By Samantha Immidisetti ’18
Appropriately selected, this year’s spring play, titled “The Cherry Orchard,” will have its first showing on Friday, April 29, at 8:00 pm at the Buckingham Performing Arts Center.
As the final play written by the legendary Russian playwright, Anton Chekhov, “The Cherry Orchard” features a turn-of-the-century Russia, in which aristocracy is slowly receding to the rising wave of the middle class. The play revolves around the wealthy Gayev family who, after dispersing from their family home and living abroad for years, have finally returned, only to find the family is heavily in debt. The remainder of the play focuses on the family’s struggle to pay the debt and save their estate, which includes a well known cherry orchard, before it is auctioned off.
Although the play might seem to have a darker tone, Chekhov intended the play to be a comedy. Comedic elements are woven throughout the play in the form of love triangles, bumbling characters, as well as subtle period-appropriate irony.
Transforming the beloved BPAC stage into 20th century Russia is no easy task, but it is one both the director, Ms. Traill, and the actors have embraced. Paige Allen ’17, plays Liubov Ranyevskaya, one of the principal roles in the performance. “Ms. Traill has done a great job with this show, and, if anything, it just looks absolutely stunning,” Allen states. Having been involved with theater since childhood, she is familiar with the process of making a successful play. When asked how she feels about the play on the eve of its opening show she said, “I am so excited to be performing this show. I feel like the cast has really grown into its roles this past week, and I am thrilled to be playing Liubov.”
She, along with over twenty other actors and numerous members of stage crew, will toil this weekend as the first performance is suddenly upon them. Their efforts, as well as the efforts of everyone involved, will be showcased this weekend and are sure to transport you through time and distance, straight into the heart of 20th century Russia.