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Monday, April 06, 2015

I have fallen in love... with a play... ARCADIA by Tom Stoppard

It's not unusual for me to think about a play for a bit after I have seen it.  One thing I love about theatre is when it reaches out and stirs me to think on things I haven't thought about before, or even things I have thought about but have been shown a new way to look at it.  I like plays I can laugh at and put away right after, too, but the ones that stick with me, the ones that make me think, are the ones that make me love theatre. There have been times, over the years, that I want to see a play twice. It's rare though. Unless I am directing a play, in which case I am looking for different things and need to see the play multiple times as part of the creative process, I rarely want to revisit it.  But, I have, it seems, fallen in love with a play.  The play? Arcadia, by Tom Stoppard, currently playing at the Citadel Theatre. By nature of my working there, I was lucky enough to have to see it twice for my work (Dress Rehearsal and Opening Night). After seeing it for the second time, I was so excited that I would be seeing it for a third time (I was bringing my husband to it).  Why? Because the second viewing was even more than the first.  The script is so beautifully layered between times and with regards to concepts.  Yes, there are some heady scientific principles discussed as well as the world of literary scholarship.  I am lucky to have major in Science and a minor in English, but really, that isn't what is so fascinating for me about this play.  It's the people and the layers of truth from time to time that made me go 'aha!'.  I've seen it three times now, and the third time was the best.  Each time I have picked up on more and more of this beautiful script.  So much so, that while the first two viewings wowed me intellectually, the third hit all my emotional centers and I found myself sobbing through the last 10-5 minutes of the play.  It's the people, it's the impermanence of life, it's the miracle of genius and the tragedy of the loss of that genius too, too soon, and it's about sex and more importantly, love.

I am in love with this play, so much so that I am going to have to see it again before it closes on Sunday.  It's really a surprise to me.  I liked it when I read it, but it has been like one of those presents that has been wrapped in many layers of wrapping paper - each layer more fantastic than the one before. I can't wait to unwrap the next layer.

Arcadia runs until April 12th at the Citadel Theatre. Tickets are available by calling 780.425.1820 or online at

Julia Guy and Aaron Hursh
Justin Goodhand and Claire Armstrong
Photo Credit: David Cooper

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