Mint Theater Company Announces Complete Cast Of World Premiere Pairing of CHEKHOV/TOLSTOY: LOVE STORIES

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Mint Theater Company Announces Complete Cast Of World Premiere Pairing of CHEKHOV/TOLSTOY: LOVE STORIES

Mint Theater Company Producing Artistic Director Jonathan Bank today announced that Katie Firth (A Day by the Sea, A Picture of Autumn, Susan and God, Far and Wide - Mint Theater, Museum - Keen Company), Anna Lentz (The Diary of Anne Frank - Geva Theatre Center, The Many Deaths of Nathan Stubblefield, The Tens, A Christmas Carol, Gratuitous Nudity and the Undisclosed Costs of Questioning Surveillance Rather Than Bad Broccoli - Actors Theatre of Louisville), Sam Morales (Measure for Measure, The Skin of Our Teeth, Pericles - Theatre For A New Audience), J. Paul Nicholas (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - National Tour; Blood and Gifts - Lincoln Center Theater; Language Rooms, Scorched - Wilma Theater; Starving - Woolly Mammoth), Malik Reed (The Bacchae - Classical Theatre of Harlem, Messiah - La Mama), and Alexander Sokovikov (Uncle Vanya - The Russian Arts Theater) will join the previously announced Vinie Burrows (now 95; recent credits: Mies Julie - CSC, Light Shining in Buckinghamshire - NY Theatre Workshop, The Homecoming Queen - Atlantic Theater, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Good Person of Szechwan - Public Theater; the landmark 1961 production of Genet's The Blacks with James Earl Jones, Cicely Tyson & Maya Angelou) for the World Premiere pairing of Chekhov/Tolstoy: Love Stories, a program of short plays adapted from stories by two of the world's greatest authors, Anton Chekhov and Leo Tolstoy. These dramatic adaptations come from Miles Malleson, author of Mint hits, Conflict and Yours Unfaithfully, both New York Times Critic's Picks. Performances for this limited Off-Broadway engagement will begin January 23rd and continue through March 14th at Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street). Opening Night is set for February 10th.

Mint's production will be the first-ever pairing of Malleson's Russian gems, co-directed by Mint Artistic Director Jonathan Bank and his longtime collaborator, Jane Shaw, making her directorial debut. Jane has designed sound, and composed and arranged music for thirty Mint productions. Chekhov/Tolstoy: Love Stories will have scenic design by Roger Hanna, costume design by Oana Botez, lighting design by Matthew Richards, sound design by Jane Shaw, and prop design by Natalie Carney. Casting by Stephanie Klapper, CSA.

"Chekhov, whatever his standing as a playwright, is quite probably the best short-story writer ever." - William Boyd, The Telegraph

"Chekhov's stories are as wonderful (and necessary) now as when they first appeared." - Raymond Carver, considered to be one of America's greatest short-story writers

Chekhov's An Artist's Story tells the story of Nicov, a painter who encounters two very different women while on a visit to the country. The flirtatious Genya flatters the artist with questions about miracles and the eternal, while her pragmatic sister Lidia ridicules the artist, questioning the necessity of landscapes in a world where people are poor and hungry. Together, they bring him to a new understanding of himself. The first production of The Artist came in 1919, with Malleson in the title role.

"Tolstoy remains a giant in the world of literature... His pacifism, his advocacy of passive resistance to evil through non-violent means, has had incalculable influence on pacifist movements in general and on the philosophical and social views and programs of Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King and Cesar Chavez." - Alexander Fodor, A Quest for a Non-Violent Russia

Tolstoy's What Men Live By tells the story of a Russian peasant couple whose lives intersect with a mysterious stranger whose odd ways and brilliant smile bring them to a new understanding as well. What Men Live By reflects Tolstoy's dedication to living out a Christian pacifism based on personal conscience. In the midst of World War I, Malleson was inspired by Tolstoy's empathetic vision. What Men Live By premiered as part of an all-female student program by London's Academy of Dramatic Arts, providing audiences with "the pure milk of the Tolstoyan word on loving-kindness." Audiences shell-shocked by the Great War welcomed this balm, just as theatergoers today will warm to Tolstoy's mystical tale of love and redemption.

Performances for Chekhov/Tolstoy: Love Stories will be Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 7:30PM with matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2PM. Additional Wednesday matinees at 2PM on February 5th & 19th and March 4th & 11th; no evening performances on February 5th, 11th, or 18th. All performances will take place at Theater Row (410 West 42nd Street between 9th and Dyer Avenues).

Tickets for Chekhov/Tolstoy: Love Stories will be $35 to $65, with Premium Seats available at $79 (all include $2.25 Theatre Row restoration fee) and can be purchased online at Telecharge.com, by phone at 212-239-6200 or in person at the Theatre Row Box Office.

"Thank heaven for the unwavering commitment of Jonathan Bank, the theatrical archaeologist whose Mint Theater Company unearths long-forgotten plays and imbues them with new life," declared The New York Times in response to a recent Mint production. Terry Teachout writing about Mint's production of Conflict in The Wall Street Journal said "I've reviewed 13 Mint productions since 2005, each one a gem-but it's still worth saying yet again that no New York-based theater company has a better batting average. The invisible hero of Conflict is, of course, Jonathan Bank, the Mint's producing artistic director. It's a wonder how he manages to track down so many plays that both deserve and richly re-pay a second hearing. Mr. Bank is one of a handful of theater artists in America whose name is an absolute guarantee of quality, and Conflict is further proof of his perfect taste."

Mint was awarded an OBIE Award for "combining the excitement of discovery with the richness of tradition" and a special Drama Desk Award for "unearthing, presenting and preserving forgotten plays of merit."

For more information, including photos and videos of Mint productions, visit minttheater.org.



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