Seuls en Scène 2021 presents "La Cerisaie" by Anton Chekhov

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Seuls en Scène 2021 presents La Cerisaie

After long years spent in exile in Paris, Lyubov, a strange and elusive woman, returns to her ancestral estate, which is about to be sold to pay off the family’s debts. As the center around which the play revolves, forever oscillating between tragedy and comedy, this maternal figure, this mater dolorosa, played by Isabelle Huppert, returns to a family unsettled by the future of the estate, and more largely, by the world that she had left behind. Modern society, with its social changes, is right around the corner, noisily announcing its arrival.

When he thinks of La Cerisaie (The Cherry Orchard), Tiago Rodrigues has a secret tempo in mind, allegro vivace, and is convinced that the Russian master’s last play is about the energy with which “the inescapable power of change” propels the characters from one act to the next. If, along with his cast and crew, he decided to explore the anxiety, reactions, and counter-reactions this change causes, he also wanted to study the hopes any new world carries within in, even as no one can truly understand them yet. In Chekhov’s words, the director found precious material with which to fuel his dramatic machine, break the fourth wall, and bring the audience together around the great challenges of today.

A physician by training, Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) is the most famous playwright in Russian literature. A fervent believer in progress and happiness, his lucidity and his rejection of illusions about men, society, or religion, were the basis for his work, and led to a renewal in the understanding of theatre at the time.

The play premiered at the 75th Avignon Festival last July. It marks the return to Princeton of Tiago Rodrigues, who presented By Heart at Seuls en Scène 2017.

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This Event is Open to the Princeton University Community Only (Students, Faculty, and Staff). Masks are required in the theater.

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Sponsorship

The French Theater Festival is sponsored by Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts, L’Avant-Scène, Department of French and Italian, Humanities Council, Princeton Institute for International and Regional Study (PIIRS), Department of Art and Archaeology, Department of Comparative Literature, Program in Contemporary European Politics and Society, Center for French Studies, and Rockefeller College. International sponsors include Festival d’Automne in Paris, Cultural Services of the French Embassy, the Education Department of the French Embassy, Institut français, and the French American Cultural Exchange Foundation.

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