Rehearsals for The Cherry Orchard are now well under way.
I held auditions in the first week of term. When casting the play, I decided to split the parts of Luba and Varya between two actresses and Pishchik is being played by a girl. The cast members in question all seem happy with this. We had a cast read-through to get everyone on the same page.
During the second week we worked our way through and blocked Acts One, Two and part of Three.
We picked up where we left off in the third week and blocked the rest of the play. We lost one rehearsal as our theatre became the polling station for the local elections.
Understandably, many of the cast have struggled with some of the Russian names, but as we have worked on the text that doesn't seem to be as much of a problem any more. We've also had some very interesting discussions about the historical and social context of the play, how the characters in the play might fit into that society and the life of Anton Chekhov.
The cast need to learn their lines. I've heard many bold claims from people about finding it easy to learn lines or having already learnt Act One or the first half of the play. I suppose I'll find out next week...