Tickets for Arcadia go on sale April 11


nick harlan and katie miller rehearse a dance scene in arcadia

Nick Harlan (Septimus Hodge) and Katie Miller (Thomasina Coverly) rehearse a dance scene.

After 23 years, Dr. Paul Newman, professor of theatre, directs his final production in the Adams State University Theatre Main Stage. Arcadia opens April 22. Tickets go on sale Monday, April 11, at the ASU Theatre Box Office.

Comedy, mystery, and thermodynamics, Newman chose one of his favorite plays to produce. "Arcadia has it all. I love the language, the densely packed ideas, and, my favorite theme, unrequited love."

Written by Tom Stoppard, the scenes in Arcadia take place in the past and the present. Set in an English country house, the characters in the present seek to unravel the reasoning and ideas of those from the past. Arcadia has been praised as one of the finest plays in the English language.

This is the second time Newman directed Arcadia, the first was in 1998. "When you revisit a play you approach the production with so much more depth. I continue to explore the nuances in the dialogue with a more comprehensive understanding."

Others conspired to assist Newman in making his final Adams State production memorable. Dr. Matt Schildt, professor of music, offered his services and composed the scores for all the scenes. When alumnus David Trudeau, Chicago, learned of Newman's retirement he asked to design the lighting.

Newman cast Jenna Neilsen, associate professor of theatre, in the role of Lady Croom. "Jenna brings to stage a professional presence and the students respond favorably, rising to a new level."

When considering stage design, Newman decided on an elaborate backdrop painted in rich, dark colors. "Although not normally a fan of dark colors on set, I wanted to be true to the era and chose deep reds with gold, trim molding and other details to create the perfect atmosphere."

Working with the students one last time, has brought out the nostalgia in Newman. "One of the pluses of my job is seeing students all day long. I am very fond of them all."

With only five public shows, there are not many opportunities to experience a "fun, funny, literate, comedic, cleverly worded play," the last one directed by Newman at Adams State.

Public performances of Arcadia run April 22, 23, 29 and 30 at 7:30 p.m. and May 1 at 2 p.m. Call 719-587-8499 to reserve tickets. Tickets are $10 for general public, $8 for seniors and students, and free to Associated Students and Faculty (AS&F).