First produced in 1904 at The Moscow Art Theatre under the direction of Konstantin Stanislavsky, this centennial production of Anton Chekhov's classic tale of cultural futility, starring Russian stage and screen legend Renata Litvinova, is as relevant today as it was over a hundred years ago.
Adolf Shapiro's interpretation asks the question, where would the characters of this play live today years after their cherry orchard has been cut down? The answer, which lies in the material world created by set designer, David Borovsky, is, of course, on the stage. The waves of the Moscow Art Theatre's stage curtain, with its famous Seagull insignia, curving and folding in on itself, creating smooth and sometimes ominous corners, becomes home to these wanderers, who are in fact shadows of the past come to life on stage.
Originally intended by Chekhov as a comedy, and firmly directed by Stanislavsky as a tragedy, many artists have had to deal with the dual nature of the play. One hundred years later, this production brings The Cherry Orchard full circle, never at peace, but finally back at its home.