The Chekhov Collective, in association with Theatrus, presents Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, directed by Dmitry Zhukovsky January 28 – February 14, 2016 at the Berkeley Street Theatre. The presentation opens on the 156th anniversary of Chekhov’s birthday and 112th anniversary of the play’s premiere at Stanislavsky’s Moscow Art Theatre.

Life in the beloved cherry orchard is threatened as Russia teeters on the brink of enormous change after the 1861 emancipation of the serfs, an event that blurred the division between the upper class and lower class. Still, there is singing and dancing, reminisces and romances, magic tricks and pratfalls. The lives of thirteen characters slip between tragedy and farce, illusion and reality, all the while being swept along by the steady thrum of time passing by.

The Chekhov Collective is committed to the pioneering work of Oscar-nominated actor, teacher and coach, Michael Chekhov, nephew of the playwright. He dedicated his life to exploring and searching for new ways to free the body, voice and imagination in order to enter and live in the world of the creative imagination. Previous productions include The Seagull and I Take Your Hand In Mine… the letters of Anton Chekhov and Olga Knipper.

Dmitry Zhukovsky directs a cast of 13 featuring Rena Polley as Ranevskaya, Thalia Kane as Anya, Llyandra Jones as Varya, Richard Sheridan Willis as Gaev, Andrew Pogson as Lopakhin, Harrison Thomas as Trofimov, Neil Foster as Semyonov-Pishchik, Joy Tanner as Charlotta Ivanovna, Clayton Gray as Semyon Yepikhodov, Nina Gilmour as Dunyasha, John Gilbert as Firs, Yury Ruzhyev as Yasha, and Dimitrii Khilchenko as the Passerby. Zhukovsky, a graduate of the Schukin Theatre Institute (Moscow) founded by Evegeny Vakhtangov, is a 25-year veteran of teaching acting and directing in theatre, TV and film in the former USSR, Moldova, Russia and Canada. A recent arrival to Canada, he co-founded Theatrus company to produce, perform, study and teach: drama, acting and language.

Anton Chekhov died less than six months after the premiere of this masterpiece in tragicomedy.
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