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Arcadia

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theatre conTheatre Conspiracy will also be opening Tom Stoppard’s classic masterpiece Arcadia on March 13. It is a perfect marriage of ideas, wit, language, passion and comedy, a true theatrical feast. Arcadia Promo Pix 2As scenes shift back and forth between the 19th century and the present, a marvelous story unfolds that addresses art, science, history, love, truth – and how they intersect. A varied and vastly entertaining cast of characters takes us on an amusing journey to explore a possible scandal involving the rakish poet, Lord Byron.

Arcadia plays March 13 through March 28. Arcadia Promo Pix 3Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturdays at 8 p.m. with one matinee on Sunday March 22 at 2 p.m. Individual tickets are $22 each. Student tickets are $11. Thursdays are “buy one get one half off,” and opening night on March 13 is “pay what you will,” you name the ticket price! Tickets can be purchased by calling Theatre Conspiracy’s box office at 239-936-3239 or by visiting www.theatreconspiracy.org.

On this page you will find more announcements, news, articles and reviews.

 

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Meet ‘Arcadia’ playwright Tom Stoppard (03-15-15)

Arcadia Promo Pix 7Sir Tom Stoppard is a Czech-born British playwright whose most notable works include  Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1964), Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (1978) and Arcadia. He also co-wrote the screenplay for the 1998 Academy Award winning film Shakespeare in Love.

He began his career in England in 1954 as a journalist and began his career as a playwright in London in 1960 with A Walk on the Water, which was televised in 1963 and adapted for the stage in 1968 under the name of Enter a Free Man. His next work was Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, which opened at the 1966 Edinburgh Festival to rave reviews. It became internationally known in 1967 after it was entered into Britain’s National Theatre.

Arcadia Promo Pix 4Two short works for the theater, Enter a Free Man and The Real Inspector Hound followed, with Stoppard returning to the BBC in 1970 with the two radio plays, Artist Descending a Staircase and Where Are They Now. He also wrote the television plays The Engagement and Experiment in Television, as well as After Magritte for the stage.

His second major work, Jumpers, did not enjoy the same praise that had greeted Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Theater critic Stanley Kauffmann labeled it “fake, structurally and thematically,” while another critic, John Simon, wrote that “there is even Arcadia Promo Pix 5something arrogant about trying to convert the history of Western culture into a series of blackout sketches, which is very nearly what Jumpers is up to.”

Stoppard rebounded two years later with Travesties. It took as its premise a chance meeting between Russian exile politician Vladimir Lenin, Irish novelist James Joyce, and the father of the French Dadaist movement in literature and art, Tristan Tzara in Zurich, Switzerland during World War I as German-led forces pushed for European domination. Their fictional interaction in the play asks the question:  What defines art? Stoppard’s concludes that art’s its sole function is to make the existential meaninglessness of life more bearable.

Arcadia Promo Pix 6Every Good Boy Deserves Favour came to the stage in 1977, opening at the Royal Festival Hall with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the one hundred-piece London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Andre Previn. It was later staged at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City with an eighty-one-piece orchestra.

Arcadia Promo Pix 1Stoppard summed up his life’s work as an attempt to “make serious points by flinging a custard pie around the stage for a couple of hours.” Some of his serious points must have been heard in 1999, when he shared the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay with Marc Norman for their work on the movie Shakespeare in Love. The movie also won Best Picture.

Stoppard may sit comfortably among the elite Arcadia Promo Pix 3English playwrights, but he thinks of himself first and foremost as an entertainer. “One can get all intellectual and be metaphysical,” he told The New York Times in an interview several years ago, “but in the end you are telling a story. I like the notion of theater as recreational.”

Mr. Stoppard’s current fascination is the recent financial crisis. “I read maybe 22 books about Arcadia Promo Pix 2subprime mortgages and banks,” he said, contemplating both the bankers and ordinary citizens caught in the fallout. He ticked off the devastating budget cuts in Britain that are affecting libraries, minibuses for disabled children and “lollipop ladies,” or school crossing guards. But he doesn’t have a plot yet, he said. Given Mr. Stoppard’s complex story lines, scientific precision and linguistic bravura, one would think that his theatre conplays were all carefully mapped out in advance.

In reality, he said, “you’re making it up as you go along.” He said he believes in the interplay of design and chance — a theme of “Arcadia” that also characterizes how he came to write it.

Rather than call the play his best work, he prefers to say simply that it was his luckiest.

“In the end,” Mr. Stoppard said, “one has to feel lucky that things fell out O.K. I’ve felt that all the years I’ve been writing plays.”

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Arcadia opens at Theatre Conspiracy (03-14-15)

Arcadia Promo Pix 2Tom Stoppard’s classic masterpiece Arcadia opened at Theatre Conspiracy on March 13. It is a perfect marriage of ideas, wit, language, passion and comedy, a true theatrical feast. As scenes shift back and forth between the 19th century and the present, a marvelous story unfolds that addresses art, science, history, love, truth – and how they intersect. A varied and vastly entertaining cast of characters takes us on an amusing journey to explore a possible scandal involving the rakish poet, Lord Byron.

See above for play dates, times and ticket information.

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