From a Student’s Perspective: Arcadia Exhibition’s Sun & Sea
By guest blogger Anna Hilbert ’22
On Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, Arcadia Exhibitions bid farewell to the Sun & Sea opera-performance as the cast continued on to the next stop of their tour in Arkansas before heading off to Sweden. As an Arcadia student, I was fortunate enough to see the show on opening night. Gathered outside Grey Towers Castle, I watched as my fellow students murmured about the opera-performance written by Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė, and Lina Lapelytė.
“I heard it was in the New York Times! I’ve never seen anything like that before!” They were right, none of us had ever seen anything like Sun & Sea. We watched as the Budd warehouse in North Philadelphia turned into a snapshot of a perfect day. Only, the show wasn’t merely a day at the beach; in fact, it was anything but a vacation. Sun & Sea echoes the question that fills us with dread:
“What are we doing to our planet?”
The circular performance begins with a sunny bossa nova, then slowly exposes the haunting reality of human life exhausting our planet’s resources, only to start again just as the last chorus is sung. The stage perfectly mimicked a crowded beach, filled with children playing, dogs learning tricks, and murmurs of overlapping conversation. The performers were scattered among volunteers—from both Arcadia University and surrounding neighborhoods—and as they sang, I watched Arcadia students’ eyes dart around the stage trying to identify the voice.
The show was a brilliant commentary on the link between the sustainability of our earth and the sustainability of human workers due to the constant demands of our consumerist society.
– Anna Hilbert
The show was a brilliant commentary on the link between the sustainability of our earth and the sustainability of human workers due to the constant demands of our consumerist society. Arcadia Exhibitions was proud to promote a message that represents our school’s own environmental efforts (check out these student volunteers rehabilitating wetlands in Cheltenham). Sustainability is an important aspect of life that we should urge people to consider.
How do your actions affect the environment?