The Cherry Orchard  

The Cherry Orchard

December 3
Expected Running time: 3 hrs


First produced in 1904 at The Moscow Art Theatre under the direction of Konstantin Stanislavsky, this production of Anton Chekhov's classic tale of cultural futility, starring Russian stage and screen legend Renata Litvinova, is more relevant today than it was over a hundred years ago. Adolf Shapiro's interpretation asks the question, where would the characters of this play live today years after their cherry orchard has been cut down? The answer, which lies in the material world created by set designer, David Borovsky, is, of course, on the stage.

A century later, this production brings The Cherry Orchard full circle, with its wandering band of characters never at peace, but finally back home.

Presented in Russian with English subtitles.



 
  Anna Karenina  

Anna Karenina

January 28, 2017
Expected Running time: 2 hrs 46 minutes

Directed and choreographed by Angelica Cholina, this Vakhtangov Theatre production of ANNA KARENINA is a modern dance interpretation of Leo Tolstoy's classic novel, originally published in serial installments from 1875 to 1877 in the periodical The Russian Messenger. Telling the life story of the titular Anna, a St. Petersburg aristocrat, against the backdrop of late 19th century Russian society, Tolstoy's novel is widely considered a pinnacle in realist fiction.

Cholina strives to find the equivalent of Tolstoy's words in harmony and movement, as every gesture holds as much meaning as a word. The music of Alfred Schnittke helps to reveal the characters of the drama and their depth, together with elegance and mood corresponding to the amplitude of the novel.

Presented in Russian with English subtitles.


 
  Black Monk  

The Black Monk

March 11, 2017
Expected Running time: 2 hrs

Based on the short story by Anton Chekhov, THE BLACK MONK tells the tragic tale of philosophy student Andrey Vasil'ich Kovrin. On the verge of a nervous breakdown, Kovrin decides to visit his childhood friend Tanya Pesotsky at the estate of her father. As he and Tanya develop a relationsship and eventually marry, a black monk of legend begins appearing to Kovrin in visions. Though these hallucinations at first imbue the young man with joy and energy, they eventually lead to his ruin.

Kama Ginkas’ dramatization of Chekhov’s story for The Moscow Young Generation Theater has become a theatre sensation. The show has won the Grand Prix and the Critics’ Prize for Best Production at the Baltic House international theater festival in St. Petersburg.

Presented in Russian with English subtitles.

 

 
  Eugene Onegin  

Eugene Onegin

April 22, 2017
Expected Running time: 3 hrs, 30 minutes

Stage Russia HD opens it’s inaugural season with its live filmed production of the Vakhtangov Theatre's magical Eugene Onegin, a newly reimagined version of the Alexander Pushkin poem created and directed by renowned director, Rimas Tuminas.

Eugene Onegin has often been referred to as an encyclopedia of 19th century Russian life. Tuminas’ production unfolds in the memory and imagination of Pushkin’s characters. The images are split between past and present, between reality and imagination.

There are two Onegins on stage: The mature one recalling the events of a quarter century earlier, and the second, younger one who takes part in them. There are two Lenskys on stage as well: The young Lensky as he was during the events which led to his death in a duel, and the second an imaginary white-haired companion of Onegin, the one whom Lensky could have become had he not been killed.

The scale of the production constantly changes; from noisy celebrations to secluded contemplation, from crowd scenes to lonely recollections, all of which are drawn together from the past just like the fragments of Tatyana’s love letter, framed and hung on the wall, looming next to and above Onegin’s arm-chair.

“I did not aim at a full scenic adaptation of the novel,” Tuminas explains. “I chose Tatyana’s love for Onegin as the central theme. It allowed me to reach out beyond the main plot and reveal this longing as well as the existential ‘Russian melancholy’, the subject of deep reflection for many poets and philosophers who perceive it as an expression of a sad, deeply nostalgic and purely Russian state of mind.”

The main plot is accompanied by side story lines; There is a Chorus created out of characters of the Pushkin epoch, the inhabitants of the capital, the countryside and even the forest.

During the depicted exhausting journey to Moscow, a white hare crosses the path of Tatyana’s carriage. According to legend, a hare like this one ran across the road in front of Pushkin himself when he was going by carriage to St Petersburg in December of 1825 to take part in the uprising against the tsar. Pushkin turned back, and by doing so avoided exile or even a death sentence. In memory of this event, a road post was erected with the depiction of a hare on it and a sign reading “416 miles to the Senate Square”…

Presented in Russian with English subtitles.