Giron's 'Coffee Trees' to Run in Rep with 'Cherry Orchard'

Resonance Ensemble will present Arthur Giron's new play The Coffee Trees in repertory with the play that inspired it, Anton Chekhov's classic The Cherry Orchard. Previews of The Coffee Trees begin September 28th prior to an official press opening of October 3rd, and previews of The Cherry Orchard begin September 30th prior to an official press opening of October 4th at Theatre Row's Beckett Theatre (410 West 42nd Street) in Manhattan.

The Coffee Trees, a new play by Arthur Giron, inspired by Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, "takes place on a Guatemalan coffee plantation following the country's 35-year civil war between communist guerilla forces and conservative landowners. The play examines one family's struggle to find its place in a new society that threatens to leave some of them behind," state press notes.

Directed by Dr. Marion Castleberry, the cast is Teddy Canez, Chris Ceraso, Angela Clemente, Elizabeth A. Davis, Dan Domingues, Annie Henk, Veronica Matta, Steven Pounders, and Victor Truro.

The Cherry Orchard is "one of Anton Chekhov's best-loved and most luminous works, exploring the bittersweet passing of a way of life and the devastating effect of the hand of history on the lives of a collection of ordinary people living in the Russian countryside at the turn of the 19th century. The play is adapted by Resonance Ensemble Artistic Director Eric Parness from the translation by Julius West."

This production of The Cherry Orchard will be set in the late 1940's in the American South, and will parallel the themes Chekhov explores related to the repercussions of the Russian Emancipation of the serfs in 1861 with the American Emancipation Proclamation, which freed the African slaves in 1863. "I chose the American South during the 1940's because to me it parallels many aspects of the society in which Chekhov was writing. The some-what slower, more laid-back lifestyle, the formality of dress and mannerism, the conservativism, the reluctance to adjust to changing times, the importance of societal "status," the changing importance of "class," etc," explains Director Eric Parness.

The cast of The Cherry Orchard is: Alberto Bonilla, Chris Ceraso, Brian D. Coats, Elizabeth A. Davis, Bill Fairbairn, Susan Ferrara, Sacha Iskra, Ben Masur, Jessica Myhr, James Ware, Kari Nicole Washington, and Evan Zes.

The design team for both The Coffee Trees and The Cherry Orchard is: Dustin O'Neill (scenic design); Sidney Shannon (costume design); Bobby Bradley (lighting design); and Nick Moore (original music/sound design).

Arthur Giron - a founding member of Ensemble Studio Theatre - was named "one of our best contemporary dramatists" by critic Rosette La Mont when his play Edith Stein premiered in New York. When Giron's mythic play A Dream of Wealth, about the conquest of Guatemala by Banana Cowboys, opened in New York, it received critical acclaim by the New York Times. Alfred Molina recently recorded an audio tape of his play Moving Bodies about physicist Richard Feynman. Giron's plays are performed continuously throughout the country.

Chekhov, considered one of the greatest dramatists of all time, also penned works such as The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, The Three Sisters and Ivanov.

"Under the Artistic Direction of Eric Parness and Managing Direction of Rachel Reiner, Resonance Ensemble is dedicated to developing new theatrical work inspired by the timelessness and universalism of the classics, and to producing resonating groups of theatrical presentations that echo across countless cultures and eras to confront themes and ideas significant to audiences of today."

Scheduled September 28 through October 21 at Theatre Row's Beckett Theatre (410 West 42nd Street) - the two plays run in repertory Tuesdays at 7pm, Wednesdays through Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 2pm & 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm & 7pm (please note there will be no 2pm performance on Saturday, September 29 or Sunday, September 30; there will be no 7pm performance on Sunday, October 21; and there will be an added 2pm student matinee on Wednesday, October 17).

Tickets are $18 and can be reserved by calling Ticket Central at 212-279-4200 or on-line at www.ticketcentral.com. For additional details, please visit www.resonanceensemble.org.


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