March 25, 2023

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“The Cherry Orchard” laid out for Tehran performance 

TEHRAN – Iranian director Mikail Shahrestani plans to put on stage Russian playwright Anton Chekhov’s final play “The Cherry Orchard” at Tehran’s Iranshahr Theater Complex in mid-April.

The cast will be announced in a few weeks, he told the Persian service of ISNA on Wednesday.

Shahrestani directed reading performances of Chekhov’s 1898 play “Uncle Vanya” at Tehran’s Resaneh Cultural Center in 2017.

In the tragi-comedy, perhaps Chekhov’s most popular play, the Gayev family is torn by powerful forces, forces rooted deep in history, and in the society around them. 

Their estate is hopelessly in debt: urged to cut down their beautiful cherry orchard and sell the land for holiday cottages, they struggle to act decisively. 

Tom Murphy’s fine vernacular version allows us to reimagine the events of the play in the last days of Anglo-Irish colonialism. 

It gives this great play vivid new life within our own history and social consciousness.

Written in 1903, the play was first published by Znaniye in 1904.

It opened at the Moscow Art Theater on January 17, 1904 in a production directed by Konstantin Stanislavski.

Chekhov described the play as a comedy, with some elements of farce, though Stanislavski treated it as a tragedy.

Widely regarded as a classic of 20th-century theater, the play has been translated and adapted into many languages and produced around the world. 

Major theater directors have staged it, including Charles Laughton, Peter Brook, Andrei Serban, Jean-Louis Barrault, Tyrone Guthrie, Katie Mitchell and Giorgio Strehler. 

It has influenced many other playwrights, including Eugene O’Neill, George Bernard Shaw, David Mamet and Arthur Miller.

Photo: Director Mikail Shahrestani in an undated photo.


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