French theatre presents : La cerisaie (The Cherry Orchard)

April 11–14, 2018, at 7:30 p.m. in the NAC Babs Asper Theatre
ENGLISH SURTITLES FRIDAY APRIL 13 // Exclusive Canadian engagement

“This production by Flemish collective tg STAN takes an unconventional approach
by investing the play with the sense of comedy that Chekhov gave it.
And it’s a powerful wind of madness and freedom that blows through this Cherry Orchard
for more than two hours.”

Stéphane Boularand, La Depêche, November 17, 2015 (transl.)


OTTAWA, March 22, 2018 – A Cerisaie full of charm, zest and youth, created and confidently performed by the effervescent Belgian company tg STAN. A Cerisaie peppered with jokes and asides that speaks to each of us, here and now, and moves right along!

Far from presenting a nostalgic recreation of Russia in 1904, the theatre collective tg STAN restores a refreshing vitality and acerbity to Chekhov’s iconic Cherry Orchard. Though the central themes—the decline of the aristocracy and the rise of a new entrepreneurial class—are the same, the Belgian troupe brings an innovative and engaging approach to the Russian playwright’s final work: the sparse, multifunctional set, modern-day costumes, authentic performances, and fierce humour are overlaid with a keen sense of tragedy.


“The play tells us, then, that it is youth that is always inventing a new world,
whatever previous generations may think of this future universe.
Nostalgia, that well-known Chekhovian nostalgia, isn’t what it used to be, and for good reason:
it was never a creation of Chekhov, that writer of diagnosis and observation,
but a cliché constructed after the fact through a long history of stage productions.”

Fabienne Darge, Le Monde, December 9, 2015 (transl.)


Written by Anton Chekhov // Directed by tg STAN // With Evgenia Brendes, Robby Cleiren, Jolente De Keersmaeker, Lukas De Wolf, Tessa Friedrich, Bert Haelvoet, Camille Rutherford, Scarlet Tummers, Stijn Van Opstal and Frank Vercruyssen // Set design: tg STAN in partnership with Damiaan De Schrijver // Lighting: Thomas Walgrave // Costumes: An d’Huys // Technical direction: Tom Van Aken, Lucas Van Haesbroeck and Tim Wouters

Produced by tg STAN (Antwerp) // Coproduced by Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Festival d’Automne à Paris, La Colline – théâtre national (Paris), TnBA – Théâtre national de Bordeaux en Aquitaine, Le Bateau Feu – Scène nationale de Dunkerque, Théâtre Garonne (Toulouse) and Théâtre de Nîmes – Scène conventionnée.

Coproduced by NXTSTP with the support of the European Union Culture Programme

Running time: Approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes with no intermission.



Jolente De Keersmaeker, Sara De Roo, Damiaan De Schrijver and Frank Vercruyssen met in the 1980s at the Antwerp Royal Conservatory. They wanted to form a collective but couldn’t be bothered to spend much time thinking up a name, so they called them­selves tg STAN, an acronym for Stop Thinking About Names. Over the years they have retained their maverick energy, embracing a democratic creative process as they reappropriate classic texts and reframe them as dialogues with the audience. In their hands, Chekhov, Pinter and Ibsen speak to us as contemporaries. The ensemble’s production of Bergman’s Scènes de la vie conjugale (Scenes from a Marriage) was presented at the NAC in 2016.


On Wednesday, April 11, take a few minutes before or after the performance to browse the books on display at the Librairie du soleil sales counter set up just outside the Babs Asper Theatre. Throughout the year, the counter will feature a selection of works related to the plays in the French Theatre season.

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