This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001

13Jun/20

CHERRY ORCHARD FESTIVAL: STATE VS. NATASHA BANINA

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Who: Arlekin Players Theatre
What: Live Zoom interactive theater art experiment
Where: Cherry Orchard Festival Zoom
When: Sunday, June 14, 21, 28, free with RSVP, 8:00
Why: The Cherry Orchard Festival, which has presented such shows as Chekhov’s Ivanov and such films as Elephants Can Play Football here in New York, will be staging a “live Zoom theater art experiment” on June 14, 21, and 28 at 8:00. Reconfiguring its tenth anniversary season, Boston’s Arlekin Players Theatre is going virtual with State vs. Natasha Banina, a new play specially conceived for Zoom, based on Yaroslava Pulinovich’s Natasha’s Dream, a solo work the company put on at the New Rep Theatre in February 2017. The interactive adaptation reunites actress Darya Denisova, director Igor Golyak, choreographer Viktor Plotnikov, and video artist Anton Iakhontov, along with composer Vadim Khrapatchev, as orphan Natasha Banina makes her plea for freedom via a Zoom courtroom where the audience serves as the jury. The show will be performed live on June 14, 21, and 28 at 8:00, followed by a discussion, and attendance is free with advance RSVP.

“In response to the Covid-19 emergency, we had to cancel all live performances scheduled for June 2020 as part of the annual Cherry Orchard Festival, but we still wanted to do something unique for our audiences during these challenging times,” festival executive producer Maria Shclover said in a statement. Golyak added, “During these uncertain times, being artistic and creative are essential, and we are excited about this new theatrical experience. We are creating a new art form to overcome social distancing, the pandemic, and ultimately unite people in one virtual space by merging theater, cinematography, and video games.” Donations will be accepted to support the Actors Fund’s Covid-19 Emergency Relief Fund.

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