FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training Presents
THE CHERRY ORCHARD
By Anton Chekhov
(SARASOTA, March 13, 2015) — The FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training caps its 2014-15 season with Anton Chekhov’s stunning and poignant drama THE CHERRY ORCHARD. Written for the Moscow Art Theatre in 1904 and originally directed by theatre legend Constantine Stanislavsky, THE CHERRY ORCHARD is a masterpiece of dramatic art and classical literature. Over the past 100 years it has had 15 broadway runs, half a dozen adaptations for television and film, and countless productions in the United States, Russia, and all across the globe. There will be a special “Pay What You Can” preview performance on Tuesday, April 7 at 7:30pm, allowing audience members who purchase their tickets that day to pay whatever they can afford to see the show. The show officially opens on Wednesday, April 8 at 8pm and runs through Sunday, April 26.
After five years in Paris, Liubov Ranyevskaya returns to her bankrupt estate, the lovely plantation which boasts the largest cherry orchard in Russia and holds the dearest memories of her childhood. Completely desperate and unable to meet her financial debts and unwilling to destroy the land in exchange for money, Liubov yearns for a solution that honors the land she loves.
“The Chekovian vision of life is incredibly complex,” said director Andrei Malaev-Babel. “THE CHERRY ORCHARD is not simply contemporary — it is eternal. To do it justice you must create a work of art that was contemporary yesterday, is still contemporary today and, most importantly, continues to be contemporary tomorrow.”
Anton Chekhov’s plays are among the most studied and performed works of all time and include The Seagull, The Three Sisters, and Uncle Vanya. A brilliant man who worked dual careers as a doctor and an author, Chekhov is most recognized for the depth of his characters and the myriad of themes he expertly weaves into each of his stories. Set at the turn of the twentieth century, THE CHERRY ORCHARD was his final work for the stage and mixes comedy and tragedy in a classic tale that cherishes the beauty of life and examines the importance of holding to integrity even when it may result in loss.
“THE CHERRY ORCHARD is one of the great plays of the theatre and provides an opportunity for our students to work on huge complex characters,” said Greg Leaming, Director of the Conservatory. “For our second year students, it is the chance to work on a play by one of the most important dramatic writers we know. For our audience, it is a rare opportunity to see this moving play and presents an exciting contrast to every other play in our highly successful 2014-15 season.”
(In Alphabetical Order)
Chris Alexey Diaz
Evan Reynolds White+
Boris Borisovish Simyonov-Pishchik
Yermolai Alexeievitch Lopakhin
Leonid Andreieveitch Gayev
Madame Lyubov Andreievna Ranevskaya
+Appears courtesy of the Actors’ Equity Association.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
ANDREI MALAEV-BABEL holds an M.F.A. from the renowned Vakhtangov Theater Institute in Moscow, Russia. He trained and worked under Alexandra Remizova, the actress-director and co-founder of the Vakhtangov Theater, Stanislavsky’s student and Vakhtangov’s protege. In 1985 Mr. Malaev-Babel co-founded the Moscow Chamber Forms Theater, one of the first private professional theater companies in Russia. He taught on the faculty of The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, and he currently serves on the board and as a member of the international faculty for MICHA, Michael Chekhov Association in New York City. Since 1997, Mr. Malaev-Babel served as the Producing Artistic Director for the Stanislavsky Theater Studio (STS), an award winning, internationally acclaimed company and conservatory in Washington, DC. For STS, he co-adapted, directed and/or played leading roles in productions based on such works as Goethe’s Faust, Cervantes’ Don Quixote, Chekhov’s The Seagull, Neil Simon’s The Good Doctor, Brian Friel’s Fathers and Sons, Moliere’s Le Malade Imaginaire, Gogol’s Dead Souls and Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov. In 2000 he was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award as an Outstanding Director for the STS production of Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot. Mr. Malaev-Babel is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.
ABOUT THE CONSERVATORY
The FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training is a celebrated three-year graduate program culminating in a master of fine arts degree. For more than 35 years, tens of thousands of actors from across the continent have auditioned for admission. A maximum of 12 students are admitted each year. In their second year, the students perform in the Cook Theatre, a 161-seat space designed to create an intimate experience for the audience and actors. Third-year students are seen on the Mertz Stage working with the Asolo Rep’s professional actors in exciting and significant roles. For more information, visit http://www.asolorep.org/conservatory/welcome.
Tickets for THE CHERRY ORCHARD are on sale now at $28 for matinee performances and $29 for evening performances. To purchase tickets, call 941.351.8000 or 800.361.8388, visit tickets.asolorep.org, or visit the Asolo Repertory Theatre Box Office, located at 5555 North Tamiami Trail in the FSU Center for the Performing Arts. Box office hours are Monday 10am–4pm, Tuesday 10am–7:30pm, Wednesday–Saturday 10am–8pm, and Sunday 10am–2pm. The box office closes at 5pm when there are no evening performances, and phone lines close one hour prior to the start of any performance. Subscription packages for the upcoming 2015-16 season are also available starting March 16, 2015 online and by visiting or calling the box office.