The Complexity of “Arcadia”

I had the pleasure of seeing “Arcadia”, produced by resident Shakespearean expert and Artistic Director, Ann Ciccolella. The title “Arcadia” alludes to a Utopian vision associated with natural splendor and harmony. Predominantly a comedy, “Arcadia” addresses the dichotomies of two eras, romanticism and classicism told through witty dialogue. Striving to strike a balance of these two natures, represents the essence of our humanity. Relationships between past and present, order and disorder and the certainty of knowledge, “Arcadia” works on many levels.

Painting by Thomas Eakins

“An example of this comes after we see the historical Thomasina deriving her mathematical equations to describe the forms of nature; we later see Val, with his computer, plotting them to produce the image of a leaf.”

Arcadia travels between the past and present by alternating scenes at the same English country home from 1809 to 1993. The subject matter being rich and dense, I can see why it was important to maintain the consistency in set design which compliments this complex subject matter.

“We love bringing scripts to life that have sparkling wit and brilliant language side by side with sex, romance and complex ideas,” said Austin Shakespeare’s Artistic Director Ann Ciccolella.

See “Arcadia” February 2-19 at The Rollins Studio Theater, presented by the Long Center. To purchase tickets:

For more Shakespeare by Artistic Director Ann Ciccolella, see listings for Zilker Hillside Theater, May 3-20. It’s free and a local tradition here in Austin.

Blog by Lucas


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