The Cherry Orchard
by Anton Chekhov
Nov. 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18
Directed by Ethan Bowen
“Such strange impractical people I have never met in my entire life! I’m either going to burst out sobbing or screaming. You’re driving me mad!”
Chekhov’s classic character comedy, set in turn of the century Russia, is the story of Lubov Ranevskaya and her family who, upon their return to the family estate, (a famous cherry orchard), discover it is to be sold for debts. Though many solutions are presented, particularly by the local peasant turned successful landowner Lopakhin, the family is unable to act and the estate is sold. The play is a swirl of great characters and missed opportunities, at once both beautiful, touching and ridiculous. Yet the themes are ones close to the heart of Vermonters: land, the past, and the future.
Fri., Nov 9th at 7:30pm
Sat., Nov 10th at 7:30pm
Sun., Nov 11th at 2:00pm
Fri., Nov 16th at 7:30pm
Sat., Nov 17th at 7:30pm
Sun., Nov 18th at 2:00pm
All performances at the Rochester School Auditorium (222 South Main Street, Rochester, VT 05767)
$10 general admission; $8 seniors and students.
At the door $12 general admission; $10 seniors and students. Group rates available.
For more information or to reserve tickets from out of town. Please call (802) 234-5514.
Lyubov Andreevn—Amy Braun
Anya (her daughter—Zoe Newmarco
Varya (her adopted daughter—Jennie Marx
Gaev (Lyubov’s brother)—Dick Robson
Lopakhin (merchant)—Greg Crawford
Trofimov (student)—Gene Heinrich
Pishchik (landowner)—Lori Newcomer
Charlotta (a governess)—Jennifer Wagner
Yepikhodov (a clerk)—Nick Piccicuto
Dunyasha (a maid)—Justine Calnan
Firs (a servant)—Robert Melik Finkle
Yasha (a young servant)—Ferron Griffin
Stationmaster —Ginny Bowman
Beggar Woman—Lori Newcomer
Beggar Children—Oliver Newmarco, Jesse Newmarco
Servants/Guests—Abby Leather, John Wong, Pam Sterling
About the Play
The Cherry Orchard is Russian playwright Anton Chekhov’s last play. It premiered at the Moscow Art Theatre 17 January 1904 in a production directed by Constantin Stanislavski. Chekhov intended this play as a comedy and it does contain some elements of farce; however, Stanislavski insisted on directing the play as a tragedy. Since this initial production, directors have had to contend with the dual nature of this play.
The play concerns an aristocratic Russian woman and her family as they return to the family’s estate (which includes a large and well-known cherry orchard) just before it is auctioned to pay the mortgage. While presented with options to save the estate, the family essentially does nothing and the play ends with the estate being sold to the son of a former serf, and the family leaving to the sound of the cherry orchard being cut down. The story presents themes of cultural futility — both the futility of the aristocracy to maintain its status and the futility of the bourgeoisie to find meaning in its newfound materialism. In reflecting the socio-economic forces at work in Russia at the turn of the 20th century, including the rise of the middle class after the abolition of serfdom in the mid-19th century and the sinking of the aristocracy, the play reflects forces at work around the globe in that period.
Since the first production at the Moscow Art Theatre, this play has been translated and adapted into many languages and produced around the world, becoming a classic work of dramatic literature. Some of the major directors of the world have directed this play, each interpreting the work differently. Some of these directors include Charles Laughton, Peter Brook, Andrei Serban, Eva Le Gallienne, Jean-Louis Barrault, Tyrone Guthrie and Giorgio Strehler.
The play’s influence has also been widely felt in dramatic works by many including Eugene O’Neill, George Bernard Shaw and Arthur Miller.
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was a Russian physician, dramatist and author who is considered to be among the greatest writers of short stories in history. His career as a dramatist produced four classics and his best short stories are held in high esteem by writers and critics. Chekhov practised as a doctor throughout most of his literary career: “Medicine is my lawful wife”, he once said, “and literature is my mistress.”
Chekhov renounced the theatre after the disastrous reception of The Seagull in 1896, but the play was revived to acclaim in 1898 by Constantin Stanislavski’s Moscow Art Theatre, which subsequently also produced Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya and premiered his last two plays, Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard.