Call the Salt Theater’s new production of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard a circus, and artistic director Emma Griffin might take it as a compliment. The new mounting fits into a few trunks (not including the performers) and will unpack itself from April 3 to April 21 in unorthodox locales across Gotham, including a tv studio, a meeting room, and an old firehouse parking garage.
Griffin and her company of Downtown stalwarts have been working on this experimental Orchard for a year. “We became interested in how a theatrical production of a `traditional’ play could become more flexible,” said Griffin in a statement. “ We then began to explore how the inherent transience of a theatrical event could be exploited.” The Salt will carry its needs—including costumes, sets, lights and props—from place to place, much like the traveling players of centuries past.
The itinerary is as follow:
Parker Box Gallery, 195 Grand St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn, April 3 - 6, at 8 PM
Downtown Community TV, 87 Lafayette St., the DCTV 3rd Floor TV studio, April 7, 10, 11, at 7:30 PM
University Settlement, 184 Eldridge Street, April 12-13 at 7:30 PM
Downtown Community TV, 87 Lafayette St., the ground floor parking garage, April 16 - 21 at 7:30 PM
The cast includes Tonya Canada, Aundre Chin, Danielle Delgado, Laura Flanagan, Ian Helfer, Dan Illian, Mathew Maher, Mary Neufeld, Maria Porter, Greig Sargeant, Ryan Shogren and Maria Striar.
The offering is quite different from the Salt Theatre’s 2001 venture, a dark, but fairly straightforward look at Kaufman and Ferber’s Stage Door. That critically praised show did take place in a standing theatre—HERE. All tickets at $15. Call (212) 613-5740. For information about locations & directions: www.salttheater.com.
—By Robert Simonson