"I'd seen and read a few iterations of The Cherry Orchard, but none that tapped into what I saw as an overarching theme of inaction in the face of a climate crisis. I chose to root our production in the aesthetics of the late 1970s when I read that the first attempts to curb CO2 took place at this time. It was also a time of huge political and social upheaval, plus the aesthetics were exciting and made the generational conflict really sing. Creatively, I also wanted to deviate from the original and offer new takes on well-worn ideas like the "string breaking" sound (here representing the future jutting in and interrupting their afternoon) and the Intruder (here a Metallic Man from the year 2022 who knows that money still rules and the the planet looks very different now).
All of these Chekhovian characters convince me that it's okay to acknowledge that our lives are "silly and don't mean very much at all," so we might as well try to connect while we can, make art that makes us happy, try to make each other laugh, ask (at least some of) the big questions, forgive freely and learn to admit fault. I hope you enjoy our Cherry Jam. Kisses to the cast and crew."
Opening Moments from Cherry Jam
This montage played at the beginning of the show, signaling a journey from now back to 1979. It also demonstrates how natural disasters (and man-made ones, too) and climate change reports have been a consistent part of our media diet for decades, but we never make changes.
These home videos set the scene for our 1979 production of Cherry Jam. They're from upstate NY and frame the story as a nostalgic memory play.