Audience shares stage with C-SC actors for “The Cherry Orchard”
Monday, January 26, 2009
CANTON, Mo. - Culver-Stockton College will present the Russian classic, “The Cherry Orchard,” February 19-22, 2009, in the Alexander Campbell Auditorium on campus with the audience sharing the stage with the performers.
“The Cherry Orchard” is the last play written by Russian playwright, Anton Chekov. It premiered in 1904, and over the century has been staged both as a tragedy and a comedy. The show at C-SC will be played as a sentimental comedy. The play revolves around an aristocratic Russian woman, Ranevskaya, and her family who are looking for a way to avoid auctioning off the famous cherry orchard on their estate in order to pay their mortgage.
The play examines the effects of social change on people, specifically the impact on the Russian aristocracy following the 1861 emancipation of Russia’s serfs. As the former serfs gained wealth and status, some aristocrats became impoverished and unable to tend their estates. In “The Cherry Orchard,” Ranevskaya loses nearly everything because she is unable to adapt to the new Russia.
Director Jeff Kellogg, C-SC associate professor of theatre, said the production will be a unique experience for the audience, which will be seated on stage for the entire production. "The play was originally written for the proscenium stage; but because so much of the story is about the characters' psychology, I wanted the audience to be close to the characters and not separated by the 'fourth wall,'" Kellogg added. "By performing the piece in a much closer and more intimate setting, we are making the production much more contemporary. The audience will see that many of Chekov's themes parallel our own society today, with economic crisis and a watershed political change."
The cast includes Nicole Herrington, senior history and theatre major from Quincy, Ill., as Renevskaya; Erin Carmody, freshman speech and theatre education major from Saint Louis as Anya; Varya will be played by Whitney Colston, sophomore theatre major from Neosho, Mo.; Zach Martin, junior arts management major from Decatur, Ill. will play Gayev; Travis Dahlhauser, sophomore speech and theatre education major from Rockford, Ill. will play Lopakhin; and Trofimov will be portrayed by Ian Heath, freshman English/pre-law major from Saint Louis.
Sean Myers, junior arts management major from Hannibal, Mo., will play Simeon-Pishchik; Dakota McKee, freshman theatre major from Pittsfield, Ill. has the role of Charlotta Ivanova; Yepikhodov will be played by Joey Burbach, freshman music education major from Grant City, Mo.; Kristen Williams, freshman psychology major from Wyaconda, Mo., will be playing Dunyasha; Firs will be played by Nick Relic, junior theatre major from Kansas City, Mo.; Daniel Coffman, senior musical theatre and dance major from Eldridge, Iowa, will be playing Yasha; and Jennifer Smith, sophomore religion major from McLeansboro, Ill. will play Vagrant.
The production crew includes stage manager Teri Terford, junior arts management major from Hamilton, Ill.; assistant director James “Sarge” Schloz, senior arts management major from Moweaqua, Ill.; and dramaturge Sarah Maloney, freshman arts management major from Kansas City, Mo.
C-SC will present “The Cherry Orchard” in the Alexander Campbell Auditorium in the C-SC Performing Arts Centers at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 19, Friday February 20, and Saturday, February 21; and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, February 22. Audience seating is limited.
Tickets are $6 for adults, $4 for non-C-SC students, and free to C-SC students. For more information concerning Fine Arts events or to reserve a ticket, call 573-288-6346 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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