Ellen Burstyn to Star in 'The Cherry Orchard'
The Oscar, Tony and Emmy winner will head the cast of the Chekhov classic in director John Gould Rubin's free staging for The Actors Studio.
NEW YORK — Summer theatergoers starved for major new events will get a rare chance to see one of the country's stage and screen luminaries take on a classic role this month, when Ellen Burstyn stars in Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard.
Staged by The Actors Studio at that venerable institution's midtown home, the production will be directed by John Gould Rubin, the former co-artistic director with Philip Seymour Hoffman and John Ortiz of LAByrinth Theater. It runs for 10 performances only on July 10-21.
Said Burstyn: "When The Cherry Orchard was first performed at the Moscow Art Theater, the director Stanislavsky called it 'a great tragedy.' Chekhov insisted it was 'a comedy.' The Actors Studio finds it is both. We look forward to sharing our vision of this great classic work with the supporters of The Actors Studio."
Burstyn will play aristocratic landowner Madame Lyubov Andreyevna Ranevskaya, whose family estate is about to be auctioned in the 1904 play about rapid social change in Russia at the turn of the 20th century.
Actors Studio members Robert Adrian, Patrik Baldauff, Lash Dooley, Gabriel Furman, Gabriel Fazio, Beau Gravitte, Timothy Doyle, Sam Hamill, Conn Horgan, Joe Maruzzo, Mihaela Mihut, Sarah Anne Miles, Evgeniya Radilova and Dena Tyler complete the cast.
Burstyn is artistic director of The Actors Studio, which was founded in 1947 by Elia Kazan, Cheryl Crawford and Robert Lewis; Lee Strasberg joined as a teacher the following year and ran the nonprofit organization from 1951 until his death in 1982. Burstyn also serves as co-president with Harvey Keitel and Al Pacino.
The production marks the first public presentation at The Actors Studio since Oscar Wilde's Salome in 2003, which starred Pacino, David Strathairn and Marisa Tomei and was later seen on Broadway in a limited engagement.
Tickets to The Cherry Orchard are free to the public and available through firstname.lastname@example.org.