Although David Mamet's translation of Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard doesn't employ the former's trademark staccato rhythms and profanity-laced Mamet-speak, Washingon DC's Source Theatre Company is nonetheless putting a modern spin on the tragicomedy. New artistic director Joe Banno will set his Orchard in the 1990s in a production opening Mar. 14 and running to Apr. 12.
Chekhov's play concerns the Ranevskaya family losing its beloved orchard (and home) due to stubbornness, stasis and stupidity. Recent mountings of the play in NY have included a visit by Moscow's Sovremmenik Theatre and a Los Angeles mounting set in the Napa Valley. Other Chekhov works include The Seagull, Uncle Vanya and Ivanov.
Source veteran actress Cam Magee, who also serves as dramaturg, is joined in the cast by Kevin Reese, Rick Foucheaux, Brook Butterworth, Deb Gottesman, Eric Shoen, Makela Spielman, Kerry Waters, Christoper Wilson, Stas Wronka, Chuck Young and Jim Zidar. Designing the show are Tony Cisek (set), Dan Covey (lighting), Marie Schneggenberger (costumes) and Scott Burgess (costumes).
Now in its 21st season, Source Theatre Company devotes itself to new plays and reinterpreted classics, as well as the annual Washington Theatre Festival and 10-Minute Play Competition.
For tickets and information on The Cherry Orchard at Source Theatre Company, 1835 14th St. NW, call (202) 462-1073. -- By David Lefkowitz