SCU Presents’ newest play skips through time
November 3, 2016
In “Arcadia,” the 19th century and present day come together onstage simultaneously, proving the time periods to not actually be worlds apart.
In SCU Presents’ newest production, audience members find themselves swept up in a timehopping and thrilling plot of intellectual and romantic discoveries at the English grand manor Sidley Park, set in both the 1800s and the present day. The play, which was written by the acclaimed playwright Tom Stoppard, opens this Friday at the Louis B. Mayer Theater.
“Arcadia” revolves around researchers Hannah Jarvis and Bernard Nightingale—played by Maddie House-Tuck and Cameron Wells, respectively—and their attempts to uncover the history of revelations in both science and love made at Sidley Park.
Director and associate professor Kimberly Mohne-Hill emphasized that the play celebrates life, in both its richness and its briefness.
“The time with your idea, the time with your discoveries, the time with your friends, the time of your youth, the time with your loves. It’s all a breeze. A moment,” Mohne-Hill said.
As the rousing plot unfolds, viewers learn that the manor is host to both unexpected mathematical discoveries by the young genius Thomasina, played by Audrey Kirkpatrick, as well as a series of romantic encounters between various women and Thomasina’s tutor, Septimus Hodge, portrayed by Derek Sikkema.
While the plot may initially sound complicated, “Arcadia” ultimately proves to be a highly intelligent play that manages to incorporate highly intricate mathematical language onstage to a powerful effect.
Mohne-Hill credited the cast for tackling such difficult material.
“These actors have tackled British dialects, obscure mathematical and scientific phrases and concepts and lengthy poetic rhetoric all while playing very specific and clearly defined characters in specific eras of time,” Mohne-Hill said.
Through its breathtaking juxtaposition between society in the 1800s and the present, “Arcadia” also imparts a strong message about the passing of time.
A line in “Arcadia” that particularly illustrates this idea is “It’s a great time to be alive, when everything you thought you knew is wrong!”
The show also serves as a celebration of intelligences, since discoveries at separate times prove to be interconnected.
“Arcadia” opens on Nov. 4, with performances running through Nov. 6, followed by four more performances from Nov. 9 to Nov. 12.
Contact Madeline White at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852