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Friday, Jan. 20, 2006

Serfs up, say TIP

Expat troupe stages Chekhov play

Written at a time when his country was faltering after the Crimean War but was still clinging to feudalism, Anton Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard" examines a Russia in the midst of social transformation. Tokyo International Players aim to give fresh impetus to this ageless play, to be performed from Jan. 27-29 at the Tokyo American Club.

"The Cherry Orchard" was set at the time when the landowning aristocracy in Russia were losing their wealth as they were supplanted by an upwardly mobile middle class made up of industrialists and merchants, and serfs were being granted their freedom. Chekhov characteristically paints his characters, from a variety of social milieu, with a sympathetic hue, while illustrating how irrationally people can behave when faced with a difficult situation.

This production is directed by former TIP President, Malcolm Duff, and has an international cast made up of longstanding TIP members and new faces. Saturday's matinee performance is a special Director's Matinee aimed at students and teachers, and includes a talk from Duff starting at 1:30 p.m. and a meet and greet with the cast after the performance. E-mail tip@tokyoplayers.org to apply.

TIP presents "The Cherry Orchard" on Jan. 27 (7:30 p.m.), 28 (2 p.m., 7.30 p.m.) and 29 (2 p.m.) at the Tokyo American Club, 2-1-2 Azabudai, Minato-ku, Tokyo. The nearest station is Akabanebashi on the Oedo subway line.

Tickets are 4,000 yen (2,500 yen concessions). For more information and bookings, call the box office at (090) 6009-4171 or visit www.tokyoplayers.org

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