A mysterious hermit, living on the ground of an English countryside estate leaves behind notebooks filled with equations that eerily echo mathematical breakthroughs that wouldn’t happen for hundreds of years; the mercurial and famous poet Lord Byron visits the same estate at the dawn of what would become known as the Romantic Era; a cuckolded husband challenges his rival to a duel; and the estate gardens are being redecorated to reflect the new Gothic fashion that is sweeping the early Nineteenth Century European landscape. These are the provocative mysteries at the heart of Arcadia, the critically acclaimed play by Oscar and Tony-award winning writer Tom Stoppard, that opens at Parkway Playhouse on June 6.
“Arcadia is one of the richest and rewarding contemporary English-language plays. It is expansive in theme, full of engaging characters who have passionate arguments and conversations about love, poetry, math, Cleopatra, landscape gardening, and quantum physics” says Andrew Gall, Parkway Playhouse’s Artistic Director, who is staging this production. “It is a play that enlightens, entertains, and gives you plenty to think about later.”
Set in one of the rooms of a lavish estate in the English country, side, Arcadia takes juxtaposes storylines that unfold centuries apart and center on illicit passions and professional rivalries. In the early nineteenth century a precocious teenager, Thomasina Coverly, proposes a startling scientific theory well beyond her own comprehension. The rest of her household is swept up in romantic intrigue brought on by a visit from the notoriously rakish and soon-to-be famous poet, Lord Byron, as well as a radical, but fashionable, makeover to the estate’s expansive garden.
Two centuries later, two academic adversaries square off in the same room attempting to put together puzzling clues from the past in their quest to share the elusive truth. Did Lord Byron kill a guest in a duel? Who was mysterious hermit who secluded himself in the garden scribbling bizarre and complicated mathematical equations?
Gall’s cast for Arcadia features some strong talent pulled from the increasingly vibrant pool of Western North Carolina’s theatre community. The cast includes Mary Katherine O’Donnell, Scott Keel, Trinity Smith, Dwight Chiles, and Parkway Playhouse stalwartz, Bruce Chuvala, Doug Shaw, and Jeff Douglas Messer. Iain Alexander, Dana Gillihan, Devyn Ray, and Graham Livengood, all actors with considerable regional experience on Western North Carolina (and beyond) stages are making their Parkway Playhouse debuts. The show features costumes by Victoria Smith and a scenic design by Bruce Chuvala.
Come see this amazing cast in Tom Stoppard’s award winning Arcadia June 6th-20th!
CLICK HERE to buy tickets now!