Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Review Roundup: Classics Theatre Project's Inaugural Project THE CHERRY ORCHARD

Review Roundup: Classics Theatre Project's Inaugural Project THE CHERRY ORCHARDThe Classics Theatre Project's Artistic Director Joey Folsom presents a new adaptation by Ben Schroth of Anton Chekov's The Cherry Orchard. The Cherry Orchard, directed by Joey Folsom, will run June 21 - July 14, 2018 in the Kim Dawson Theatre at the The Trinity River Arts Center. The ensemble cast features Emily Scott Banks as Lyubov, Stan Graner as Gaev, Matthew Eitzen as Yepikodov, Francis Fuselier at Firs, Sterling Gafford as Trofimov, Taylor Harris as Lopakin, Gretchen Hahn as Barbara, Courtney Mentzel as Anna, James Hansen Prince as Pishtchik, Mary-Margaret Pyeatt as Charlotte, Rachel Reininger as Dunyasha, and Dean Wray as Yasha.

The creative team, in addition to Joey Folsom as Director, includes Ryan McBride as Production Designer. The Classics Theatre Project is nonprofit organization managed by Joey Folsom as Artistic Director and Gregory Patterson as Executive Director with Anthony Fortino, CPA, as Director of Finance, and Will Hudson as Director of Social and Digital Media. The Company's Board of Directors is led by President, April Bosworth, Vice President, Stan Graner, Secretary, Debbie Staggs and board members Judy Birchfield, Adam Litwin, Dawn Mickey, Gabe Nicolella, and Dennis Yslas. The Advisory Board consists of Maureen Anderson, Nancy Brenner, Mary Carpenter, Jennifer Martinez, Corky Pledger, and Andrea Redmon.

Widely regarded as an influential classic of 20th Century Theatre, The Cherry Orchard is playwright Anton Chekhov's last work, written in 1903 and set against the backdrop of the socioeconomic changes taking place in Russia in the mid-19th century with the rise of the middle class, the abolition of serfdom and the decline in the power of the aristocracy. Centering on the inevitability of change and the reaction to, it is a work Chekhov described as a comedy and its first director (Konstantin Stanislavski) declared a tragedy for the plain man, with that duality fascinating those mounting it and audiences for generations. In the play, a family finds itself unable to save its estate and beloved cherry orchard when nostalgia for a fictitious golden age, desire for the safety of dated familiarities and an ignorance of youth and responsibility combine to create, as director Joey Folsom coins it, "the action of inaction" against looming economic and social ruin.

Individual Tickets to The Cherry Orchard, will go onsale, Tuesday, May 15 at 12 noon, and will be available by calling (469) 652-6614 or online at Tickets are $25 for general admission with special discounts for students and seniors. Preview ticket prices (June 21 and 22) are $15.

Let's see what the critics have to say!

Nancy Churnin, Dallas News: Accentuating the immediacy, Folsom's costumes, which he designed in consultation with the actors, are contemporary - with sneakers and jeans mixing with dresses and vests. Production manager N. Ryan McBride's simple, sweeping wooden set curves and climbs and includes a scrim where action can be viewed as if in a memory or from far away.

Brian Wilson, Theater Jones: Director Joey Folsom really gets the most out of his actors. The casting, timing and pace of the staging are spot on. However, the set, costumes and music leave quiite a bit to be desired. For those unfamiliar with the play, it takes more than a little imagination and close attention to the language to understand the backdrop of the scenes and the social class of the characters. A nearly bare stage with a bit of furniture and a thin linen cloth used to project the action of the ball in Act III is the only staging. The characters are all in modern and mostly casual dress. And the music seems to be a few favorite modern tracks off of Folsom's iPod rather than something to aid the actors and the scenes. For a theater company that highlighted its "hefty budgets and commitment to paying all actors" pre-launch, it seems that at some point someone realized that budget cuts had to be made somewhere.

Lindsey Wilson, Culture Map: In this ensemble piece, it's often the minor characters that make the biggest impact. Dean Wray conveys unearned arrogance as the servant Yasha, while Matthew Eitzen employs slapstick to demonstrate how his clerk earned the nickname "Heaps of Troubles." Frances Fuselier is heartbreaking as an aging valet, while Mary-Margaret Pyeatt gets to indulge in the weird and wacky behavior of the German governess Charlotte. And though his relationship to Lyubov is a head-scratcher at times, and completely devoid of chemistry with his supposed beloved, her teenager daughter Anna (Courtney Mentzel), Sterling Gafford completely disappears into the fiery ethos of eternal student Trofimov.

Related Articles View More Dallas Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You