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Source: Marci Maullar, 785-532-6878,
News release prepared by: Megan Wilson, 785-532-6415,

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


MANHATTAN -- The theater program at Kansas State University will present "The Cherry Orchard" by renowned Russian playwright Anton Chekhov at 7:30 p.m. April 23-25 and April 29-May 2 in Nichols Theater.

"The Cherry Orchard," Chekhov's last masterpiece, combines farcical and serious elements to present audiences with a poignant reflection on the past and a hopeful dream of the future. The play's setting in Russia at the turn of the century resonates with the current era, with the characters, like people today, experiencing changes in society and international relations.

"The Cherry Orchard" tells the story of an aristocratic family overcome by debt and forced to auction off their estate along with its beautiful historic cherry orchard as the impending Russian revolution looms on the horizon. The play was first produced by the Moscow Art Theatre in 1904 under the direction of Konstantin Stanislavski, whose new approach to a realistic style of performance paved the way for all the variations of method acting that are the current standard in theater, film and television.

Charlotte MacFarland, associate professor of theater, directs the K-State production. Scenic design is by Kathy Voecks, assistant professor of theater. The costumes are designed by Jason Bishop, a guest artist who received his master of fine arts in costume design from the University of Washington in Seattle. He is currently based in New York and has received numerous awards for his designs for regional and off-Broadway theaters. He also has been a design assistant and member of the wardrobe crew for the Broadway shows "Jersey Boys" and "White Christmas."

Tickets are $8 for students, $11 for military and $13 for the general public. They can be purchased at the McCain box office from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays or at the K-State Student Union's Little Theatre box office from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. For group discounts, call Marci Maullar at 785-532-6878. Tickets also can be ordered by phone at 785-532-6428 during box office hours.

K-State students participating in the production of "The Cherry Orchard" include:

From Greater Kansas City: Meredith Lindsey, junior in theater and mass communications, Leawood, as Charlotta Ivanovna; Kate Hambleton, sophomore in theater, as Anya, and Meghan Newman, senior in theater and modern languages, as Varya, both of Olathe.

Kurt Fenster, senior in theater, Healy, as Simeonov-Pishchik; Maurice Dokes, junior in theater, Junction City, station manager; Charles Sutterlin, senior in theater, as Firs, and Ross Hasler, junior in theater, lighting design, both of Manhattan; Lauren Perez, junior in theater, Parsons, as Dunyasha; and Robert Wighs, senior in theater, Salina, as Pyotr Trofimov.

From Topeka: Dillon Artzer, sophomore in theater, as Yepikhodov; Caroline Dittamo, sophomore in theater, assistant stage manager; Kyle Myers, sophomore in theater, as Gayev and Leonid Andreyevich; and Michael Wieser, senior in theater, as Lopakhin.

Alex Dryden, senior in theater, Wichita, as Yasha.

From out of state: Zachery Roland, senior in communication studies, Longmont, Colo., as servant and vagrant; and Mackenzie Goodwin, junior in theater and modern languages, Omaha, Neb., as Madame Ranevskaya.