Past, Present Linked in UH Production of ‘Arcadia’

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Few plays will feature mathematics and physics as central plot points, but then again, there aren’t many productions like Tom Stoppard’s “Arcadia.”

Thanks to the University of Houston’s School of Theatre & Dance, audiences will soon discover the magic behind this award-winning play. “Arcadia” will be performed Nov. 9-10 and 16-18 in UH’s Lyndall Finley Wortham Theatre.

Set in an English country mansion, the play focuses on 19th century math prodigy Thomasina Coverly, who discovers the Second Law of Thermodynamics and the chaos theory. Also residing at the mansion are her mother Lady Croom, tutor Septimus Hodge and poet Ezra Chater. Offstage, literature luminary Lord Byron maintains a presence. Meanwhile, a group of modern day academicians is depicted in the same mansion conducting research that will link their lives to those previous residents.

Scenes seamlessly shift from past to present as the uncertainty of the future looms largely over all of the characters.

Working with the cast is a team of UH faculty who will offer consultation on the play’s more technical themes: math, physics and literature.

“Having this on-site consultation is invaluable to our cast,” said director Sidney Berger, John and Rebecca Moores professor in the School of Theatre & Dance. “Hearing from these fine academic minds will better enable the actors to communicate these concepts within ‘Arcadia.’”

Since premiering in 1993 at the Royal National Theatre, “Arcadia” has become a popular stage staple. It received the 1993 Olivier Award for Best Play and the 1995 New York Drama Critics Award.

General admission tickets are $15; $12 for UH faculty, staff and alumni; $10 for seniors or groups of 10 or more; and $7 for students. Ticket information can be obtained by calling the Wortham Theatre box office at (713) 743-2929. For more information about the UH School of Theatre & Dance, visit the Web site http://www.class.uh.edu/theatre/home.html.

WHAT: “Arcadia”
WHEN: 8 p.m., Nov. 9-10, 16-17; 2 p.m., Nov. 18
WHERE: Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts/Lyndall Finley Wortham Theatre
University of Houston - Entrance 16
Houston, TX 77204
WHO: UH School of Theatre & Dance

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