November 6-10, 2002

The University Theatre presents
The Cherry Orchard
by Anton Chekhov

Translated by
Paul Schmidt

John E. R. Friedenberg

Set Designer
Frank Ludwig

Costume Designer
Mary Wayne-Thomas

Lighting Designer
Jonathan Christman

Sound Designer
Cambra Overend*

Acting & Vocal Coach
Leah Elyce Roy

Stage Manager
George Graves*



Melissa Jones*

Emily Johnson

Meg McKee*

Joey Picard*

Matt Gutschick

Andy Rigsby

Matt Griffin

Moira Dennis*

Zach Tysinger

Kate Lambert*

Scotty Candler*

Nick Ewen

Mike Kelly*

Ted Henson

Marla DuMont

Lauren Rico

* Member of The Anthony Aston Players




Technical Director
Trevor Anderson

Costume Shop Supervisor
Lisa Weller

Audience Services Coordinator

Leslie Collins

Assistant Stage Managers
Kristin Smith, Nikki Soriano

Assistant Set Designer
Erin Lichtenstein

Assistant Costume Designer
Nicole McNamara

Master Carpenter
Kelli Zellner

Scene Shop Assistants
Melissa Gervasio, Erika Libero,Matthew Meany,
Sean O’Brien,Katy Slavin, Jonathan Watkins*

Scenic Crew
Grey Casey, Chris Downs,Brian Kurtzman, T.J. Little,
Don Schneider

Prop Master
Susan Martin*

Paint Crew
Alyssa Biber, Lucy Colavincenzo,Jenna Dauten, Alexandra Hull,Carrie Lesher, Amanda Lucas,
Kimberly Stewart

Wardrobe Supervisor
Cainna Jirikowic, Danielle VanSice

Costume Studio Assistants
Rachel Baxley, Katie Delsandro, Meredith Ducz*,
Sarah Guthrie, Andrea Leutz, Loren Sasser,
Julia Schmidt*, Matt Tomko

Construction Crew
Katie Beck, Hinda Boutrid,Lauren Davis,
Kaylan Gaudio,Shey Stonemetz, Jordana Taylor

Hair Stylist
Kate Lambert*

Electrics Assistants
Madeline Smith*, Jonathan Watkins*

Electrics Crew
Andrew Benn, Ben Clayton,David Coons, Matthew Gursky, William Huddleston

Adam Alterman, Erika Libero

Light Board Operator
Jonathan Watkins*

Sound Board Operator
Erin McInnis

Poster Design
Frank Ludwig

Bill Ray III, Leslie Collins, Frank Ludwig

Emily Apple, Lauren Beyer,Margaret Bussman,
Karin Coetzee, Vincent Cole,John Garippa,
Marisa Kinsey, Jonathan McHugh,Julie McKenna, Caroline Raach, Ashley Smith,Elizabeth Stump

Box Office & Front of House Staff
Rebecca Boswell, Melanie Clear,
Alannah DiBona, Sarah Foley, Cara Lee,
Everett Long*, Jonathan Loudin,
Jacob Morris, Esther Pesciotta

* Member of The Anthony Aston Players


Pat Dixon
Cary Donaldson
Susan Rupp
Kurt Shaw
Lillian Shelton
Robert Simpson
Kay Webb, Duke University
Robert Whaples
Antiques and Architectural Salvage
Elizabeth’s at Hanes Park
North Carolina School of the Arts
One Way


"You ought to stop going to see playacting and take a good look at your own reality. What a boring life you lead! And what uninteresting things you talk about…"
As I sit down to write these program notes, it is about half way through the rehearsal process. The play is beginning to take shape, the actors have their lines memorized (well, most of them), and the set and costumes are well on their way to completion. Nothing is finished, though. As we work, we discover ways that our initial thoughts are borne out by the script; we also find lots of questions that still need to be answered: Why does she say that? Who is Henry Thomas Buckle and why is he mentioned? What does that mean? What were they talking about before they entered? We get to try out our answers and see if they fit the circumstances of the play and the characters that inhabit it. We have our epiphanies (though usually small in scope) and we uncover more clues, more evidence illuminating who these people are, what they want, why they say and do these things. As we learn more about them, we inevitably unearth still more questions that beg for answers. Not all of these are resolved. The answers are not in the back of the book. But there
is a surprisingly rich field of facts, of implications, of suggestions that point us towards an understanding of what this play is about.
The big question in the play isn't what happens to the cherry orchard. Since we find out its fate long before the end of the play, that can't be what the play is really about. So that leaves us looking and listening to the characters, to what they do. That is the basis for the legendary disagreement between Chekhov, the author, and Stanislavsky, the play's first director - Chekhov insisting the play is comedy, Stanislavsky insisting it is tragedy. The play takes place at a time of change; it is the end of a period. It could be a tragedy. Perhaps it is a tragedy. If so, where is the peripetiea? The anagnorisis? Where is the catharsis? Oh death, where is your sting? The big events in life - the death of a spouse, the death of a child, the sale of a family estate - all happen either before the play begins or off stage. We are told about them, but what we actually see are the important events of life, the day to day business of life, the defining moments of life - coffee, sunsets, conversation.
These small moments touch us and shape us, but rarely change us. We remain ourselves. The real meaning in our lives is made up of such events. That is what we look for: the small moments, the impulse, the connotations that help us find the answers to the questions raised in the play. Many of the questions, you will have to find answers for yourself. Who is right? Who is admirable? Whose play is it? Chekhov wrote this play in 1903. The bulk of the 20th century still lay ahead; the revolution of 1917 was still in the future. From our 21st century vantage we can see the elements that suggest that future, those significant external events that shaped the world for decades to come. But Chekhov was not writing about events. The great 'events' of modern life - snipers, terrorists, wars, drought, the stock market - while
certainly important, don't define us. Life goes on, and we cope, with varying degrees of success, with what we are dealt. How we cope, how we approach life, and how happy or content we are, is greatly affected by the people around us and our relationships with them. That is ultimately what this play is about. That's what all plays are about. As a Greek restaurant owner tells Kermit in "The Muppets Take Manhattan," "Peoples is peoples." That is ultimately what matters to us. Will these people cope? How? Will they be happy? Will they make good choices?
Would I make that choice? These are the questions that make drama real to us.
Chekhov has given us a microcosm of the world here. It is at a cusp, a moment of change, a point from which things will be different, where people must move on, where decisions must be made. Some characters make them by not making them, just as in life. Others seize the moment and act on it. Some want only their own happiness or the
happiness of others. Some want to make the world a better place. Their choices, their methods, their reasons vary. But, if we have managed to find some answers in the rehearsal process, we've also left some questions
for you. You should see people you know. You may even see yourself. And, in the final analysis, you may see The Cherry Orchard as a comedy, as Chekhov intended it - a celebration of life, of people's 'peopleness', of their humanity. This is the real end and business of life - understanding, coping, dreaming. As Lophakin says, "by rights we should be giants."

Return to Main Page
Webpage by Jonathan Christman- 4/30/2003 Access count: