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Wofford Theatre production of ‘Arcadia’ begins Nov. 3

Thursday, October 27, 2005

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Wofford Theatre Department will present its production of Tom Stoppard’s play “Arcadia” beginning on Thursday, Nov. 3, in the Tony White Theater in The Raines Center.

The play will run Thursday, Nov. 3, through Saturday, Nov. 5, and Wednesday, Nov. 9, through Saturday, Nov. 12. Performances are at 8 p.m.

“Arcadia” is the story of what happened at the Coverly family’s rural English estate in 1809, told both in 1809 and through the rival academics trying to sort out the clues today. The two time lines unfold in alternating, and eventually overlapping, scenes in a neo-classical conservatory overlooking the estate’s extensive gardens. The play has been described by the San Francisco Examiner as “a sex farce about chaos theory, Lord Byron, landscape gardening and Fermat’s Last Theorem, an intellectual game of blind-academic’s-bluff-meets-musical-centuries, laced with a wickedly Oscar Wildean wit.”

The Wofford Theatre production represents an international collaboration as well as a cross-disciplinary one. Mark Ferguson, assistant professor and director of the Wofford Theatre, along with a former graduate school friend, Emmanuel Gaillot, are continuing the college’s International Theatre Development Project they launched last year, when Ferguson assisted on a production of “Polaroid Stories” with Gaillot in Paris. Now, Gaillot, a French programmer, translator, composer and theater artist, has been in residence at Wofford since mid-October, and will remain here through Nov. 7, to serve as sound designer and guest assistant director of “Arcadia.”

In addition, the production is part Wofford’s Theatre/Physics Learning Community, taught by Ferguson and physics professor Dr. Steven Zides. Other Wofford faculty also are involved – Dr. Mark Byrnes (history) and Kerry Ferguson (theatre) are in the cast, both playing academics; Dr. Sally Hitchmough (English), who is British, is the dialect coach. Bill Demastes, a theater scholar from Louisiana State University and author of a book titled “Theater of Chaos,” will speak on “Arcadia and Science" at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 3, in the McMillan Theater in The Raines Center.

A faculty panel will discuss the interdisciplinary aspects of the play at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10, in the McMillan Theater in The Raines Center.

Tickets for the play production are $5 for students and $10 for adults; call (864) 597-4080 for reservations.