March 17, 2011
The complicated piece shifts in time from 1809 to the present on a lavish English estate, where Thomasina, a 19th-century teenager, has discovered a mathematical theory years ahead of her time. Dismissed by her suave tutor Septimus, Thomasina continues to look into her discovery while casually observing the various infidelities of her mother and the other adults residing in her home. During modern times, two academics work alongside the home’s current tenants (Thomasina’s relatives) to research the events that occurred in the house in the past.
Stoppard, who says his inspiration for Arcadia came when he began to think about a room which stayed just the same though inhabited 180 years apart, wanted to let his audience in on the secrets of the past as the modern-day characters struggle to figure out what happened 180 years earlier.
Arcadia debuted at London's National Theatre in 1993 and played Broadway's Vivian Beaumont Theatre in 1995. A widely acclaimed 2009 London revival was directed by David Leveaux, who also helms this Broadway production.
Sonia Friedman Productions, Roger Berlind, Stephanie P. McClelland, Scott M. Delman, Nicholas Quinn Rosencranz, Disney Theatrical Group, Roger G. Bartner, Olympus Theatricals, Douglas Smith, Janine Safer Whitney
—Drama League nomination for Distinguished Revival of a Play
Billy Crudup, who plays modern academic Bernard Nightingale in this production, made his Broadway debut as dashing 19th century tutor Septimus Hodge in the show’s 1995 Broadway production.