IMG_3306As one of the many enrichment opportunities for Querbes Scholars, junior and senior members traveled last month to see the Tony Award-winning comedy, “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead” at the Metropolis Performing Arts Center in Arlington Heights.

Although Tom Stoddard’s comedy is somewhat little known to modern audiences, it debuted on Broadway 50 years ago and one year later, in 1968, won the Tony Award for best play.

Essentially, the play reinterprets Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” from the point of view of two minor characters, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who find themselves suddenly thrust into the limelight.

The play has been compared to Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot,” with its two central characters questioning and waiting for something, in this case, the chance to play central figures in “Hamlet.”

IMG_3308Its witty wordplay is so fast moving and the underlying themes so rich, that Querbes Scholars attended a workshop led by Mr. Chris Paolelli, AP Language, and Composition teacher.

Combine the theater trip with an opening dinner at Armand’s Pizzeria in Arlington Heights, and it made for a satisfying evening for students and their moderators, Mrs. Cate Majka, Mrs. Julie Reedy, Mr. Patrick Neville—all moderators of the Querbes Scholars Program—and Mr. Paolelli.

“It was an excellent opportunity to witness a fast-paced, witty and thought-provoking play,” said Patrick Harris ’17, “that proved to be not only entertaining but applicable to our course work.”

His classmate, Stephen Hannon, agreed, though he admitted he had no idea what to expect, knowing it was meant to be an absurdist play.

IMG_3316 (1)“I enjoyed how carefully it was written,” Stephen said. “It seamlessly blended Shakespearean wordplay with modern references and vernacular.”

The Fr. Louis Querbes Scholars’ Program debuted in 2010 and was designed to challenge and enlighten highly motivated students. The program combines rigorous curriculum opportunities with activities that go beyond the classroom walls and are intended to foster personal growth, intellectual independence, and faith enrichment.