Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Rockville Little Theatre Arcadia

By • Jan 29th, 2008 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of Rockville Little Theatre’s production of Arcadia [MP3 5:39 2.6MB].

Rockville Little Theatre
F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre, Rockville, MD
$16 / $14 Seniors and Students
Through Feb 3rd

Laura: This is the review of Arcadia, performed by Rockville Little Theatre in Rockville, Maryland. Mike and I saw the performance on Sunday afternoon January 17, 2008.

Mike: This show was a bit confusing. There were a lot of deep thoughts in it. It’s a show I wouldn’t mind seeing again so that I can understand it better the second time. Having said that it’s a show you need to go see.

Laura: I had a little difficulty getting my head around the language in the first part when the show went back in time and some of the language and constructs were not the way people talk today. The more present day scenes were a little easier to understand. It was mostly talking heads with not a lot of action. It was a very well done show.

Mike: Arcadia is a play by Tom Stoppard. It concerns the relationship between past and present, and between order and disorder in the certainty of knowledge. It is set in Sydney Park, an English Country house in the years 1809 and 1989. In 1809 Thomasina Coverly, the daughter of the house, is a precocious teenager who’s ideas about mathematics are well ahead of her time. She studies with her tutor Septimus Hodge, a friend of Lord Byron who is an unseen guest in the house. In 1989 a writer and an academic converge on the house. Hannah Jarvis, the writer, is investigating a hermit who once lived on the grounds. Bernard Nightingale, a professor of literature is investigating a mysterious chapter in the life of Lord Byron. As the investigation unfolds, with the assistance of Valentine Coverly, a mathematical post grad in Mathematical Biology, the truth about what happened in 1809 is gradually revealed.

Laura: Thomasina Coverly, played by Sarah Marx did a great job. She was definitely young, very innocent, caught up in the poetry of Lord Byron. She was ready to run off and marry him, very much infatuated with him.

Mike: Her tutor Septimus Hodge was played by Sasha Bratt. He did a pretty good job as well. He had lots of sexual innuendoes he would share as well as trying to keep Thomasina innocent. He was caught a few times in dalliances with some of the other ladies of the house. I think he did a fine job. I liked the humor he was sharing got a good reaction from the audience. We talked with some of the actors afterwards and they were saying it was a surprise to have such a good audience for a Sunday matinee.

Laura: In the present day, Hannah Jarvis was played by Leta Hall. She did a very good job. She was a bit cynical in her trying to figure out Lord Byron’s missing book. She was a little bit Sherlock Holmes-like in trying to solve the mystery.

Mike: The Professor of Literature, Bernard Nightingale, was played by Daniel Lavanga. I think he did a pretty good job with the part. He was a touch annoying when he was trying to solve the Lord Byron mystery. When Hannah Jarvis would correct him or tell him to slow down a little bit that he couldn’t prove something, his frustration would come out. They had a real love-hate relationship going on between them. Even though there was not a true relationship, it was fun to watch them battle each other over the definition of truth and what the definition of history was.

Laura: Everybody else in the cast did a good job. They acted well together. I liked the last scene when they were all on stage how well they did ignoring each other and focusing on their own time period. I though that was really well done.

Mike: The set was fairly simple. There was a french door at the back of the stage and two doors on the sides. There was a table and a small podium. That was it. There were a lot of papers and books and a turtle strewn about the stage. You were really able to stay focused on the performers. I think they all did a pretty good job with the show. It was kind of interesting that this show takes place in the same location 200 years apart, just as the show we saw the previous evening, An Experiment with an Air Pump, at Reston. Both shows had the same basic design of the set. They had a set of doors and a window and that was it. It was interesting that the same basic plot had the same basic set.

Laura: The lighting for Arcadia was well done. The Lighting Designer was Amy Narron. I liked the scene at the end of the play when Thomasina brought out a candle with Septimus. They actually dimmed the lights to make it look like it was just candle lighting. I thought that was a nice effect.

Mike: Arcadia is playing for one more weekend at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre in Rockville, Maryland. Friday and Saturday night at 8 and Sunday at 2. If you’ve seen the show, we’d love to hear your thoughts.There was so much going on that we can’t quite get across to you the complexity of the script. We talked with some of the actors after the show and one of them said he actually gave his parents a copy of the script so they would know what was going on. This will be a show that the next time we see it, we will understand it more and better appreciate it.

Laura: Arcadia was about two hours and forty five minutes with one intermission.

Mike: And now, on with the show.

Cast and crew listings will be posted shortly.

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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

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