July 28, 2011
Reviewed by Paula Citron
The Cherry Orchard
Guild Festival Theatre
Written by Anton Chekhov
Directed by Sten Eirik
Performed by Dawna Wightman, John Jarvis, Paul Amato and Jesse Dwyre
Greek Theatre in Guildwood Park
Jul. 7 to 30, 2011
There is a new outdoor theatre company in town, and it certainly warrants support.
The mandate of the Guild Festival Theatre is classical theatre, and its first production is Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard. Artistic director Sten Eirik has put together a mixed cast of professionals and recent theatre school grads, and despite uneven acting, the performances, over all, are very credible.
The setting is absolutely gorgeous – the beautiful Greek Theatre in Guildwood Park, the site of the historic Guild Inn. Situated on the Scarborough Bluffs, the park contains sculpture and columns saved from demolished bank buildings in Toronto.
This new theatre project deserves to succeed. Instead of presenting summer stock, or the ubiquitous Shakespeare in the park, Eirik has entered new territory with outdoor Chekhov.
A big problem is that the company needs more lights to help people find the parking lot post performance, but these are early days.
The Cherry Orchard continues at the Greek Theatre in Guildwood Park until Jul. 30.