Guildenstern—A marginal character in Hamlet. Pensive and frustrated. Loquacious. Unlucky. Stalwart. His surroundings and their unpredictability bother him and so he attempts explanations for their (and his own) existence.
Rosencrantz—An even more marginal character from Hamlet. A bit dim, mostly unconcerned with his surroundings and what they imply. Blissfully unaware. Naive. Playful. Indecisive. A bit impish. Easily influenced. Tender-hearted.
The Player—He is both the Player from Hamlet, and a character of Stoppard’s own creation. He is Stoppard’s surrogate in the play, theonly one who knows what is really going on. A rhetorician of the highest caliber, he has embraced his role as performer. He is grandiose, melodramatic, immodest, manipulative, wise.
Alfred—The boy tragedian who plays all of the female roles. Smallish, frightened. Victimized. A pawn.
Tragedians—4-6 of them. A rag-tag bunch; Clowns, pranksters, musicians, carnies. The grimier the better. They are the ensemble that accompanies the Player, and play other incidental roles throughout Hamlet and Stoppard’s play. Any special clown or music skills are desired for this bunch. They will also play other ensemble parts (see below)
Hamlet—Frantic, bothered, irregular. He may or may not be a bit nuts. He is the key to Ros and Gil’s Success or failure and is a bit of a charicature of Shakespeare’s Melancholy dane.
Ophelia—Hamlet’s love interest. Stringy, tragic, histrionic, soaking wet.
Claudius—Hamlet’s uncle, the usurped king. Brisk, Stern, Controlling, regal.
Gertrude—As in Hamlet, Hamlet’s mother and claudius’ wife. Exacting, precise, lukewarm.
Polonius—As in Hamlet, a pompous old windbag
Soldier, Hortatio, Ambassadors, Courtiers, Pirates, Attendants—played as needed by the Tragedians.