Mary Baldwin University Theatre continues its season with Arcadia by Tom Stoppard, directed by Greg A. Beam. Performances are April 6 through 10, Wednesday through Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinee at 2 p.m., in the Fletcher Collins Theatre, Deming Hall.
Stoppard is a master of verbal gymnastics, leaving clues for the audience as the story unfolds. The play moves between 1809 and the present as the current inhabitants try to discover the reality of the past while we, the audience, see it all unfold.
In 1809 at Sidley Park, ancestral home of the Coverlys, Lord and Lady Croom, a precocious 13-year-old Thomasina is developing mathematical principals far beyond her years. Meanwhile her tutor, Septimus Hodge, gets ready to review “The Couch of Eros,” dubious poetry written by Mr. Chater, with whose wife Hodge has recently been seen “in carnal embrace.” Added to the mix are Lady Croom’s brother, Captain Brice, also enamored of Charity Chater, and Mr. Noakes, a landscape architect who is busily rebuilding the beautiful Sidley Park in the new Gothic style, complete with a hermitage.
In the present day, three scholars are doing research at Sidley Park. Valentine, the son of the family, is doing his graduate mathematics research on the game records from 1809 to find an equation for population growth in biology. Hannah Jarvis is using Lady Croom’s garden book and Noake’s book of sketches in her research on the landscape, while Bernard Nightingale is determined to prove that Lord Byron killed Chater in a duel, with or without evidence.
Septimus Hodge is played by Daniel Burrows, Thomasina by Lydia Wossum-Fisher, Lady Croom by Justine Mackey, Noakes by Daniel Kirkland). Chater is played by Paul Southerington, Cpt. Brice by Zed Kosowitz, Jelleby the housekeeper by Elizabeth Van Doren. In the present-day setting, Valentine is played by Emily Hurst, Hannah by Michelle Laurence, Bernard by Chad Marriott and Chloe, the daughter of the house, by Virgina Daniels. The cast is completed by Randi Sams as Augustus in 1908 and Gus in the present, the other sons of the house.
Tickets are $7 for students and senior citizens and $12 for adults, and may be reserved by calling 540-887-7189, or on-line at go.marybaldwin.edu/theatre.
For more information, please contact Terry Southerington at firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-887-7192.