Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard is the story of a family struggling to save their family’s estate. Director Cody Whetstone knew that in order to portray this eccentric family and the servants and friends that surround them, he would have to cast an eclectic group of people.
“We knew this would be a perfect play to work on collaboratively with Bethany College and Broadway RFD,” Whetstone said. “To find such a diverse group of people, we needed both group’s resources.”
Greg LeGault, director of the Bethany College Theatre Department, was excited to do Chekhov as part of the Bethany College Theatre Season. “It’s a great opportunity for my students who have read his plays in class, but haven’t yet had the opportunity to perform them,” LeGault said. Bethany students performing in the play include Phoenix Hutchinson, Dayna Mannebach, Elizabeth Ford, Jed Duarte, Wyatt Buckridge, and Ashley Glover.
Many Bethany faculty and staff are also involved in the production. Molly Johnson, who plays Varya, is Bethany College Director of Alumni Relations and a Bethany and a Broadway RFD alum. “It’s exciting for me to get to work with colleagues and students in such a different setting,” Johnson said. “It’s thrilling as an actor to get to work with people you’ve never acted with before.” Other Bethany staff and faculty performing in the play are Jane Anderson and Greg LeGault.
The Cherry Orchard will also bring new faces as part of the production. Veteran actors Pete Emery, Shane Berggren, and Charles Christiansen will be new to the Burnett stage, but have all had multiple theatrical experiences.
The Cherry Orchard will be April 25, 26, and 27 at 7:30 p.m. in Burnett Center on the Bethany College Campus. Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for Bethany students, staff, and faculty. For more information, check www.broadwayrfd.org or www.bethanylb.edu, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (888) 227-2227.