written by Tom stoppard
directed by Kristin Hughes
performed August 5-7, 2004
Tom Stoppard's Arcadia takes the audience back and forth through time,
illuminating the mysteries of mathematics, Romantic poetry, the second law
of thermodynamics and chaos theory, as well as the chaos of the human heart
and the "attraction that Newton left out".
In 1809 at Sidley Park, the orderly classicism of Lady Croom's Capability
Brown grounds is being turned into picturesque romantic chaos under the
direction of her new landscape gardener. In a room overlooking the garden's
renovation, Lady Croom's adolescent daughter, Thomasina Coverly, discusses
Fermat's theorem, Newtonian physics, and the definition of carnal embrace
with her tutor Septimus Hodge. They are interrupted by, among others, the
amorous Lady Croom and Ezra Chater, a cuckold and minor poet, determined on
satisfaction. 195 years later, in the same room, a group of modern day
academics try with some difficulty to unravel the events of 1809.