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The Cherry Orchard: A Tragic Comedy on Stage Now

There is a reason some plays are called classics. It's because no matter what era they are performed, the themes are universal. That's one of the things that makes "The Cherry Orchard," now playing at ACT Theatre, so timeless.

"The Cherry Orchard" is the final play written by Russian playwright, Anton Chekhov. It's set at a country estate outside of Moscow a hundred years ago, as a family on the bring of social, political and economic change braces for the unknown.

"It's really about the forces of change and how we decide to interact with them or ignore them or ride the wave into something else," said Gavin Reub, Artistic Director of The Seagull Project. "It's literally about someone who takes the old way and flips it on its head and tears it all away to build something that is new and that is for a larger swath of people."

"The Cherry Orchard" is a production of The Seagull Project, a Seattle group united in its passion for Chekhov's work.

"Checkov is known for his myriad of story lines that he puts into his pieces," explained Reub. "He is often described as showing extreme love and brutality to his characters."

"Chekhov is fun because the audience teaches you a lot," said Brandon J. Simmons, an actor in the show. "When you get in front of an audience, they teach you what parts are tragic and they teach you what parts are funny. And it's different things every night."

Co-star Sydney Andrews jumped in to say, "We're so susceptible to failure, which is something that is so great about Chekhov. And he shows us we are so susceptible to our flaws."

"This is not a play that gives you easy answers," continued Reub. "This is a play that exists in a much larger, epic kind of quality that instead of saying this is the hero, this is the villain, this is who you are supposed to love. It says what do you think, what do you poll and how does this affect your life?"

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