Driftwood Players present Tom Stoppard's Arcadia

Sunday, January 31, 2010

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The Driftwood Players present TOM STOPPARD'S ARCADIA, directed by Cory McDaniel. Performances at The Wade James Theatre, 950 Main Street, Edmonds


February 5 through 21, 2010
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm
Sundays at 2:00 pm

$23 General Admission
$20 Junior/Senior/Military (18 and under, 60 and over)
For tickets, call 425-774-9600 or purchase on-line

The Production
Driftwood's production of Arcadia is set in Sidley Park, an English country house, in the years 1809-1812 and today, juxtaposing the activities of two modern scholars and the house's current residents with the lives of those who lived there 180 years earlier.

In 1809, Thomasina Coverly, the daughter of the house, is a precocious teenager with ideas about mathematics well ahead of her time. She studies with her tutor, Septimus Hodge, a friend of Lord Byron (who is an unseen guest in the house). Back in our own time, a writer and an academic converge on the house: Hannah Jarvis, the writer, is investigating a hermit who once lived on the grounds; Bernard Nightingale, a professor of literature, is investigating a mysterious chapter in the life of Byron. As their investigations unfold, helped by Valentine Coverly, a post-graduate student in mathematical biology, the truth about what happened in 1809 is gradually revealed.

The play's set features a large table, which is used by the characters in both 1809 and 2010. Props are not removed when the play switches time period, so that the books, coffee mugs, quill pens, portfolios, and laptop computers of 1809 and today appear alongside each other in a blurring of past and present.

Critical Acclaim
The London Times, reviewing the first production, praised the "perfect marriage of ideas and high comedy," but for some the ideas overwhelmed the comedy: "...too clever by about two-and-three-quarters. "One comes away instructed with more than one can usefully wish to know..." noted The Daily Mail.

The transfer to the West End (London's Broadway), after eight months, gave an opportunity for re-appraisal and The Daily Telegraph commented: "I have never left a play more convinced that I had just witnessed a masterpiece".

Vincent Canby of The New York Times described the play as "Tom Stoppard's richest, most ravishing comedy to date, a play of wit, intellect, language, brio and, new for him, emotion."

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