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Balch 1Kathryn BalchProfessor Bina Mehta, Ph.D.ENG 200November 19, 2019Sports and Science: An Analysis of Fencesand ArcadiaAugust Wilson and Tom Stoppard take two very different approaches to writing their hit plays Fencesand Arcadia. Fences, written by Wilson in 1983, takes an in-depth look at race relations in Pittsburgh during the pre-Civil Rights era, whereas Arcadiais a science-based comedy written by Stoppard in 1993 that takes place in both the early 19th century and present day. One is a drama that uses baseball as a running theme for the main character and his relationships, while the other focuses on the differences between Newtonian science and Chaos Theory. On the surface, the two plays do not seem to have anything in common; in reality, each play is based on people and events from history that help form the characters’ motivations.Though both plays are told with the past in mind, they choose very different paths when it comes to explaining their various pasts to the audience. WhileFences is told in a very traditional style with characters mentioning the past while carrying on with their day to day lives,Arcadiaswitches between the early 1800s and present day. Not only does the plot of Arcadiatake place in two different time periods, but items from each end up accumulating on the table around which the play is centered. This method is a way for Stoppard to physically show the audience a tangible representation of devolving into chaos. Stoppard’s decision to have the play span two centuries while revolving around the same setting is one of the first ways audiences can start to see similarities between Arcadiaand Fences.Though Fencestakes place in a different time period than Arcadia, and involves much
Balch 2different subject matter, it also revolves around one setting throughout the course of the show, the Maxson's yard. Both Wilson and Stoppard made the decision to keep their settings stationary,presumably to avoid adding any unnecessary distractions from the core lessons in each production.

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