Synopses & Reviews
Chekhov's masterpiece, about a Russian family losing its ancestral home, combines a lament for a vanishing past with a hopeful dream of the future. In the century since its first performance, The Cherry Orchard has undergone a wide range of conflicting interpretations: tragic and comic, naturalistic and symbolic, reactionary and radical. Beginning with the 1904 premiere at Stanislavsky's Moscow Art Theatre, this study traces the performance history of one of the landmark plays of the modern theatre. Considering the work of such directors as Anatoly Efros, Giorgio Strehler, Peter Brook, and Peter Stein, Chekhov: The Cherry Orchard explores the way different artists, periods and cultures have reinvented Chekhov's poignant comedy of failure and hope.
A study of the performance history of Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard.
One of the greatest modern plays, The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov is a poignant comedy about a family losing its ancestral home. This study examines a wide range of performances, from the 1904 premiere at Stanislavsky's Moscow Art Theatre to experimental productions worldwide a century later.
First performed in 1904 by the Moscow Art Theatre, not long before the Russian Revolution, The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov is a poignant comedy about a family losing its ancestral home. Subsequent directors have interpreted this landmark play from a wide range of political and aesthetic perspectives. This study examines the play and a variety of important performances from its first century of existence, and explores the way different artists, periods and cultures have reinvented Chekhov's comedy of failure and hope.
Table of Contents
Introduction; 1. The Cherry Orchard: text and performance; 2. The Moscow Art Theatre production, 1904; 3. Russian and Soviet performances, 1904-1953; 4. The Cherry Orchard in English: early productions; 5. The Cherry Orchard at mid-century: Barrault, Saint-Denis, Strehler; 6. Radical revisions, 1975-1977; 7. Brook and Stein, 1981-1997; 8. The Cherry Orchard after one hundred years; Works cited.