known soliloquies, "Oh that this too, too solid flesh."

The entire cast has roles in both plays. Hardie and Loomer are playing Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, respectively, in each. In Hamlet they're minor characters, but in Stoppard's absurdist play, they find themselves with a much larger stage.

To give a flavor of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, directed by Pam Kingsley, they performed a comedic scene that depicts their scheming to discover the nature of Hamlet's madness.

Cantrell also took time to explain the meaning of S3's publicity hashtag #GhostDaddy and the importance of bringing these works to green spaces across the city. The free performances will take place this summer in three parks: Manito, Riverfront and Sky Prairie.

For showtimes, venue information and more, visit the Spokane Shakespeare Society's website.

E.J. Iannelli is Spokane Public Radio's Arts and Music Director