On Thursday, Wen got us tickets to see The Cherry Orchard at BAM. It was the second incredible play I’ve seen there (the first was Macbeth last year) and I’m amazed at the continued quality of the projects they host. The Cherry Orchard is part of The Bridge Project, where BAM works with British actors to provide contemporary adaptations of classic plays.
This meant that Tom Stoppard updated the script to include a few ribald elements that weren’t in the original. Also, Sam Mendes organized the play around a set that was on a plinth so that the slightest area of the stage could be lit up. At one point the characters stare out the window at the sun setting over the orchard – but there is no window; they’re staring at the audience and three blinding lights make long rectangles appear over the stage, mimicking the sun. Similarly, in another scene the border of the plinth glows white, while the actual raised surface remains unlit.
Here’s a shot of the stage:
If you’re in town before March 3rd I highly recommend checking it out.