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Arcadia, Tom Stoppard’s Deliciously Dark Farce

By A Noise Within
November 17, 2015

arcadia“We shed as we pick up, like travelers who must carry everything in their arms, and what we let fall will be picked up by those behind. The procession is very long and life is very short.” —Septimus Hodge, Arcadia

Directed by Stephen Rockwell, 2016’s first Resident Artist reading brings one of Stoppard’s brilliantly funny and thought-provoking play to the Redmond Stage on January 6 at 7pm.

Sidley Park, Derbyshire, England is a fascinating place—and home to the estate of the Coverly family’s precocious 13-year-old daughter, Thomasina (who is equally interested in mathematics and the term “carnal embrace”). Arcadia is set in two time periods, 1809 and the present day, and explores the complex dynamics between the present and past.

Intriguing on many levels, the play beckons with both deeper undercurrents and more tickling topics. Among them: sexual jealousy; dueling; botany; and chaos theory. Not enough to keep your mind occupied? All right, then: Stoppard also asks us to examine the perennial war between Classical and Romantic aesthetics and the maturing of mathematical prodigies–and yes, we promise: hilarity ensues! (Really.)

Building on the success of last year’s Copenhagen reading A Noise Within’s Resident Artist Reading Series continues to enrich its relationship with Caltech with another science and math related reading. As with the Copenhagen event we have teamed up with a world renowned scientist from Caltech to help the artists and the audience understand the material more fully.

We are extremely fortunate to have Julia R. Greer, PhD Professor of Materials Science, Mechanics, and Medical Engineering at California Institute of Technology, as part of the Arcadia team. Dr. Greer, one of the world’s leading scientists in developing nano-technology and nano materials, will confer with the actors during the rehearsal process. Then, on the night of the event she will give a pre-show talk to the audience, then join us for a lively post-show discussion.

Dr. Greer kindly says, “I am so honored to bring my craft – the science that I do every day—into my other favorite world, that of live theatre. Arcadia is a complex play which has the intertwined lines of a woman developing emotionally and scientifically, with the latter being done without much of a formal framework. This is a powerful story, and I am thrilled to share some of the physics and math detail used in the play from the perspective of my own personal journey as a woman and as a scientist.”

Join us on Wednesday, January 6th at 7pm. Admission is free. RSVP: 626.356.3121

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