VALDOSTA, GA – Valdosta State University Theatre and Dance will present “Arcadia,” a play written by Tom Stoppard, Feb. 20-26.
Often referred to as the finest play from one of the most remarkable contemporary playwrights in the English language, “Arcadia” is set in a room on the garden front of a very large country estate in Derbyshire, England, and takes place between 1809-1812 and present day, bouncing back and forth between the past and present, order and disorder, telling the stories of those who lived in the residence more than 200 years ago alongside that of two modern scholars and the home’s current residents.
“Two different casts share the stage …,” noted Kara Harrison, dramaturge and a VSU Theatre and Dance student. “One time period is trying to predict the future and the other trying to discover events of the past.”
“‘Arcadia,’” she said, “teases the profession of unsupported biographical sleuthing, which relates to our current situation of the Internet and excess information. It is difficult to prove which facts are true and false without having completed significant research. In short, ‘Arcadia’ encourages us to always ask questions.”
Dr. Jimmy Bickerstaff, an associate professor of theatre at VSU, primarily directs the 19th century cast. He referred to “Arcadia” as “one of my favorites,” describing it as a “tantalizing detective story spiced with passion and ambition.”
Dennis May, a VSU Theatre and Dance student, directs the present-day cast. He said directing a show with his mentor and teacher has been both interesting and exciting.
“… it proved to be a mashup of different styles of directing,” he added, “which makes the two time periods that much more contrasting. We — like Stoppard’s characters — were tasked with finding the puzzle pieces to develop a cohesive production that lives up to the brilliantness of Stoppard’s writing.”
“Arcadia” first opened at the Royal National Theatre in London on April 13, 1993. It made its way to New York City’s Vivian Beaumont Theater in March 1995.
Individual tickets for “Arcadia” are $12 plus tax for adults, $10 plus tax for senior citizens, $8 plus tax for children and non-VSU students, $7 plus tax for groups of 10 or more at a single performance, and free for all VSU students with a valid university identification card. All tickets will incur a 25-cent processing fee.
“Arcadia” opens at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20, in the Lab Theatre on the second floor of VSU’s Fine Arts Building, which is located at the intersection of Brookwood Drive and Oak Street. Additional performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, through Saturday, Feb. 22; 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23; and7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24, through Wednesday, Feb. 26. The show is performed with one 15-minute intermission.
Tickets may be purchased by calling the VSU Theatre and Dance Box Office at (229) 333-5973 between the hours of 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Source: Valdosta State University Press Release