Actors' Shakespeare Project to Present THE CHERRY ORCHARD, Directed by Obie-Winner Melia Bensussen, 2/12-3/9

Actors' Shakespeare Project to Present THE CHERRY ORCHARD, Directed by Obie-Winner Melia Bensussen, 2/12-3/9

Actors' Shakespeare Project will present The Cherry Orchard, Anton Chekhov's absurdist comedy of human frailties in an evolving world, February 12 to March 9, 2014 at The Dane Estate at Pine Manor College, 400 Heath Street, Chestnut Hill, MA. The production is directed by Obie Award-winner Melia Bensussen.

While from very different times and places, Chekhov shared much with Shakespeare-above all, the silliness and sadness of recognizing ourselves on stage. These shared visions are most evident in The Cherry Orchard, and its aristocratic family at a loss in a changing world, a common theme found even in today's most popular TV period dramas, such as global sensation Downton Abbey. In Chekhov's masterful hands, the subject finds a delicate, and pitch-perfect voice that evokes deeper, more universal emotions of isolation and dislocation in our own lives. This pervasive sense of what might have been, as they appear in the missed connections and opportunities of Madam Ranevskaya within her beloved cherry orchard, transcends 19th century Russia-at once both sad, but also darkly funny.

Anton Chekhov's final, and most famous work, premiered at the Moscow Art Theatre on January 17, 1904, the year of his death, directed by Konstantin Stanislavski and Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko. According to director Melia Bensussen, "The ASP production will retain all the power of the Russian classic, but will render the play it in its clearest and lightest vein. Along with the ambiance of the Dane Estate at Pine Manor and the ASP company, a new translation and design work in tandem to make this Cherry Orchard true to Chekhov's spirit of transparent comedy, and a heartbreaking look at the absurdities that we all share in being alive."

The cast features Resident Acting Company members Marya Lowry* (Lyubov Andreyevna Ranyevskaya), Richard Snee* (Leonid Gayev), Stephen Barkimer* (Yermolay Lopakhin), Sarah Newhouse* (Charlotta Ivanovna), and MariAnna Bassham* (Varya). Additional cast includes Esme Allen as Dunyasha, Arthur Waldstein (Fiers), Lydia Barnett-Mulligan (Anya), Jake Berger (Boris Eimoenov-Pischin), Mac Young (Yasha), Danny Bryck* (Petya Trofimov) and Gabe Graetz (Simon Epikhodov). * Members of Actor's Equity Association.

The creative team includes Melia Bensussen (director), Cristina Todesco (scenic), Arshan Gailus (sound/composition), Nancy Leary (costume), John Malinowski (lighting), and Ian Thorsell (props). The stage management team includes Stage Manager Adele Nadine Traub and Assistant Stage Manager Erica Brown.

Performance schedule is Wed 2/12 at 7:30pm (preview), Thurs 2/13 at 7:30pm (preview), Fri 2/14 at 7:30pm (preview), Sat 2/15 at 8pm (opening night), Sun 2/16 at 3pm (with post-show discussion), Thurs 2/20 at 7:30pm, Fri 2/21 at 7:30pm, Sat 2/22 at 3pm , Sat 2/22 at 8pm, Sun 2/23 at 3pm (with post-show discussion), Thurs 2/27 at 7:30pm, Fri 2/28 at 7:30pm, Sat 3/1 at 3pm, Sat 3/1 at 8pm, Sun 3/2 at 3pm (with post-show discussion), Thurs 3/6 at 7:30pm. Fri 3/7 at 7:30pm, Sat 3/8 at 8pm (no 3pm show on this date) and Sun 3/9 at 3pm (with post-show discussion).

School matinees are Wed 2/26 at 10am (with post-show discussion), Thurs 2/27 at 10am (with post-show discussion) and Thurs 3/6 at 10am (with post-show discussion).

Tickets are $28 - $50. Student Rush and Group discounts available. For tickets go online to OvationTix or call 866-811-4111 or direct link

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