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Preview of The Darling
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"Dalton’s finest bit of acting, as she … digs into the emotion. Throughout, she has no problem getting to the heart of the character and Chekhov’s story…an evening of quality storytelling."
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

New York Theater Review


Lisa Dalton as Olekna

 

Presents

 

 

John Bergstrom Artistic Director
Chekhov Int'l Theatre Festival

 

 

A. Chekhov's

The Darling

 

Review from 2011 New York International Fringe Festival
A. Chekhov's The Darling


Although there's lots of dismaying nonsense at this year's Fringe Festival, A. Chekhov's The Darling, as performed by the accomplished Lisa Dalton, is not among the silliness.  This dramatization of the author's 1898 short story is appropriately slow, sprawling, and leisurely.  Cleanly directed by Victor S. Tkachenko, you won't be jiggled or massaged with any special effects or theatrical gimmickry.  But then why mess with Chekhov? He is a master of continuous revelation, and his Darling is both a poignant love story and philosophical inquiry into a human soul.  The story follows the life and mind of Olenka, a woman who was "always fond of someone, and could not exist without loving."  But there's a deeper and more disturbing premise lurking beneath the surface narrative.  Olenka's nickname "Dushechka" derives from the Russian idiom meaning a "total lack of one's own personality and identity."  And there is the rub! Is the protagonist actually a reflection of pure love and dedication?  Or merely a human parasite who must subsume her life in another's identity? Chekhov would be proud of this solo production with its authentic-looking Russian Samovar, straightforward retelling of his tale (new translation by Victor S. Tkachenko), and Dalton's fine and humane acting.  There are splashier, flashier, and more eye-catching shows at the Fringe this year.  But The Darling, as Leo Tolstoy once aptly described it, is a "pearl."  At IATI Theater.  90 minutes.  Donovan www.curtainup.com/fringe11.html#Darling


 

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Press Releases



 

October 31 Release:

 

West Coast Premier of A.Chekhov’s The Darling in December at Secret Rose

 

Directed by Victor S. Tkachenko and starring Lisa Dalton, The Darling will be presented at Ridgefield, Ct.

 

Two Chekhov’s Productions presented a new translation of the Anton Chekhov short story, The Darling, at the Secret Rose Theatre December 27-28 in North Hollywood, CA.

 

His play The Darling (dushechka) is a touching love story and philosophical inquiry as well as a masterpiece by one of the world’s greatest writers and playwrights, Anton Chekhov. Called “a pearl” by Leo Tolstoy, it provokes a highly controversial attitude embodied in its hero Olga Semionovna Plemianikova. Her nickname emanates from a Russian idiom: Dushechka is synonymous with a total lack of one’s own personality and identity. But is she truly a reflection of true love and dedication? That duality and oxymoronic conflict becomes the basis of a question that the audience at each performance will be invited to answer.

 

The story follows the life and mind of Olenka as she fantasizes, dreams and adores the people around her. Prone to falling in love quickly, Olenka marries Kukin, the pessimistic owner of the summer theatre and adopts his every thought. But when he dies suddenly, she is left opinionless until she meets the optimistic lumberyard manager, Pustavalov. Absorbing his pleasant attitudes does nothing to protect his health, however, and so her lonely life goes. Her quest is a universal one. The audience must decide if the grail brings with it pity, ridicule or admiration.

 

 


ARCHIVED PRESS RELEASES


 

August 15 Release:

 

Premier of A.Chekhov’s The Darling in September at the Annual Michael Chekhov Festival

 

Directed by Victor S. Tkachenko and starring Lisa Dalton, The Darling will be presented at Ridgefield, Ct.

 

Two Chekhov’s Productions presented a new translation of the Anton Chekhov short story, The Darling, at the Chekhov Interntational Theatre Festival September 24 in Ridgefield, Ct.

 

His play The Darling (dushechka) is a touching love story and philosophical inquiry as well as a masterpiece by one of the world’s greatest writers and playwrights, Anton Chekhov. Called “a pearl” by Leo Tolstoy, it provokes a highly controversial attitude embodied in its hero Olga Semionovna Plemianikova. Her nickname emanates from a Russian idiom: Dushechka is synonymous with a total lack of one’s own personality and identity. But is she truly a reflection of true love and dedication? That duality and oxymoronic conflict becomes the basis of a question that the audience at each performance will be invited to answer.

 

The story follows the life and mind of Olenka as she fantasizes, dreams and adores the people around her. Prone to falling in love quickly, Olenka marries Kukin, the pessimistic owner of the summer theatre and adopts his every thought. But when he dies suddenly, she is left opinionless until she meets the optimistic lumberyard manager, Pustavalov. Absorbing his pleasant attitudes does nothing to protect his health, however, and so her lonely life goes. Her quest is a universal one. The audience must decide if the grail brings with it pity, ridicule or admiration.

 


 

May 1 Release:

 

East Coast premier of Chekhov’s The Darling in August at the New York International Fringe Festival 2011

 

Directed by Victor S. Tkachenko and starring Lisa Dalton, The Darling will debut in July in Fort Worth, Tex, before heading to New York
 

Two Chekhov’s Productions will present a new translation of the Anton Chekhov short story, The Darling, at the New York International Fringe Festival 2011 in August.

 

The company will debut the work July 28 – 30, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. in Fort Worth, Texas, before heading to New York. That production will be on the stage of the Pantagleize Theatre Company, supported by a grant from the Northeast Arts Council/Texas Commission on the Arts. A series of educational presentations are an integral part of the effort, according to Lisa Dalton, an accomplished actress who is starring in the one-woman show.

 

LISA DALTON has acted in over 50 plays in New York, Los Angeles, Moscow, UK and Texas including at Lincoln Center, La Mama, National tours and Regional theatres. As an actress/stuntwoman, her films include The Last Dragon, The Highlander, The Sensei, Compromising Positions, Splash, Ghostbusters, Married to the Mob and others. Ms. Dalton appeared on TV in ER, Melrose Place, Carnivale, Saturday Night Live, Dr. Quinn and over 100 commercials. She has worked with stars such as Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, Cher, Sean Connery, Michelle Pfeifer, Robin Williams, Alan Alda, Tom Hanks and Madonna. Now based in Fort Worth, she has been honored by the DramaLogue Award in Los Angeles for Outstanding Achievement in Acting, Who's Who Woman of the Year 2002, plus filmmaker awards at the Houston WorldFest and the American Film Institute. Lisa Dalton is the president of the National Michael Chekhov Association.

 

VICTOR S. TKACHENKO is “a world class director, actor and writer, who has devoted his life to both Chekhovs, directing the uncle’s plays while teaching the nephew’s acting method,” according to Pen World Magazine. Mr. Tkachenko directed about 50 modern and classical plays (including all Chekhov’s plays) in Russia, Europe, Asia, and North America. He played leading characters of Chekhov’s plays, as well as roles in plays by Pushkin, Durrenmatt, Anouilh, etc. Mr. Tkachenko is an author of librettos for five internationally staged musicals and numerous stage adaptations. He is a founder of several theatre companies and centers, including the Michael Chekhov Studio at Anton Chekhov Museum in Moscow, later the Center of Theatre Research at UTW, and Michael Chekhov Center and festival in Ridgefield. Mr. Tkachenko is a recipient of numerous awards and grants.

 

His play The Darling (dushechka) is a touching love story and philosophical inquiry as well as a masterpiece by one of the world’s greatest writers and playwrights, Anton Chekhov. Called “a pearl” by Leo Tolstoy, it provokes a highly controversial attitude embodied in its hero Olga Semionovna Plemianikova. Her nickname emanates from a Russian idiom: Dushechka is synonymous with a total lack of one’s own personality and identity. But is she truly a reflection of true love and dedication? That duality and oxymoronic conflict becomes the basis of a question that the audience at each performance will be invited to answer.

 

The story follows the life and mind of Olenka as she fantasizes, dreams and adores the people around her. Prone to falling in love quickly, Olenka marries Kukin, the pessimistic owner of the summer theatre and adopts his every thought. But when he dies suddenly, she is left opinionless until she meets the optimistic lumberyard manager, Pustavalov. Absorbing his pleasant attitudes does nothing to protect his health, however, and so her lonely life goes. Her quest is a universal one. The audience must decide if the grail brings with it pity, ridicule or admiration.

 

The current production was rehearsed via Skype as Ms. Dalton is a Fort Worth TX resident and director Tkachenko, who currently resides in Westport, CT. Mr. Tkachenko, who also did the translation from the original Russian, met Ms. Dalton at an international conference at the Sorbonne in Paris in 2007.

 

After the Fort Worth run, the play will go to the Fringe Festival in New York. “I am thrilled to return to the New York Stage,” said Ms. Dalton. “My first show there was at the La Mama Annex (now called the Ellen Stewart Theatre) playing Tiny Tim with the Bond Street Theatre in 1976!”

 

For more information about Two Chekhovs Productions, visit thedarling.org or call (818) 761-5404.