(GLASSBORO, NJ) -- Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, one of the great plays of the modern era by one of history's greatest playwrights, opens the “Home” season presented by the Department of Theatre & Dance at Rowan University. Performances are from October 19 - 22 in Tohill Theatre on the university’s Glassboro campus.
The Cherry Orchard, in a translation by Paul Schmidt, begins a thematic season of four mainstage productions designed to take audiences beyond their own “homes” in order to become curious about those they don't know and experience life in another person’s home, neighborhood, or environment so as to bring about understanding and empathy.
Chekhov’s masterpiece captures a people, a family, a community - and a world - in transition. Madame Lyubov Ranevskaya and her family return to their ancestral estate and its orchard to forestall foreclosure. Amid this gathering, the story presents a picture of humanity in all its glorious folly, set during one of Russia’s greatest periods of social transformation.
“What’s really brilliant about Chekhov is that he knows we live in two different worlds at the same time,” states director and faculty member Lane Savadove as he considers the diverse sides of Chekhov’s characters and their circumstances. The director notes that the story is informed by the idea that there is always something unknown or unseen rumbling beneath the surface of each person’s everyday lives.
The play was written 114 years ago, but feels relevant to the contemporary world according Savadove. Intertwined with this family drama is an exploration of a disintegrating class system and the challenges faced by the working class, the nouveau riche, and the privileged class alike.
The article continues after this ad
“He’s talking about why it’s so difficult for the one percent to give up wealth,” Savadove adds.
Venturing beyond the traditional, Savadove sets this production amid a dark woods and creates an environment reflecting a fairy tale or a child’s dream. The atmosphere is created through an original score by noted Philadelphia composer and musician Jay Ansill, performed live by a vocal and instrumental ensemble that creates an aural soundscape for the production.
Savadove and Ansill are joined in creating this world by Dawn Bazemore (movement), Dominick Corsoe (props), Natalie De la Torre (costumes), Dirk Durosette (sets), and Robert Thorpe (lighting), as well as a cast of student actors from across the state of New Jersey and beyond.
Performances are October 19, 20 & 21, 2017 at 8:00pm and October 22, 2017 at 2:00pm. Purchase tickets online at rowan.tix.com. For more information, call the box office at (856) 256-4545, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets are $15 (general) and $10 (seniors/non-Rowan students/alumni/military). Rowan students, faculty and staff are admitted free with valid ID, based on availability.
Tohill Theatre is located in Bunce Hall on the campus of Rowan University, Route 322 in Glassboro, NJ.
PHOTO: From left to right, cast members Maggie O'Connor, Zachary Valdez, Ellorah Mead, Madison Roberts. Photo by David Cimetta