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Zanjanpour’s Chekhov Play After Three Decades

The play is about the relentless march of time and the way people handle change.The play is about the relentless march of time and the way people handle change.

Three decades after his play was shelved due to an aerial attack by Iraq, Iranian actor and theater director Akbar Zanjanpour plans to restage it at the same venue.

The Cherry Orchard, the last play written by Russian playwright Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) has a particular significance for Zanjanpour. Twenty-nine years ago in the winter of 1987, when the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88) was going on, he had staged the play at Tehran’s Vahdat Hall, but an Iraqi rocket fired near the hall stopped the show after one night of its run.

“Now, after 29 years, I want to direct the same play and stage it again at Vahdat Hall after the 35th Fajr International Theater Festival (January 2017),” Zanjanpour, 70, told Mehr News Agency.

“It is a very challenging play and requires months of rehearsal. I believe Chekhov cannot be taken lightly. Any change in his play should be based on his intellectual concepts.”

However, “we will do our best to present a new performance of ‘The Cherry Orchard,’ leaving the substance intact.”

Although a brilliant actor, Zanjanpour is unlikely to have a role in the show. “I prefer to maintain my focus on directing the play.”

“Cast members are to be announced soon.” Stage designer Reza Mehdizadeh will cooperate in the project.

Zanjanpour has directed two other plays by Chekhov: Ivanov, a 4-act drama; and Uncle Vanya, a melancholic play.

Many consider The Cherry Orchard Chekhov’s greatest play. It is a beautiful example of Chekhovian style: a mix of comedy and tragedy.

This play is about the relentless march of time and the way people handle change. Some profit by it. Some go kicking and screaming. And others are left behind, according to an introduction to the play at shmoop.com.

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