Written by: Anton Chekhov
Adapted & Directed by: Aleksey Burago
Starring: Reanna Armellino, Ella Ayberk, Hazen Cuyler, Michael Donaldson, James Fordyce, Toni Goldman, Ariel Polanco, Matt Raines, Jake Robertson, Flavio Romeo, David A. Russell, Jo Anne Sellers, and Di Zhu.
Critically acclaimed Russian director Aleksey Burago stages this tragicomic story about the decay of a privileged family grappling with the changes of a modern world. Following the death of their army officer father, the Moscow-born and bred Prozorov siblings find themselves living in a remote provincial town, trapped inside the memories of their glorious past. Only the proximity of a nearby artillery post and the company of its officers make their existence bearable. As they fumble for purpose admist the clutter of awkward suitors, clumsy birthday presents, absurd squabbles and raging house fires, only one desire remains undimmed: to return to Moscow!
Про Великое Ничто*
Adapted from Anton Chekhov's Swan Song by Ernst Zorin
Adapted & Directed by: Aleksey Burago
Starring Gala Orlovsky and Ernst Zorin
*Performed in Russian Without Subtitles*
Back by popular demand, Про Великое Ничто is a love letter dedicated to the theater--from its spotlighted splendor to its behind-the-scene heartbreaks. A comedy to be performed in Russian by legendary actor Ernst Zorin (Honored Artist of the Russian Federation, Vakhtangov Theater) and Gala Orlovsky (Prominent Artist of Ukraine Citation), with live music by Di Zhu (Grand Prize Winner, New York International Piano Competition). Enter the stage door and embark on a journey with three actors as they pay homage to Russian theater, its rosy illusions, backstage romances, and battling egos. Newly adapted by Ernst Zorin, the story revolves around Svetlovidov, a faded star torn between ambition and exhaustion. The plot unwinds over the course of one evening following a banquet in honor of the aging actor, where he learns plans are in place to replace him in the next production. In the hours and minutes leading up to the performance, clashes quickly take place, and soon, easier consolations are found inside the vodka bottle. A satire intertwined with improvisations, dreams, and secret jokes that have survived countless generations at the stage wings, this delicious portrait of the world of theater is not to be missed. Four performances only!
THE GOLDEN AGE: ANTON CHEKHOV AND THE MOSCOW ART THEATER
A Talk With Aleksey Burago
On March 8th, 2017 please join us for “The Golden Age: Anton Chekhov And The Moscow Art Theater” a free event part of the Occasional series, sponsored by the Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia at New York University.
All his life, Anton Chekhov was obsessed with the idea of creating a new theater. He used to spend hours in the studios of his friends–Russian impressionist painters Levitan and Korovin–and remarked that he longed to create the same kind of theater as the paintings on their canvases, one that would reflect real life around him, bursting with its colorful flaws, contradictions and complexity.
Because his ideas were new for his time, Chekhov felt discouraged by the various attempts of established theaters to stage his plays. After the infamous Seagull flop at the Alexandriisky Theater, Chekhov fled from St. Petersburg, promising himself and his close friends that he would never write another play. It took only the patience and intelligence of Nemerovich-Danchenko to convince Chekhov to give his unsuccessful play another try, this time to a new theater company led by Nemerovich-Danchenko and a certain actor/director named Konstantin Stanislavsky. What followed was a production that would elevate Chekhov’s play to unforeseeable heights and shape him as one of the most important playwrights of all time.
Join critically acclaimed Russian stage director Aleksey Burago as he discusses a lesser-known Chekhov and his influence on the Moscow Art Theater. Through the decoding of Chekhov’s letters and memoirs, as well as his extensive work in directing Chekhov’s plays and short stories, Burago reveals a more relatable Chekhov, one whose work was never intended to be as depressive as most productions around the world.