Chekhov Stories Come Alive in Graveyard-Set World Premiere, Invisible Tears | Playbill

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News Chekhov Stories Come Alive in Graveyard-Set World Premiere, Invisible Tears Invisible Tears, a new comedy drawn from short stories by Anton Chekhov, will make its world premiere in Toronto, opening May 25 at Theatre Passe Muraille's Backspace.

Atrium Players Theatre Company presents Tatiana Chouljenko and Julie Grgar's adaptation. Performances continue to June 3.

Nine short stories by the master Russian storyteller (Three Sisters, The Cherry Orchard, The Seagull) are plucked for the experience. The tales are "theatrically presented using the acting techniques of the legendary actor and teacher Michael Chekhov," Anton Chekhov's nephew.

Atrium's artistic director, Russian-born Tatiana Chouljenko, and her collaborator Julie Grgar, "have translated, adapted and wonderfully interwoven these stories into a tale filled with Anton Chekhov's renowned pathos and humour."

Under Chouljenko's direction, Ian Morfitt and Edward Zinoviev employ Michael Chekhov's techniques to portray a number of characters.

"After a funeral service, two characters stroll through the graveyard and reminisce about people they once knew — people now dead and buried in this cemetery," according to production notes. "Reminiscences turn into theatrical resuscitations as they replay the lives of their deceased acquaintances and friends." The play uses Chekhov's story "Orator," which takes place in a graveyard, as its starting point. Invisible Tears journeys through a myriad of emotions and other stories — including "A Chameleon," "A Thin and a Thick," "An Avenger" and "A Play," among others

Actor Ian Morfitt trained at the Webber-Douglas Academy in London, Great Britain, after completing a degree in Drama at the University of Toronto.

Edward Zinoviev has appeared in plays by Atrium Theatre, Varpakhovsky Theatre of Montreal and Stanislavsky Theatre of Toronto at Harbourfront Centre's Studio Theatre.

Invisible Tears features set design by Jerry Silverberg, lighting design by Jason Morneau and sound design by Chouljenko. Jason Morneau is the stage manager.

Theatre Passe Muraille's Backspace is located at 16 Ryerson Avenue. For more information, visit or


Tatiana Chouljenko and Edward Zinoviev founded Atrium Theatre to "encourage the sharing of different theatrical techniques in order to better explore international texts for a modern audience." Each play Atrium produces focuses on a complete style, system and technique (Michael Chekhov, Brecht, Streller, Myerhold, Stanislavsky, etc.). Previous productions include the English-language premiere of Max Frisch's Biography, A Game at Artword's Alternative Theatre and Anton Chekhov's Jubilee at the Tarragon's Extra Space, both directed by Chouljenko.

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