top of page
Search

10 QUESTIONS WITH JCLT'S ARCADIA DIRECTOR


Junction City Little Theater is the longest-running community theater in Kansas and we are proud to house their office and to have them use our stage five times a year for their productions. The first JCLT show of 2023 is Tom Stoppard's Arcadia.


I was excited to talk with Britain Stites, the director of Arcadia, and ask him a few questions. This is a new show for me so I was looking forward to learning more about the show before I see it during its closing weekend. (February 24-26, 2023)


Q: This is your second show directing for JCLT. What do you love about theater?


I enjoy the unpredictability of live theater. Even if (BIG IF) a show goes off without a hitch it will be different every night.
Community theater highlights the community and the family, you create with a bunch of other people from all aspects, walks, and corners of life. Every show brings a new person or more into my life.

Q: I completely agree. I love the fact that in community theater you can have a doctor, a stay-at-home mom, and a teacher acting together. What is your day job?


By day I am the City Attorney for the City of Junction City. I've been with the City since January 2017. I represent and oversee all legal matters for the City.

Q: You must be busy, and adding directing a show on that. It's like having two full-time jobs. This play must have spoken to you somehow. Why did you choose Arcadia?


I debated between Arcadia and two others in my proposal to the JCLT Board. It feels cliche but Arcadia clicked and felt right at this time. It's different enough from my last show, A Few Good Men, in tone and themes. I didn't want to get pegged as only doing lawyer plays.

Q: I can understand that, so did you see a production of Arcadia before deciding to direct it?


No and yes. I perused online versions but I could not watch the whole thing due to my own vision. No local theater put it on too recently.

Q: Then how did you get introduced to it? I only ask because before now, I had never heard of it.


I went back and reread one of my college textbooks, "Beautiful Equations", a collection of short articles discussing various important mathematical or scientific equations including Chaos Theory. The theoretical ecologist Robert May wrote the article "The Best Possible Time To Be Alive" on Chaos Theory as well as the original scientific article for Arcadia. He cited a number of Valentine Coverly's scene 4 lines.

Q: I love how theater shows up everywhere, even in textbooks about math and science! It shows how universal it is. What was the hardest part of directing this show?


Casting. That's THE hardest part for me. You need to not only get the right person in the right role but you need to weigh the chemistry within the cast. Then you live and work with casting. I have no regrets and adore the casting in this show.

Q: Having a good cast is tough but so important. You said that you "don't want to be pegged as only doing lawyer shows" if you could direct any show what would it be?


To Kill A Mockingbird. As an attorney, it's a must-do after A Few Good Men. I just want the rights issue to settle down. Plus, I know I enjoy Aaron Sorkin's pace and dialogue.

Q: (laughs) So a lawyer show! What about a Musical?


Once. The Hansard & Inglova's music is hauntingly beautiful in that indie genre. I remember a group of friends and I saw the movie at the Liberty Hall theater in Lawrence.

Q: I've never seen the movie Once, but I've listened to the Broadway cast recording and I agree, it's beautiful music and such an interesting story. What are your favorites? Play and Musical?


RENT has a special place in my heart due to seeing it on Broadway with the original cast.
I really like the story of The Crucible and love the resonant story it carries up to this day.

Q: So, you like shows that make you think and discuss it afterward. What do you want the audience to take from Arcadia?


Oh boy. This is a smart nuanced play. I hope the audience leaves entertained. I hope they leave evaluating the aspects of their lives and seeing the potential for interconnectedness compared to the separate "departments" of life.

Q: What do you want the community to know about this play?


If you miss this show then you're missing out. The stories it tells are compelling. It's funny and thought-provoking. I was blessed with an amazing cast embodying every character perfectly. The crew makes every technical, prop, audio, costume, and visual aspect come alive and propels the cast into their roles further.


Make sure to check out JCLT's production of Arcadia this weekend at the

C.L. Hoover Opera House in Junction City, Kansas.

Friday, Feb. 24 at 7:30 PM

Saturday, Feb. 25 at 7:30 PM

Sunday, Feb 26 at 2:00 PM



124 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page