CHEKHOV’S THE CHERRY ORCHARD IN FULL BLOOM AT VILLANOVA THEATRE
Villanova Theatre is delighted to continue its 2010-2011 season with the last and arguably greatest of Anton Chekhov’s plays, The Cherry Orchard, translated by Paul Schmidt. Since its first production at the Moscow Art Theatre in 1904, The Cherry Orchard has earned its place in the canon of world dramatic literature, and is universally esteemed for its passion, compassion, and humor. Theatre professor Harriet Power directs a cast of 17 and helms an award-winning creative team that includes James F. Pyne (set), Charlotte Cloe Fox Wind (costumes), Jerold R. Forsyth (lighting), and John Stovicek (sound). The Cherry Orchard will be on stage February 8 -20, 2011.
Villanova Theatre is located in Vasey Hall on the Villanova University campus. Performances will be held at 8:00pm on Tuesday – Saturday and at 2:00pm on Sundays. Tickets cost $21-$25, with discounts available for seniors, students, and groups, and may be ordered through the Villanova Theatre Box Office at (610) 519-7474 or online at www.theatre.villanova.edu.
In Chekhov’s monumental classic, an impoverished, land-owning, Russian family stands on the cusp of sweeping change, preferring fantasies and frivolity to hard choices and actions. Twelve passionate, flawed, funny, and utterly individual characters wrestle with the same pressing questions that still consume us a hundred years later: How can we find love? How do we escape our past mistakes? Why do we turn a blind eye to the very things we should solve? Why do we ache for what we cannot have? And how do we get through the day?
Harriet Power, who previously directed Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya and Three Sisters at Villanova Theatre, hopes audiences will savor the humor and truth in the play. Power says: "Anton Chekhov was only 44 when he wrote The Cherry Orchard. Sadly for all of us, it turned out to be his final play; he was dying of tuberculosis even as he wrote what he described as 'a comedy.'"
Chekhov was himself a doctor whose writing – including seven full-length plays and scores of one-acts and short stories – helped support an extended family. As both physician and author, he had ample opportunity to observe the full range of humanity. Professor Power adds, “He remains, for me, among the very keenest observers of human foibles ever to set pen to paper. Chekhov amuses, amazes, mesmerizes, tickles and moves us – and most uncannily, he shows us ourselves as no other playwright.
He is a master at observing the human comedy in all its giddy, goofy, and tragic dimensions: our need for company and community, our habit of getting in our own way, our tendency to want what we can’t have, our inclination to self-aggrandizement, our hopes for a better future, our capacity for friendship, rage, selfishness, kindness – and occasionally, transcendence."
Harriet Power is a Professor of Theatre at Villanova, where she teaches graduate directing, acting/directing styles, and undergraduate Creativity in Theatre. Recent productions among the 19 she has directed for Villanova Theatre include last season’s As You Like It, the Tony Kushner adaptation of Corneille’s The Illusion, the Feydeau farce Le Dindon, and both parts of Kushner’s Angels in America, codirected with James J. Christy. Part Two of Angels, Perestroika, earned three Barrymore awards including Outstanding Ensemble of a Play, Outstanding Direction, and an additional six nominations. The Cherry Orchard is her third Chekhov play at Villanova, following Uncle Vanya (2000) and Three Sisters (2007). An active professional director and three-time Barrymore nominee for Outstanding Direction, she is Associate Artistic Director of Act II Playhouse, where she recently directed The Tempest, Boeing-Boeing, and Any Given Monday (winner of the 2010 Barrymore for "Outstanding New Play"). Sebastian Barry (in residence at Villanova fall 2005-spring 2006), will receive the first-ever American production of his new play The Pride of Parnell Street at Act II under Power's direction (March/April 2011). Other recent directing: Donald Margulies’ Dinner With Friends in Rome, Italy at Teatro L'Arciliuto, coproduced by The English Theatre of Rome and the American Embassy (winner of “Best of Rome” citation in Trova Roma); and Why I’m Scared of Dance by Jen Childs for 1812 Productions.
The Villanova University Theatre Department came into being in 1958 under the leadership of Dr. Dick Duprey. Today, Villanova’s Theatre Department offers both a Master of Arts degree and a Graduate Certificate in Practical Theatre. Students enrolled in the theatre program undergo a course of study that combines both scholarly and practical approaches to theatre. Guided by award-winning faculty and staff who are actively involved in the region’s professional theatre industry, students gain knowledge and experience through hands-on production work and in-depth academic study in the areas of dramaturgy, script analysis, dramatic literature, playwriting, acting, and directing.
The Cherry Orchard will be on stage February 8 - 20, 2011. Show times are 8:00pm Tuesday – Saturday and 2:00pm Sunday. Tickets cost $21-$25 and may be ordered by calling the Villanova Theatre Box Office at (610) 519-7474 or online at www.theatre.villanova.edu