Theater News

Mikhail Baryshnikov and Jessica Hecht to Star in The Orchard Off-Broadway

This production of Arlekin Players Theatre | (zero-G) Lab will take place live at Baryshnikov Arts Center, and will be accessible to a worldwide online audience.

Mikhail Baryshnikov will play Anton Chekhov and Firs in The Orchard.
Mikhail Baryshnikov will play Anton Chekhov and Firs in The Orchard.
(© Arlekin Players Theatre)

Jessica Hecht and Mikhail Baryshnikov will star in a new adaptation of Anton Chekhov's play about a downwardly mobile aristocratic family struggling to preserve its cherry orchard. Igor Golyak's The Orchard (translation by Carol Rocamora) will begin previews off-Broadway at the Baryshnikov Arts Center on May 31 ahead of an official opening night on June 16. Performances are slated through July 3.

Audiences worldwide will be able to experience the production through an online virtual experience that will run concurrently with the live performance, and will allow users to explore a 3D rendering of the family estate.

"We are living through an unimaginable time of change and destruction with the war in Ukraine and with the pandemic," said Golyak, who conceived, adapted, and will direct the production. "As humans, we are perpetually losing our cherry orchards, losing our worlds. This play is about us today."

Hecht will play Lyubov Ranevskaya and Baryshnikov will play Anton Chekhov and Firs. Last year, both actors appeared with Arlekin Players Theatre | (zero-G) Lab in the online performance ChekhovOS, which our reviewer hailed as "one of the most accessible professional theatrical productions on Earth."

In addition to Hecht and Baryshnikov, The Orchard will star Anna Baryshnikov (Manchester by the Sea), Juliet Brett (Fosse/Verdon), Darya Denisova (State vs. Natasha Banina), John McGinty (Children of a Lesser God), Nael Nacer (chekhovOS), and Mark Nelson (Angels In America).

The creative team includes scenic design by Anna Fedorova, costume design by Oana Botez, lighting design by Yuki Link, and sound design by Tei Blow. The robotics are designed by a team led by Adam Paikowsky of, and holographic projections conceived by Golyak.

The creative team for the virtual experience includes virtual scenic design by Anna Fedorova, in partnership with Alex Coulombe of Agile Lens, Athomas Goldberg of Lifelike & Believable Animation Design, and Unreal designers Daniel Cormino, Yu-Jun Yeh and Emily Cho, with virtual sound design by Alexey Prosvirnin, and interactivity design by Sasha Huh.

The Orchard is produced in association with Cherry Orchard Festival Foundation, Groundswell Theatricals, Inc., and ShowOne Productions.

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The Orchard

Closed: July 3, 2022