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Photo Coverage: PETA's Reimagining of THE CHERRY ORCHARD; Show Runs Till 3/15

Photo Coverage:  PETA's Reimagining of THE CHERRY ORCHARD; Show Runs Till 3/15
Ms. Cherie Gil plays Enriquetta Jarldeleza-Sofronio
in Philippine Educational Theater Association's
(PETA) reimagining of Anton Chekhov's masterwork
(Photo: Erickson Dela Cruz)

Manila, Philippines--Theater and film actress Cherie Gil ("Master Class," "Full Gallop") makes her Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) debut via theater director-scenic designer Loy Arcenas ("Corpus Christi," "Love! Valour! Compassion!") and playwright Rody Vera's ("The Merchant of Venice," "D' Wonder Twins of Boac") reimagining of Anton Chekhov's masterwork "The Cherry Orchard," now titled "Arbol de Fuego," a flowering tree that bears no fruit, which frames the main entrance to the nearly bankrupt estate Balay Dako in Negros Occidental, Southern Philippines, during the '70s.

Ms. Gil plays Enriquetta Jarldeleza-Sofronio (Lyubov Andreyevna Ranevskaya in Chekhov's 1904 play), a middle-aged, domineering matriarch of the Jarldeleza clan--a dream role of director Arcenas for the multi-awarded actress.

In "Arbol de Fuego," according to a statement, Gil's Enriquetta comes home from Madrid to sell her family's estate to pay off large debts. The Jarldelezas throw lavish parties, "reminiscing their opulent past amidst their depleting wealth."

Playwright Anton Chekhov (1860-1904), one of Russia's most important literary figures, is best known for his short stories and plays, which include "The Seagull," "Uncle Vanya," and "Three Sisters."

Written in 1904, "The Cherry Orchard" is the most performed Russian play in the world; it was Chekhov's last play.

Its original synopsis tells the story of "Lyubov Andreyevna Ranevskaya and her brother Gayev who return home to their ancestral estate just as it's about to be auctioned to pay a delinquent mortgage. Lopakhin, an emancipated serf-turned-merchant, tries to convince Ranevskaya to cut down her family's beloved cherry orchard and build rental villas, but she will not surrender the symbols of her past, be they beautiful or haunting. Instead, she throws a party for her family and friends and awaits a miracle."

In Manila, Ms. Gil is joined on stage by multi-awarded actors Angeli Bayani, Jake Macapagal, Bembol Roco, Anna Luna, Leo Rialp, Raffy Tejada, Riki Benedicto, Anthony Falcon, Lao Rodriguez, Gie Onida, Kiki Baento, and Divine Aucina.

"Arbol de Fuego," whose dialogues are in Tagalog, Ilonggo, and Spanish, also features costume design by Carlo Pangulaning and music and sound design by Vincent de Jesus.

"Arbol de Fuego" plays PETA Theater Center (5 Eymard Drive, New Manila, Quezon City) from Friday, February 20 through Sunday, March 15.

For tickets, call (632) 725-6244 or (63917) 576-5400 or email

Photos by Erickson Dela Cruz

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