Powerhouse actors continue to find their way from New York City to Connecticut's Long Wharf Theatre. Wit's Kathleen Chalfant will be the next one to make the commute when she stars as Ranevskaya in Anton Chekhov's classic drama, The Cherry Orchard in fall 2001. David Esbjornson (The Play About the Baby) will direct.
Other casting has not been announced, but David Strathairn has been mentioned for the role of the merchant Lopakhin.
Ranevskaya owns the cherry orchard at the center of The Cherry Orchard, a bit of family land that has to be sold off to pay debts. What hurts her as much as losing this bond to her dead son and her own childhood is the man purchasing the property, a formerly destitute merchant of no social standing who plans to cut down her trees and profit from her land.
The Cherry Orchard, translated by Paul Schmidt, looks poised to open the Long Wharf's Mainstage season. The rest of the theatre's Mainstage and Stage II offerings for season 2001-02 will be announced in mid-May.
— By Christine Ehren