Arcadia: Chaos Theory and props, slightly related!

I’m Becky and I am the Deputy Stage Manager on Arcadia. here’s an update about about what is happening backstage in order to put on the first show of The Library Theatre’s new season.

This week we worked through Act 1 scene by scene. The rehearsal day starts with the cast reading through the scene and discussing topics that come up in the script. So far we have talked about Fermat’s Theorem, Chaos Theory, Determinism, Newton’s Law of Motion, Population Biology,Hermits and The Picturesque. Interesting stuff!

The tricky thing about Arcadia is that the play switches between two different time periods; the present day and in the 1800s taking place in the same room of a stately home. Props exist in both times; textbooks and secret notes that are used in the 1800s are then discovered and used to build arguments and theories in the present day. Throughout the rehearsal period we are deciding which props are going to need to be duplicated to ensure that they fit in with the time period. For example, when notes and textbooks are discovered in the present day they will need to look aged as they are now meant to be over 200 years old, but in the 1800s these objects are obviously brand new.

The room that the play is set in features a large table, which is used by the characters in both past and present. Sometimes the props are not removed when the play switches time period, so that the coffee mugs, quills, pens and computers appear alongside each other in the past and present.

Act 2 culminates with a scene in which the characters from both past and present exist together in the room which will be exciting to work out in the rehearsal space!

If you see Arcadia, take a moment to think about the people behind the scenes!