February 25-March 12, 2011
A Play about Sex, Death, and Algorithms
Tom Stoppard is arguably the world’s greatest living playwright, winner of an Academy Award and four Tonys. And Arcadia is almost universally recognized as his masterpiece. A rapturous and intellectually vigorous play about nothing less than the nature of truth and time and the difference between the scientific and poetic mind, Arcadia moves back and forth between two time periods (1809 and 1995) and two fascinating sets of characters sharing the same country house. It’s a clever mystery, a lovely romance, and a delicate waltz of grand ideas.
The last time Arcadia was performed in Nashville was 1999. Since that time, Arcadia’s reputation has grown exponentially with recent high profile productions in London (featuring Tom Stoppard’s son) and Washington D.C. It will also receive a new production starring Billy Crudup on Broadway in 2011, opening near the same date as our production. It has become increasingly acclaimed and celebrated and is now often considered one of the great plays of the last fifty years: “Tom Stoppard’s richest, most ravishing comedy to date, a play of wit, intellect, language, brio and, new for him, emotion” (New York Times).
In the Independent in May of 2009, critic Johann Hari suggests that Arcadia “is perhaps the greatest play of its time.” He writes: “Stoppard compresses so many ideas and guffaws and griefs into less than three hours that any attempt at a summary of the play will sound paradoxical. It is an English country-house farce about the death of the universe. It is a laugh-filled tragedy about what happens if you take the intoxicants of poetry and science seriously. It is a play where Stoppard turns himself into a clown whose juggling balls are Romanticism, Classicism, and the meaning of life.”
Scenic & Lighting Designer
Shelby June Flowers