‘Arcadia’: First spring play mixes drama, comedy

By Louis Q Iverson


The UIW Theatre Arts Department is firing up the stage this month to perform Tom Sheppard’s renowned play, “Arcadia,” a dramatic comedy that plays with the shifting of two different time periods.

Set in the room of an English country estate, the play, which opens Friday, Feb. 24, focuses on themes such as reason and emotion, as the 19th-century characters work to unravel the mysteries of their estate’s past, all while adding their own personal twists and ideas to the plot.

“It’s funny,” said Dr. Robert Ball, director of the play and chair of the Department of Theatre Arts. “It can also be sad in some places but there’s also an overall science part in the play as well.”

Thomasina Coverly, one of the characters ahead of her time, discovers the Chaos Theory as well as issues with Newton’s Law of Thermodynamics. Coverly thus begins contemplating Newton’s Law of Heat Exchange.

“Overall, we believe it’s about relationships and how they intertwine,” said Leah Trevino, who plays character Hannah Jarvis. “There are things that happened in the past that we always like to assume we can put together as best we can, but we will never truly know what happened because we were never there. The audience will be shown certain secrets and mysteries that the characters on stage have no idea of or have yet to discover. So it’ll be fun for the audience to share little secrets with some of the characters.”

The cast members have been tediously rehearsing these past weeks and are very excited about opening night.

“It’s so much fun being on stage and being able to work with everyone.” Nicholas Guerrero said. “There’s a lot to practice, but we all connect really well, which makes it easy to work together and build relationships with the characters and audience.”

Brandon Bulls, who plays Septimus Hodge, the astute and promiscuous tutor of Thomasina Coverly, said “Arcadia” illustrates the “patterns of human behavior and how people behave when it comes to their desires and what they want in life. The play examines how life, at times, can set certain things up, but your personal desire may go against the grain.”


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