The Cherry Orchard: An Insider’s Perspective

Updated: Nov 15, 2021

By Aria Kavitha Fiorillo (Reporter ‘25)


As a freshman at Friends’ Central, participating in the drama program has been a delight. Not only is it an alternative way to get a sports credit (that is a plus!), but it is a great opening to meet new people and get your creative juices flowing. This year, the production is The Cherry Orchard, written by Anton Chekhov. The Cherry Orchard is about an aristocratic family whose beloved estate is put up for auction. It deals with the divide between the working class and the wealthy, as well as the unexpected connections between the two. The play is filled with characters who “love and loath,” as Liz Carlson-Guerin, the play’s director, would say—more than that, the play encaptures everyday life in a refreshing and humorous way.

I play Olga, who is a member of the Famous Local Orchestra. The Famous Local Orchestra is not present in the original play written by Chekhov, but we decided to add it into our version to make the production more modern and upbeat. I also play the Stranger, who scares Varya, the daughter in the family, by asking her for money. Before joining the

play, I was not familiar with The Cherry Orchard. At first, it seemed a bit boring and uneventful, but when it started to come to life I saw that that was not the case. Instead, it is funny, clumsy, daring, and unique. One thing that I love about

the play is that it is both ordinary and out

of the ordinary.

As a member of the band, I especially appreciated the artistic freedom given to the actors. Character-building activities allowed us to create who we wanted to be and decide how we were going to express ourselves. The activity that I relished the most was the character meditation, where we closed our eyes and walked through a day in the life of our character. I was happy to be able to use my imagination and it helped me discover my role. The saying, “there are no small roles, only small actors,” fits perfectly with this production. Every character creates a unique stage presence, no matter how many lines the role has, and it is great to be a part of something larger than myself. Everyone plays a part in the atmosphere of the stage. The Friends’ Central drama program values the talents that everyone brings to the table. To all of the underclassmen: don’t hesitate to join a drama production!

In the production, it’s not only the people on stage but also those behind the scenes. Everything that the stage crew has done is amazing! They have built doors, painted, done sound checks, and so much more. From what I have seen and heard it seems like a good time! The best part about being in the play is seeing it all come together in the end. It truly is amazing for me to see the progress we have made in two months. If I had to pick a favorite, I most enjoyed collaborating with the band and learning the dance for the end of the show. I can’t wait for the next production!