AU Theatre Travels to Russia in the Year of 1901 for Chekhov's ‘Three Sisters’

AU Theatre Travels to Russia in the Year of 1850 for Chekhov's ‘Three Sisters’

2/4/19 ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland University Department of Theatre travels abroad to Russia in the year of 1901 for its next mainstage production in the 2018-2019 season of “Treasured Classics Renewed.” Directed by Dr. Teresa Durbin-Ames, Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters, adapted by the contemporary playwright Sarah Ruhl, will play for two weekends on Feb. 15, 16, 22 and 23 at 7:30 p.m., and Feb. 17 at 2 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre. 

Chicago’s native and award-winning playwright Sarah Ruhl brings new life to one of the world’s greatest plays and the masterpiece by Chekhov. The play is a humorous and heartbreaking portrait of a family wrestling with the distance between reality and dreams. Transported by their father’s military career from their beloved Moscow to a small rural town, the three sisters (Olga, Masha and Irina) dream of the big city, where they imagine their dreary lives will become fulfilled.

The three sisters are played by Emily Schordock (Westlake) as the school teacher Olga, Ivey Buffenmyer (Ashland) as the unhappily married Masha, and Macy Campbell (Genoa) as idealistic Irina. Their brother, Andrei, is portrayed by Alejandro Ridolfi (Middleburg Heights) while Mia Kardotzke (Clyde) plays his wife, Natasha. Michael Prezioso (Ashland) is Masha’s husband, Kulygin.

Cast members portraying various military personnel are Jake Riley (Wooster) as Vershinin, Will Taylor (Fairborn) as Solyony, Nik Demers (Shelby) as Chebutykin, Logan Hurst (Norwalk) as Tuzenbach, Ethan Tingler (Roseville) and Jack Galloway (North Royalton) as Rodé. Other cast members include Kathleen Thompson Parker (Ashland) as the nurse, Anfisa; Brandon Rosado (Ashland) as the watchman, Ferapont; and Hannah Chelle Frye (Danville) as the maid, Katya.

As explained in the dramaturg notes by Annmarie Hill (Mansfield), Three Sisters paints “for audiences a realistic picture of the lives of women in provincial Russia. Throughout his life, Chekhov lived in the homes of two different sets of ‘three sisters,’ the daily lives, personalities and ambitions of which providing as inspiration for the characters in his play. [Also contributing to the play,] in the time period that Three Sisters is set, the wealthy upper class exploited the middle and lower classes.” In a review by SF Gate explaining Sarah Ruh’s ability to stay true to Chekhov in her translation, they declare “Chekhov’s masterpiece [comes] to life as if it were taking place today. And 110 years ago.” 

With theatre credits strewn from New York City to Cleveland’s Playhouse Square, Ohio Light Opera and beyond, the show’s designers include guest artists Daniel Hobbs, costumer designer; Daniel Huston, lighting designer; Richard Ingraham, sound designer; while the scenic design is by senior musical theatre major Maya Rickard (Wooster). 

Production staff members are comprised of Carl Skorepa, technical director; Mia Kardotzke, assistant costume designer; D. Justin Bilewicz III, costume studio manager; Alejandro Ridolfi (Middleburg Heights), master electrician; Eric Breeden (Medina), stage manager; and Rachel Lowery (Elyria), assistant stage manager.

Patrons attending the opening night performance are reminded that they are invited to the opening night reception with the cast and crew immediately following the Feb. 15 performance. 

Tickets for the performances are: $12 for adults; $10 for senior citizens, AU faculty, staff and alumni; $8 for groups of 10 or more, $5 for non-AU students, and $2 for Ashland University students with ID.  

To purchase tickets, call the Ashland University Box Office at 419-289-5125, Monday through Friday, 12 to 6 p.m.; or purchase online 24/7 at www.ashland.edu/tickets. For school matinee reservations, contact Tricia Applegate, coordinator of College of Arts & Sciences Communications and Performing Arts Publicity and Events, at 419.289.5950 or tapplega@ashland.edu. For more information about the department of theatre, visit www.ashland.edu/theatre, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AshlandUniversityTheatre.

Ashland University, which has been ranked in the top tier of colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category, is a mid-sized, comprehensive private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Religiously affiliated with the Brethren Church, Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) deeply values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###

 

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