Arcadia means “perfection,” and the play put on by the Stevens Dramatic Society, this past weekend from November 12–14, was a great attempt to reach perfection. At first glance, the play seems to be simple, from the minimal stage setup to the seemingly basic plot. However, the play was elegant and subtle in its complex components.
Arcadia is a different type of play, which moves through two different time periods. The modern-day characters are trying to figure out what happened in the early 19th century through clues left behind by those from that time. Even though the setup of the stage remained the same through both time periods, the early 19th century and the modern-day, it was beautifully done.
The stage contained elegant French doors that morphed the stage to have the flow of a house, and a simple, yet important, table that contained props from the two different periods. One of the most impressive parts of the play was the lighting. The background of the stage was covered with tightly pulled ribbon, which gave the stage a different kind of feeling. The ribbons were illuminated with an almost Matrix-like video, as the play moved between the two different time periods.
Of course, all the stage work would have been pointless with the cast. The actors had the difficult task of communicating with a British accent throughout the play, but they did so seamlessly. There were moments when it was hard to follow the details of the play, as the modern-day characters tried to solve the puzzle of the past. Arcadia is definitely not for those with a short attention span, as there are many details to pay attention to. However, there was also witty humor in the play that was perfectly executed by the actors.
Overall, Arcadia was a pleasure to watch, and the Stevens Dramatic Society should be congratulated for their production of the play.