From the Director
From the Director
There is so much to be found in The Cherry Orchard; the intricacy of relationships, the limitations inherent to interaction between different levels of social class, and the haunting power of memory. In Lopakhin’s case memory drives him forward, while for Madame Ranevskya, the past anchors her in a state of denial. Both are unable to let their memories be—they hang on them, almost tangibly, like shawls or heavy woolen sweaters.
Hints of the unrest leading to the revolution of 1917 are present in The Cherry Orchard, but this play really isn’t about the politics that lead up to the revolution. It is about the inevitability of change. And of course money, or the lack thereof, plays a large part in this play. This once wealthy family is overcome with debts, and a crumbling estate that has a beautiful yet unproductive cherry orchard. Do they sell what has been in the family for almost 100 years or do they hope loans and friends will help them? For many of us, who have experienced the economic upheaval of the last eighteen months, their predicament is not foreign to the imagination.
One beauty of Chekhov’s art is his unobtrusive view into human nature and the simple routines that make up our days, revealing much about the stuff of which we are made.
“In our troubled times…societies are seized by laziness, boredom with life and disbelief, when all around us there reigns a strange combination of hatred of life and fear of death, when even the best of our people sit around twiddling their thumbs, justifying their laziness and depravity with the fact that life has no meaning, we need enthusiasts the way we need the sun.”
It was Chekhov’s hope and desire that by writing honestly about life as he saw it, his countrymen might reflect on his honesty, and be inspired to better their lives.
Thank you for joining us as we celebrate the 150th Birthday of Anton Chekhov, by exploring the riches and beauty of The Cherry Orchard.
Enjoy the show,