Stoppard finds no "ought" in the playwright's art

Playwright Tom Stoppard
British playwright Tom Stoppard visits Minneapolis for the first time as part of the Guthrie Theater's Global Voices forum.
Photo: Amie Stoppard

One of the greatest living playwrights will be in Minneapolis Monday. British writer Tom Stoppard will speak to an audience at the Guthrie Theater, where his 1982 play "The Real Thing" completed a run in September.

Stoppard remains best known for one of his earliest plays, "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead." He's also worked on scripts for popular films including "Shakespeare in Love," "Brazil" and "Empire of the Sun."

His latest stage work, "Rock 'n' Roll," examines the events leading up to the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia, in which a rock band comes to represent freedom from Soviet rule. At the moment he's occupied with the U.S. premiere of his trilogy of plays, "Coast of Utopia," running at Lincoln Center in New York. It's about a group of radical artists and intellectuals in 19th-century Russia.

The plays were first performed in London in 2002 but, as Stoppard tells Minnesota Public Radio's Marianne Combs, he's made some changes for New York.

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