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BNW's The Cherry Orchard, adapted to post-Civil War, set for 3rd anniversary of Charlottesville, 8-12-20 on Zoom
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 09:23 pm EDT 07/27/20

Brave New World Rep to revive
THE PLANTATION
on Zoom, August 12 at 7pm

Set for the 3rd anniversary of Charlottesville, the performance will earmark a portion of proceeds to pay for BLM protestors’ bail bonds

Brooklyn, NY (July 27, 2020) – Motivated by the Black Lives Matter protests that followed the murder of George Floyd, Brooklyn’s Brave New World Rep has announced plans to revive The Plantation, adapted from Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, set in 1870 Virginia. The benefit reading, directed by Tai Thompson, is set to air August 12th via Zoom, on the third anniversary of Charlottesville protest. A percentage of proceeds will go to paying BLM protestors' bail bonds. (Ticketing information below.)

The Plantation, set in 1870, the year Black freedmen got the right to vote, replaces the Russian classic play’s freed serfs and newly impoverished aristocrats with the Confederacy's emancipated slaves and bankrupted Southern gentry post-Civil War. In The Cherry Orchard, the estate is sold to a former serf who represents the future. As re-imagined in The Plantation, the house and land that must be auctioned off to pay the mortgage, are bought by a former slave who once worked its tobacco fields.

Originally presented over a three-year period as an immersive production inside the Commanding Officer's House on Governors Island, The Plantation attracted SRO crowds for its initial staged reading (2015), world premiere (2016) and return engagement (2017), which was hailed by New York Times critic Laura Collins-Hughes as “urgently relevant."

Adapter/co-founder of Brave New World Rep Claire Beckman says "Americans have a hard time grasping the depth of class differences in Chekhov plays because everyone is white, but when class is defined by the color-line, Americans get it. The Plantation shines a light on the rapid advancements African Americans made during Reconstruction, including electing two Black Senators to Congress."

Says director Tai Thompson, “Our country is moving closer to what I see as a second era of Reconstruction, which makes The Plantation so poignant at this time. There has long been a refusal to deal with the memory and repercussions of the Civil War. And these characters are no different. They don’t recognize the dissonance in how they live and the debt they owe for the gains made at the expense of others. Lopa’s success as a businessman prior to the advent of the Jim Crow era (which would begin just 8 years later) is a hopeful message on the success of Reconstruction and a warning of the future should it fail again.”

The Plantation explores how America was broken by slavery, when “white fragility” began, and why we have yet to heal.

The Plantation: The Cherry Orchard ~ Virginia, 1870
August 12, 2020 at 7:00pm ET
*Third anniversary of racist hate crimes in Charlottesville, Virginia

A Free Reading to Benefit Brave New World Rep and #BLM
Suggested Donation $10
Proceeds will pay our team of artists, and bail bonds for #BLM protesters
Click HERE for reservations

Adapted from Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard by Claire Beckman
Directed by Tai Thompson
Stage Manager: Emely Zepeda
Dramaturg: Brittany Giles-Jones

THE CAST:
Lillian Randolph……………………….Alice Barrett Mitchell*
Annie…………………………………...Maggie Horan†
Varrie……………………………………Zhanah Wyche†
Leo Gaylord……………………………John Edmond Morgan*†
Alan Lopa………………………………Craig. A Grant†
Peter Troy………………………………Perri Yaniv*
Bernard Pitcher………………………..William Brenner*†
Charlotte……………………………….Caroline Ryburn*†
Simon Pantry………………………….Chris Gwynn*†
Dana……………………………………Alyson Brown
Furs…………………………………….Arthur French*
Washer…………………………………Issa Best†
Stranger/Station Master………………Tyler Egan
Stage Directions……………………….Michelle Lavergne

*Indicates Member of Actors Equity Association
† Indicates member of Brave New World Rep


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About Brave New World Repertory Theatre
For the past 14 years, Brooklyn's Brave New World Rep has carved out a site-specific niche presenting re-envisioned classics and works by Brooklyn playwrights. Recent work includes free performances of Elmer Rice's Street Scene, where the company closed off a street in Park Slope, using a tenement building and adjacent street as the stage; Arthur Miller's A View From the Bridge presented in 2018 on the Waterfront Barge Museum in Red Hook; and The Plantation, a bold new adaptation of Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, a post-Civil War story set after emancipation but before the onset of Jim Crow. This immersive production was performed in The Commanding Officer's House on Governors Island, August 31-September 24, 2017.

Brave New World Rep has earned a reputation of delivering unexpectedly immersive works to communities all around Brooklyn, beginning with its 2005 production of To Kill a Mockingbird, presented on the front porches and sidewalks of a tree-lined Ditmas Park street.
Link http://http://bravenewworldrep.org/
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