In homage to Chekhov's 'The Cherry Orchard,' this ensemble play examines the disappearing middle class in the swing state of Wisconsin. More…
It’s the era of Tea Partiers, undocumented “Dreamers,” organic farming and fracking — and they all collide in a small community where being nice and rooting for the Packers are bond. The personal meets the partisan, community meets capitalism and local meets global at Breitwisch Farm.
"Fascinating...An unblinking spontaneous combustion of drama...A searing, no-holds-barred saga of life in the real 'real America'...The violent plot twist may seem heavy handed...The performances of this young, energetic cast are superb...By the conclusion of Kamps' play–which is no less than stunning–we really care about what happens to these residents of Goose Creek, Wisconsin...More than a slice of life, consider this should-be classic play to be a slice of the new American pie." Full Review
"Ambitiously monumental in its scope...The entire ensemble is simply incredible. The ease with which the members of the cast connect, and the nuanced portrayal of each of their characters, charges this family saga with electrifying truth...Quinn tries his best to make his actors move and change the axis of the action throughout each scene, but the staging requires further polishing. The imperfections of it, however, don't obscure the overall quality of this timely play." Full Review
"What makes the Chekhovian element so useful to Kamps is its tendency not to polarize good and evil or weakness and strength...Director Ryan Quinn has mounted the play imaginatively, on a deep, narrow, largely bare stage surrounded by audience on three sides. The cast is young and energetic. Not all the players are the ideal age for their characters, but they work well together and are, by and large, a talented lot." Full Review
"Overloaded though engaging examination of the American heartland...Kamps tenderly delineates his eight characters with biographical details, strong character traits and lots of conflict...Expressive dialogue...Less successful in crafting a compelling plot...All quite Chekhovian but lacking in finesse. The didactic elements and the personal revelations aren't well integrated...Nevertheless Quinn’s work with the cast results in a true sense of an ensemble with everyone connected and believable." Full Review
"Smart, complex but overloaded...It’s an ambitious play with an impressive cast, but the choppily edited text needs the kinds of clarifying that the pared-down yet occasionally clunky staging doesn’t provide...What’s largely, sorely missing is the sound of that place. Not missing from Kamps’s script...but missing from Quinn’s production. In a play that’s as much about home and belonging as this one, what people sound like matters." Full Review
See it if The minimalist staging brought front and center the acting abilities of the performers. They had a wonderful score by Jeremy J. Kamps
Don't see it if you enjoy more elaborate stage shows
See it if you'd like to see a well-written new play that grapples with important issues. The acting was good. Well worth your time.
Don't see it if you prefer fully staged productions rather than minimalist sets. You dislike plays that deal with political issues.
See it if you like Chekhov, want to know how Trump got elected, love great acting, the old school family dramas.
Don't see it if long family dramas aren't your thing, you don't like adaptations of Chekhov, you want lasers or verse or musicals in your plays.
See it if you enjoy a thinking-person's exercise with talented performers on current issues with a plot from an earlier playwright.
Don't see it if you cannot endure sitting on a folding chair for two hours or do not like actors whizzing by you within reach.
See it if You like terrific family dramas and modern Chekhov adaptations. This one works really well - great writing and acting.
Don't see it if You dislike small, intimate venues with somewhat difficult sight lines, or cannot tolerate a few untranslated passages in another language.
See it if you want to not care for a solid 2.5 hrs before hearing a surprisingly spirited rallying cry on DACA at the very end
Don't see it if good intentions aren’t enough; the play must be at least remotely entertaining
See it if you're up for a clever blend of OUR TOWN and THE CHERRY ORCHARD while speaking directly to the social climate of the day
Don't see it if You're looking for an over-the-top spectacle - though the stagecraft is inventive
See it if You care about the earth, immigration policy, like strong female characters, want to be pulled into an alternate reality for awhile.
Don't see it if You don't like good writing or genuine, heartfelt art.
See it if You are interested in a well-written, humorous, and well-acted and produced commentary on contemporary American society.
Don't see it if You don't want to be challenged intellectually or have an aversion to different American truths.
See it if You like plays with relevant political themes about real people, passionately acted.
Don't see it if You're looking for elaborate costumes, sets, and a fancy production. The set is minimalist but evocative.
See it if you want to be moved by a piece that is so relevant to the current state of various cultural issues affecting the U.S.
Don't see it if you hate life, or can't stay seated / still for more than an hour at a time.
See it if you want to see a show provoking real conversation all while not hitting you on the head with the subject matter. See it if you love subtly.
Don't see it if you are not a fan of seeing a relating to diversity or women speaking up for themselves.
See it if You enjoy sparse, symbolic, topical theatre that opens up a number of issues we face in today's society, and leaves you feeling moved.
Don't see it if You enjoy a lot of flashy song and dance without a lot of substance, or don't care to think about where you stand on some current events.
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