BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College Theatre Department will conclude its 2017-18 season with its production of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia.

Performances are scheduled for April 12, 13, and 14 at 8 p.m., and April 15 at 2 p.m. in Wailes Theatre, located in Steinman Hall on the Bethany College campus.

Hailed as a masterpiece upon its premiere in 1993, Arcadia showcases characters from two time periods wrestling with ideas ranging from the value of fame, genius, sex, and the meaning of life.

On an English estate in 1809, recent college graduate Septimus Hodge (Elias Stebbins of Washington, Pa.) tutors the young and brilliant Thomasina Coverly (Tatum Dyar of Brazil, Ind.). Her intellect is equally intrigued by the worldly matters that Hodge knows, as he is having affairs with Coverly’s mother and a houseguest’s wife. He is challenged to a duel by the offended husband (Mike Lyons of Beaver Falls, Pa.). Another unseen houseguest includes Septimus’ college chum, the famous Romantic poet, Lord Byron.

Meanwhile, in the present, two scholars research Coverly descendants while visiting the manor. Hannah Jarvis (Logan Mayhew of Morgantown, W.Va.) is writing a book, intending to use the estate as a metaphor for the decline of English culture. This pursuit is disrupted by Bernard Nightingale (Kerry Kerr of Lawrenceville, Ga.), who wishes to gain fame by publicizing the salacious doings of Lord Byron and the Coverlys. Humor arises from seeing what actually happened in the past while Hannah and Bernard haggle and often misinterpret the evidence they find.

“This play is a crash course in the liberal arts,” Luke Hardt, director and professor of theatre, said. “The characters are almost casually batting around the profound questions of human existence and at the same time being very funny about it.”

Admission is free or by donation. For reservations or more information, call (304) 829-7124.

About Bethany College

Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in the area of liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.