Fri, Apr 08|
The Bug Theatre
The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov (APR 8 - 24)
After years of travel Madame Ranevskaya returns to her family house surrounded by the budding cherry orchards, but by August it is to be sold. Watch as relationships and ties to the past and the present unfold among these very vibrant characters.
Time & Location
Apr 08, 2022, 7:30 PM MDT – Apr 24, 2022, 7:30 PM MDT
The Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St, Denver, CO 80211, USA
About the event
As a child I was fascinated with Russian history, literature, music, and all of the vibrance and dichotomies of their culture. My favorite movie has always been Dr. Zhivago. My oldest brother studied Russian in school and was able to go to the Soviet Union on a school trip. What drew me to Anton Chekhov, our playwright, was one of the best teachers that I ever had, Dr. James Symons, who was my mentor and professor during my graduate studies. The Cherry Orchard is one of my all time favorite plays because it speaks to timeless human issues, such as painful and joyful familial relationships, love in all of its forms, people trying to find their way in the world, class conflict, gender conflict, and young people pushing forward to make changes for their generation in a strange, violent, topsy turvy world. As a teacher, this is currently what I am witnessing with my students as we live in a troubled world. This play was written in 1904 and premiered at the Moscow Art Theatre. The Czars were still in control of the country, but there was severe unrest sprinkled with nuggets of hope as the peasants and serfs who had been oppressed for hundreds of years in a static unforgiving class system, were seeing the benefit of a changing economy, and more opportunities to thrive. Hope and oppression imploded and exploded when the Russian Revolution started in 1917.
I decided to take a risk with this production.
We have moved up the time period to 1968. Again, Russia in the 1960’s was living during the Brezhnev era, and classes were clashing, and brief economic reforms, that later failed, were providing a sense of false hope for many people who wanted to work their way to a better life. In the US, we also saw conflict, as The Vietnam War was taking its toll, the devastating Detroit Riots had taken place a year before in 1967, and music, especially rock and roll, was providing the youth outlets for self expression and rebellion. Woodstock would happen a year later in 1969. Connection to our childhood memories and past provides an anchor for many people, and often, however, we view our past through rose colored glasses. Change truly is scary, and although it can hopefully mean a better outcome for many, for others it is frightening, unstable and can tear apart your heart. I am so thankful to this amazing cast for their insight, dedication, and willingness to take a big risk with me. My parents are my biggest supporters, and Kevin Leonard and his husband, Roy Smerjden, are my guardian angels. I would like to dedicate this production to Dr. James Symons, teacher, mentor, actor, director and one of the best people I have ever met.
In order to hear more about our production and our process, please listen to our quirky podcasts and write to us about topics that you would like us to address in the future! Also, please, come in May to our follow up production of Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang, a contemporary, hilarious and meaningful take on Chekhov’s plays. Спасибо! Spasibo.