Texas State will present the Tom Stoppard play “Arcadia” Feb. 16-21.
The Texas State Department of Theatre and Dance will present Tom Stoppard’s play, “Arcadia,” on the main stage of Theatre Center starting Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The play will run every night through Saturday, with a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. The play is directed by Richard Sodders.
One of this century’s most popular and important playwrights, Stoppard debuted the play in London to rave reviews in 1993. The work has received the Olivier Award (comparable to a Tony Award in England) and the New York Drama Critics Circle award. It is Stoppard’s most highly regarded work.
The play juxtaposes two time periods, the 1800s and the current day, in a potpourri of comedy, drama and detective story. It reveals to the audience first the events as they happened, then the modern day scholars’ efforts to understand and decipher them.
“Arcadia is an unusual script in that it deals with two time periods, 1809-12 and present day, of which are on stage at the same time at the end of the play,” Sodders said. “It is one of the most intellectual plays written for the stage while keeping an emotional intensity at the same time. Audiences will experience events as they happened in the 1800s and then see how scholars interpret the past events in the present day. Audiences will also become emotionally attached to some of the characters and want to know what will happen to them next.”
The play touches on a variety of subjects, including thermodynamics, landscape design, English literature, the origins of lust and madness, and the nature of evidence and truth. Sodders said the subjects are a match with Texas State’s Common Experience theme of the “Whole Mind.”
“The theme of ‘Whole Mind’ is a perfect fit for ‘Arcadia,'” he said. “It deals with math, science, art and how mankind keeps marching forward with ideas that may be dropped for awhile but, as time progresses picked, up by others.”
Tickets for the play are available at the Texas State Box office at the Theatre Center. General admission is $10 and $7 for students with a valid Texas State ID.