-Courtesy of Bryan Buttler Media Relations, LLC
Feature photo: Justin Jain and Krista Apple, by Ashley Smith of Wide Eyed Studios
The Wilma Theater in Philadelphia is preparing for the premiere of their highly anticipated adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s THE CHERRY ORCHARD, directed by Dmitry Krymov, who the New York Times calls “one of the world’s finest theatermakers.” The renowned Russian director, whose productions have won five Golden Mask awards (the Russian equivalent to the Tonys), has collaborated with the Wilma’s HotHouse Acting Company to create a new vision for Chekhov’s story and characters. THE CHERRY ORCHARD runs April 12, 2022 through May 1, 2022.
“The production of THE CHERRY ORCHARD we will be presenting is an utterly unique experience. Without giving too much away (because surprise is one of the production’s ingredients) this production is a fierce examination of class, inheritance and legacy,” said Wilma Lead Artistic Director James Ijames. “The characters in this are Chekhov’s characters; however, Dmitry Krymov and the Hothouse have taken those characters and made them visceral depictions of our current class struggle. The production reminded me that wealth alone, no matter how grotesque that wealth may be, is not enough to live a full life. It cannot save you from loss, or sadness, or pain. This production is deeply loving, and so very fun.“
THE CHERRY ORCHARD centers around a Russian family grappling with the potential foreclosure of their estate, and a community in transition as the old makes way for the new. Volleyballs and sunflower seeds fly, plus more surprises await in Krymov’s inventive re-interpretation, which was adapted by the director in collaboration with the Wilma HotHouse Acting Company through a multi-year workshop process. One of the highlights of the production is a giant interactive train flipboard, which measures 8 feet high by 14 feet wide, that will be at the centerpiece of the Wilma’s stage. The flipboard, which was created in Russia and shipped to Philadelphia, will act as an oracle, almost as an “additional character,” communicating with the characters and predicting the future.
Krymov has designed more than eighty plays for leading Russian theatres. Since 1990, he has dedicated himself entirely to painting, graphics, stage design and theatre directing. His works can be best described as actions or experiments that efface the traditional boundaries between art forms, and he often uses mixed technique for his expressive pieces that include collage and assemblage. Krymov takes a mosaic approach, creating a single whole out of small details by choreographing actions in the space of the painting and directing a delicate play of light.
He is currently a professor at the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts and the Head of the Experimental Theatre Project of the Union Theatre of Europe. Krymov is a recipient of Stanislavski (2006), Turandot (2007 and 2009) and Golden Mask (2008) awards, the highest theatre achievement awards in Russia. In 2007 he received the highest award for stage design of the Russian Pavilion at the Prague Quadrennial. A Midsummer Night’s Dream (As You Like It) was commissioned for the 2012 World Shakespeare Festival and won the Bank of Scotland Herald Angel Award at the 2012 Edinburgh International Festival. He lives and works in Moscow and New York, which makes his appearance at the Wilma a rare and highly-anticipated experience for both the company and audience alike.
The company includes Krista Apple as Ranyevska, Justin Jain as Lopakhin, Ross Beschler as Yepikhodov, Lindsay Smiling as Gayev, Matteo Scammell as Firs, Suli Holum as Carlotta, Campbell O’Hare as Anya, Sarah Gliko as Varya, Brett Ashley Robinson as Dunyasha, and Trevor W. Fayle as Trofimov.
Single tickets are currently available by visiting wilmatheater.org. Tickets are $25-$59, with additional discounts for students, artists, educators, and those under 40.
THE CHERRY ORCHARD has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. THE CHERRY ORCHARD was made possible with generous support from the MART Foundation. THE CHERRY ORCHARD was made possible with generous support from the Trust for Mutual Understanding.