The Orchard (www.TheOrchardOffBroadway.com), conceived, adapted, and directed by Ukrainian-born theater director Igor Golyak, is an adaptation of The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov as translated by Carol Rocamora, with some additional material developed by Golyak. This hybrid production includes two simultaneous and intersecting theatrical experiences – a live performance at The Baryshnikov Arts Center (450 W. 37th Street) and a separate interactive virtual experience online that audiences can participate in live from around the globe. Produced by Arlekin’s (zero-G) Virtual Theater Lab, Cherry Orchard Festival Foundation, Groundswell Theatricals, Inc., & ShowOne Productions, the limited engagement of The Orchard begins previews on May 31 with opening night set for June 16 and will run through July 3.
The Orchard invites us into the fragile world of a family yearning for connection and struggling with the end of their world as they know it. Threatened with foreclosure and the loss of their beloved orchard, they face unstoppable, destructive forces that dismantle their lives like the breaking of a string.
Developed through Arlekin’s (zero-G) Virtual Theater Lab, The Orchard is a hybrid piece of theater and can be seen in two formats: Live & In-Person at the Baryshnikov Arts Center and The Virtual Experience – Online.
The cast is helmed by Jessica Hecht (Fiddler on the Roof, Breaking Bad, Friends) as Ranevskaya, with 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). Mikhail Baryshnikov will play both Anton Chekhov and Firs.
The Orchard – Live & In-Person at the Baryshnikov Arts Center
The Orchard is an intimate, fully staged live performance of The Cherry Orchard as translated by Carol Rocamora and adapted by Golyak. An international team of collaborators, spanning theater, gaming, film, robotics, and emerging technologies, was assembled to create the world of The Orchard. Audiences in the theater will enter an immersive, dreamlike environment where perceptions, illusions, and reality collide as a family in crisis tries to process their uncertain future.
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 dotdotdash.io, and holographic projections conceived by Golyak.
The Orchard – Virtual Experience Online
The virtual experience online invites audiences on a journey through a beautifully rendered, three-dimensional virtual property that has been abandoned and is in foreclosure. There, audiences can explore and discover magical rooms where they uncover echoes of a past life, now lost, including Chekhov’s letters, memories, and ultimately the play, live, in progress at the Baryshnikov Arts Center.
The creative team of 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 in-person and online versions will run concurrently – live – for each performance. Partway through the performances, the two versions intersect and the worlds come together.
“This is a story about the delicate relationships at the center of a family facing the end of the world as they know it,” said Igor Golyak. “We are living through an unimaginable time of change and destruction with the war in Ukraine and with the pandemic. As humans, we are perpetually losing our cherry orchards, losing our worlds. This play is about us today.”
“Our incredible creative team is collaborating at the edges of artistry, traditional theater techniques, and emerging technologies to bring The Orchard to life,” said Executive Producer Sara Stackhouse. “We are creating something that audiences can see in person and then can return to another night online for a second and totally unique artistic experience. This is the new world of hybrid production and a new frontier for theater.”
The performance schedule is Tuesday – Thursday at 7 PM, Friday – Saturday at 8 PM, with matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2 PM. There will also be an additional 2 PM matinee on June 15. The Orchard will play a limited engagement through Sunday, July 3, 2022. All attendees will be required to show ID and proof of COVID vaccination.
Ticket prices for Live & In-Person at the Baryshnikov Arts Center are $79, $59, and $39 with premium seating available. Tickets for the first week of previews are $69, $49, and $29.
Tickets for The Virtual Experience Online are $28. There are also bundles available for those who want to experience both versions of The Orchard and the prices are $100, $80, and $50 with premium seating available.
Tickets go on sale beginning April 12 exclusively for Audience Rewards members (www.audiencerewards.com). It’s free to join. Tickets go on sale on April 15 to the public.
For tickets and information, please visit www.TheOrchardOffBroadway.com.
The Orchard is produced by Arlekin’s (zero-G) Virtual Theater Lab in association with The Cherry Orchard Festival Foundation, Groundswell Theatricals, and ShowOne Productions, with additional support from Agile Lens, ArtsEmerson, Aximmetry (the official software provider for (zero-G) Lab, dotdotdash.io, and The Fooksman Family Foundation.
Jessica Hecht (Ranevskaya) received an Emmy Award nomination for her performance in the Netflix series Special. She has been seen on television in the limited series Super Pumped and The Loudest Voice and in her recurring roles in The Sinner, Dickinson, The Boys, and Succession. She is also recognizable to television audiences as “Susan Bunch” on the iconic television series Friends and “Gretchen Schwarz” on Breaking Bad. Other credits include: Bored To Death, High Maintenance, Falling Water, The Single Guy, and Red Oaks. Her film performances include A+, Anesthesia, J. Edgar The Grey Zone, The Sitter, My Soul To Take, Dan In Real Life, Sideways, The Atlantic City Story, and The Sunlit Night. Hecht has appeared on Broadway in productions of The Price opposite Mark Ruffalo, Fiddler on The Roof opposite Danny Burstein, The Assembled Parties opposite Judith Light, Harvey opposite Jim Parsons, After The Fall opposite Carla Gugino, The Last Night of Ballyhoo opposite Paul Rudd, Brighton Beach Memoirs opposite Laurie Metcalf, Julius Caesar opposite Denzel Washington, and A View From The Bridge opposite Liev Schreiber and Scarlett Johansson (Tony Award nomination). Off-Broadway: King Lear opposite John Lithgow and Annette Bening, Stage Kiss opposite Sandra Oh, Three Sisters opposite Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard, and Admissions (Obie Award; Outer Critics Circle Award nomination).
Mikhail Baryshnikov (Anton Chekhov & Firs) Born in Riga, Latvia, and living in New York City, Baryshnikov has distinguished himself as an extraordinary dancer and performer in theater, television, and film. In a career spanning more than 50 years, he has worked with George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, and many other illustrious choreographers and directors. On Broadway: Metamorphosis (Steven Berkoff). Off-Broadway: Beckett Shorts (JoAnne Akalaitis). National and international tours: Forbidden Christmas, or the Doctor and the Patient (Rezo Gabriadze), In Paris (Dmitry Krymov), Man in a Case (Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar), Brodsky/Baryshnikov (Alvis Hermanis), The White Helicopter (Alvis Hermanis), The Old Woman (Robert Wilson), Letter to A Man (Robert Wilson). Current film installation NOT ONCE. (Jan Fabre). Baryshnikov is an Academy Award and Tony Award nominee and Emmy Award recipient, the Kennedy Center Honors, and the National Medal of Arts. He was Artistic Director of American Ballet Theater (1980-89) and co-founder and dancer of White Oak Dance Project (1989-2000). He is the founder and artistic director of Baryshnikov Arts Center.
Anna Baryshnikov (Varya) currently stars alongside Hailee Steinfeld in Apple’s Peabody Award-winning series, Dickinson. Anna appeared in the Netflix feature The Kindergarten Teacher, opposite Maggie Gyllenhaal, which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Anna made her feature film debut in Amazon’s Oscar-winning Manchester By The Sea directed by Kenneth Lonergan. Select television credits include: Superior Donuts (CBS), Doll & Em (HBO), and Good Girls Revolt (Amazon). She also performed as “Carol,” opposite Elizabeth McGovern, in the Broadway production of Time And The Conways for Roundabout Theater Company. Anna is a graduate of Northwestern University.
Juliet Brett (Anya) (she/her) was most recently seen in the feature film Deep Water (starring Ben Affleck & Ana de Armas). Theater: Napoli, Brooklyn (Roundabout), The Jacksonian (The New Group), What I Did Last Summer (Signature), Desire (59e59), Mr. Wolf (by Rajiv Joseph, world premiere Cleveland Playhouse). Select TV/Film: Nicole Fosse in Fosse/Verdon (FX), The Walking Dead (AMC) , Red Oaks (Amazon), Noah Baumbachs’ Mistress America, J.C Chandors’ A Most Violent Year, CSI: New York, and Law and Order: SVU. Socials: @julietbrett
Darya Denisova (Charlotta) is a Boston based actor known for her work with SpeakEasy Stage Company, Actors’ Shakespeare Project and Arlekin Players, and has been recognized by The New York Times (critic’s pick) and leading Boston critics for her roles at Arlekin Players. Recipient: 2020 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Actress for Arlekin’s The Stone. Select Lead Roles: Memorial Prayer, Natasha’s Dream, Tales of the Last Wednesday, Dead Man’s Diary, МЫ-US, The Stone, The Seagull and State VS Natasha Banina (all Arlekin Players productions). Select National/International theatre: United SOLO festival (New York); SOLO Festival (Moscow, Russia); and HighFest Theatre Festival (Yerevan, Armenia) with her award-winning solo performance Natasha’s Dream. She studied acting at the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts in Moscow. She has taught documentary theatre at the Startalk School at Harvard University and the Stanislavsky method at the Igor Golyak acting studio.
John McGinty (Trofimov) has appeared on Broadway in Children of a Lesser God with Joshua Jackson, King Lear with Glenda Jackson. New York: Fêtes de la Nuit, World Premiere of Samuel D. Hunter’s The Healing, Veritas, Movement of the Soul. Regional: Block Association (Actors Theatre of Louisville), Levity (Warren Miller PAC), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Sacramento Music Circus and La Mirada Theatre – first Deaf actor to play Quasimodo), Tribes (Guthrie Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre, Everyman Theatre), Pippin (Center Theatre Group / Deaf West). Film: Better Nate Than Ever, Wonderstruck (with Julianne Moore), Sign, The First Purge, Up Until Now. TV: New Amsterdam, Lisey’s Story, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, This Close, High Maintenance, Don’t Shoot the Messenger. Upcoming: Hamlet (Hamlet) with Deaf West/Fiasco Theater. Thrilled to join the cast of The Orchard! Thanks to KMR Talent, Ivy Rock Management, and to his family. @TheJohnMcGinty
Nael Nacer (Lopakhin) is making his NY debut. Regional credits include: Our Town (dir. David Cromer), Romeo and Juliet, A Doll’s House, Bedroom Farce (dir. Maria Aitken), Awake and Sing! (Huntington Theatre); The Merchant of Venice (dir. Igor Golyak), Macbeth (Actors’ Shakespeare Project); People, Places & Things, Small Mouth Sounds, Tribes (SpeakEasy Stage); The Tempest (Commonwealth Shakespeare Company); The Seagull (dir. Igor Golyak), ChekhovOS (Arlekin Players); The Return (Israeli Stage), Tiny Beautiful Things, True West, The Flick (Gloucester Stage); Constellations (Central Square Theatre); Mr. Burns, a post-electric play, Intimate Apparel (Lyric Stage), A Number, Lungs, The Kite Runner (New Repertory Theatre); The Aliens, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Company One).
Mark Nelson (Gaev) appeared in New York in Angels in America (standby Roy Cohn, 2018); My Name Is Asher Lev (Lortel nomination); Ari Brand’s Scenes from Childhood; Three Sisters at the Roundabout (Andrei); The Invention of Love (Lincoln Center Theater); Timon of Athens with Richard Thomas (Public Theater); and as Albert Einstein in Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Obie Award). For director Sam Mendes, he played Herr Schultz in Cabaret, and toured with The Cherry Orchard and The Winter’s Tale (BAM/ The Old Vic/ Epidaurus.) Favorite roles include Shylock in The Merchant of Venice (The Shakespeare Theater, D.C.); the title role in Uncle Vanya, directed by Bartlett Sher; Matt Friedman in Talley’s Folly; and two solo plays: I Am My Own Wife and Underneath the Lintel (Long Wharf Theater.) TV credits include Law and Order, The Good Wife, and Julia on HBO. Mark has directed plays at Manhattan Theater Club, McCarter Theater, Berkshire Theater Festival and the Juilliard School. He teaches at Circle in the Square and HB Studio.
Anna Fedorova (Scenography & Properties Design) As a scenographer and costume designer Anna has developed theatre shows in Moscow, Saint-Petersburg and other Russian cities, as well as in Poland, Japan, and Greece. Participated in a number of full-featured and short movies as a set designer. Exhibits: Moscow Union of Artists and Season Outcomes exhibits in Moscow annually since 2006; Student exhibit at the Prague Quadrennial (2007). Sketches for the performance Vernii Ruslan are held in the collection of Russian State Art Library in Moscow. Memberships: Moscow Union of Artists /Theatre and Cinema since 2009. Teaching: Lecturer at the Moscow Art Theatre School (2006-2014), Stage Design and Art Technology. The winner of “Theatre Spring 2017” prize for best scenography and costume design. Associate degree from Decorative-Applied art department of Voronezh Art School. Master of Arts degree in Scenography from Moscow Art Theatre School.
Adam Paikowsky (Robotics Design) is an engineer and artist having worked on various commercial and cultural projects over the past decade. Currently he leads the creative technology practice at the innovation agency dotdotdash. He typically works on projects that sit at the intersection of software development, hardware engineering, digital fabrication, architectural and interaction design. He uses digital tools to create for, and extend, the physical world. With a background in fine arts and technology he brings a unique perspective to the team. Leveraging a deep knowledge in the development and integration of AV media systems and specializing in lighting, media playback, sensor control and kinetic movement he has worked for clients such as The Empire State Building, Massive Attack, Nicolas Jaar, The North Face, Prada, Microsoft and Cartier.
Carol Rocamora (Translation) is an educator, translator, playwright, and theatre critic. Her three volumes of the translations of Anton Chekhov’s complete dramatic works have been published by Smith & Kraus. She is also the author of the biography entitled Anton Chekhov: A Life in Four Acts. Her dramatic adaptations of 20 Chekhov short stories have been published in a two-volume collection entitled Rubles. Her play “I take your hand in mine…”, based on the correspondence between Chekhov and Olga Knipper, has been translated in numerous languages and produced around the world. She serves on the faculties of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and the Juilliard School She is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association, the International Association of Theatre Critics, Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk.
Igor Golyak (Director/Adapter) is the founder and producing artistic director of Arlekin Players Theatre & Zero Gravity (zero-G) Virtual Theater Lab, “Best Director” Elliot Norton Winner 2020. His most recent projects include WITNESS, as well as chekhovOS /an experimental game/ and State vs. Natasha Banina, which became international virtual theater sensations, both earning New York Times Critic’s Picks. Golyak is from Ukraine and leads Arlekin, an award-winning company of immigrants, which has performed all over the world, including Moscow Art Theatre, and festivals in Yerevan, Armenia, New York City, Chicago, Lviv, Ukraine, Monaco, the US, Canada and UK.
Sara Stackhouse (Executive Producer) is Managing Producer at Arlekin Players Theatre & Zero-Gravity (zero-G) Virtual Theater Lab where she produced WITNESS and co-produced chekhovOS /an experimental game/ and the international tour for State vs Natasha Banina. She is a founder of BroadBand Collaborative and Creative Director of The Mama Project (South Africa). Sara was Founding Executive Producer of Actors’ Shakespeare Project (Boston), Chair of Theater at Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Supervising Producer of INSIDE This Old House on A&E/Time Warner, and Project Manager for cellist Yo-Yo Ma where she was on the producing team for the award-winning film series Yo-Yo Ma: Inspired by Bach.
Arlekin Players Theatre was founded by Artistic Director Igor Golyak in 2009 and has since toured to New York, Chicago, and Hartford, as well as to international festivals in Ukraine, Armenia, Russia, and Monaco. Arlekin received world-wide acclaim, including two New York Times Critic’s Picks, for their groundbreaking virtual theater projects during the pandemic, including State vs Natasha Banina and chekhovOS /an experimental game/ featuring Mikhail Baryshnikov as Anton Chekhov. Arlekin has received multiple awards for its work including four 2020 Elliot Norton Awards from the Boston Theater Critics Association for recent productions of The Stone and The Seagull. Arlekin takes strong pride in their emphasis on self-identity; they are a company of immigrants performing works that play on the ideas of cross-culture, home, and traditions, challenging the idea of nationality, and finding common themes that unite us all. In 2020, Arlekin launched its Zero Gravity (zero-G) Virtual Theater Lab to explore new theater possibilities for a new time. The company makes its home in Needham, MA. In response to the war in Ukraine, Arlekin launched #Artists4Ukraine, an initiative to engage artists and audiences to raise funds for humanitarian aid and stand in solidarity with artists in Ukraine. For more information, visit www.arlekinplayers.com and www.zerogravity.art.
Cherry Orchard Festival Foundation, New York based non-profit art organization, was founded by independent producers and impresarios, Maria Shclover and Irina Shabshis in 2012 to celebrate the international arts in the heart of New York City, and to introduce international theatrical projects and acclaimed performers to the American audiences. The Festival has been a summer staple in New York and beyond, and has received rave reviews from critics and audiences, welcoming such prominent international companies and attractions as The Gesher Theatre ( Israel), Mikhail Baryshnikov and The New Riga Theatre ( Latvia) with Brodsky/Baryshnikov, John Malkovich and the international cast of Giacomo Variations ( Austria), The Theatre of Nations ( Russia), Vakhtangov State Theatre ( Russia), Tango Fire Dance Company( Argentina) and many others to New York City Center and other prominent venues. The Festival brings world-class, multi-disciplinary performing and visual arts attractions that are unique and have never been presented before in the US. Cherry Orchard Festival is committed to providing the finest performing arts and enlightening educational programs to our patrons and to diverse audiences of all ages. Follow the link to learn more: cherryorchardfestival.org.
Groundswell Theatricals, Inc. (Producer) is a NYC-based producing and general management company founded by Staci Levine. Groundswell has produced on Broadway, Off-Broadway, across North America, London’s West End, Australia, and New Zealand. Productions include the new podcast Radio Play Revival; Arlekin Players Theatre Off-Broadway production of The Orchard; the national tour of Patti LuPone’s Don’t Monkey with Broadway; Lisa Lampanelli’s touring production Losin’ It; An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin (Broadway, tour); John Lithgow’s Stories By Heart (Broadway, tour); the new musical A Taste of Things to Come (Off-Broadway, Chicago); The Last Two People on Earth: An Apocalyptic Vaudeville, starring Mandy Patinkin and Taylor Mac with direction & choreography by Susan Stroman (Off-Broadway, tour); the tour of An Evening with Mandy Patinkin & Nathan Gunn; Mandy Patinkin’s solo concerts: Dress Casual (Broadway, West End, tour), Mamaloshen (Broadway, Off-Broadway, tour),