When Chekhov wrote The Cherry Orchard in 1903, he was very ill; and yet, he considered his last play to be “not a drama at all, but a comedy; in places it’s even a farce.” The show was premiered by the Moscow Art Theatre in 1904, directed by the Konstantin Stanislavsky who also played Gayev, with Olga Knipper playing Lyubov Ranevskaya. The dramatic force of the production led the ill and consequently ill-tempered Chekhov to complain that Stanislavsky “ruined my play.” These comments were made by the translator, Sharon Marie Carnicke, who has graciously afforded us the rights to her new translation. The Cherry Orchard is produced by special arrangement with Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.
In this satirical comedy about the medical field, Argan, (a miserly hypochondriac), regularly calls upon doctors to care for his sickness and then tries to reduce the bills. In the hope of getting unlimited free medical care, he decides to marry his daughter to a medical student. However, his chosen fiancé is a dimwit and would never interest his daughter (as she is already in love with a smart and handsome Cleante, who poses as her music instructor). Argan's wife, however, plans to send the daughter to a convent, removing her from the line of inheritance. At the urging of the sensible servant Toinette, Argan fakes his death to test his wife's affection only to discover her contempt. Again with the help of Toinette, the young lovers convince Argan to free himself from his sick body and his physicians by becoming his own doctor.
This was Moliere’s last play (both as a writer and as an actor, since he collapsed onstage playing the main character and died shortly after). This adaptation of the comic text will be performed in the style of Italian Commedia Dell’ Arte.