Senior moves from stage to director’s chair

Claudia Mcintosh

Claudia Mcintosh

Many have either seen or worked with J.D. Henriksen in theater productions at SDSU. Henriksen became involved with drama during his sophomore year of high school and has been in a number of SDSU plays since.

However, the well-known actor is now taking a different approach to drama; he is directing the upcoming play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Once a year, State University Theater gives a senior the opportunity to direct an experimental play, and Henriksen decided to try it for fun this year.

“Directing is a lot of responsibility, but you get to take on each character as you are envisioning the production as a whole,” said the 23-year-old communication studies/theater with theater option major.

Although directing is a big job, Henriksen does have some help with the production. A staff is helping as needed to make the production run smoothly. They help design the set, control the lights and set the props.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead presents an inside-out view of Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet, Prince of Denmark as seen by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two minor characters summoned to the Danish court in order to determine the cause of Hamlet’s supposed madness.

“Some people would classify this as a tragicomedy because, as it states in the title, the two main characters die in the end; there’s really no hiding that. It’s funny, though, because the two main characters get confused about what is going on around them in Denmark,” Henriksen said.

One of the decisions that Henriksen has made as director is to “double” cast members. The play script calls for 15 to 20 cast members, but Henriksen is working with a cast of 10.

“I decided to double some people up for the play; that’s something you don’t see very often around here,” Henriksen said.

The play will be held on April 26 and 27 in the Performing Arts Center’s Fishback Studio Theater. It will begin at 8 p.m. both nights. Free tickets will be available at the door on a first-come, first-serve basis.