Brigham Young University-Idaho’s theatre students will present the renowned Russian play, The Cherry Orchard. The public is invited to take a step back in time and across the world as students portray relatable and entertaining characters in the production directed by theatre faculty member Richard Clifford. Performances will take place March 18 to 28.
The Cherry Orchard was the last play written by the Russian writer and doctor Anton Chekhov in 1904 and it is considered one of his most distinguished works.
A few decades after the abolishment of the serfdom by Tsar Alexander II in 1861, The Cherry Orchard follows the conflict an aristocrat Russian landowner named Madame Ranevsky faces, as she comes back for the first time in years to her home in Russia, which includes an old and large cherry orchard. She struggles to keep the economic status of her family as a new century and a new social order begin.
Chekhov has constantly expressed how he intended the play to be a comedy. However, as years have gone by, it has been inevitable for productions to emphasize on the tragedy of the events occurring in front of the audiences. The story is about change, and about how different characters respond to change and find solace in nostalgia.
Richard Clifford, director of the production and dean of the College of Performing and Visual Arts, shared some insights on how the play will be performed by BYU-Idaho students.
“We try to explore the humanity of the characters and their struggles to understand their place in a rapidly changing world. We have tried to highlight the comedy as well, which I think Chekhov intended and which adds a poignant juxtaposition to the serious themes of agency and individual obligations to family, community and self. It will be entertaining and thought provoking.”
The play will be performed in the Black Box Theatre at the Eliza R. Snow Center. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $3 for BYU-Idaho students. For show times and ticket purchases visit tickets.byui.edu, the BYU-Idaho Ticket Office or call 208-496-3170.