Chekhov/Tolstoy: Love Stories

Name: Theater Four
Address: 424 West 55th Street, New York, NY 10019
Production Information
First performance date: January 23, 2020
Opening date: February 10, 2020
Closing date: March 14, 2020
External Links: Official Website

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Production Description
Beginning January 23, 2020, Mint Theater Company will present a program of short plays adapted from stories by two of the world’s greatest authors, Anton Chekhov and Leo Tolstoy. These dramatic adaptations come from one of our favorite playwrights, Miles Malleson, author of Mint productions, Conflict and Yours Unfaithfully, both New York Times Critic’s Picks. Chekhov wrote more than five hundred short stories in the years before he wrote the four plays that made his theatrical immortality. “If you ask any writer whom they revere as the founder of the modern short story, the chances are the answer will be Chekhov,” writes Rosamund Bartlett, author of books about both Chekhov and Tolstoy. Chekhov’s An Artist’s Story tells the story of Nicov, a painter who encounters two very different women on a visit to the country. The flirtatious Genya flatters the artist with questions about miracles and the eternal, while her pragmatic sister Lidia ridicules the artist, questioning the necessity of landscapes in a world where people are poor and hungry. Together, they bring him to a new understanding of himself. The first production was in 1919, directed by Edith Craig and produced by the Pioneer Players: an independent theater society known for its productions of feminist and Russian drama. Malleson played the title role. Tolstoy’s What Men Live By tells the story of a Russian peasant couple whose lives intersect with a mysterious stranger whose odd ways and brilliant smile bring them to a new understanding as well. What Men Live By reflects Tolstoy’s dedication to living out a Christian pacifism based on personal conscience. In the midst of World War I, the pacifist Malleson was inspired by Tolstoy’s empathetic vision. Infusing his adaptation with string quartet music composed for the production by Norman O’Neill, Malleson’s adaptation premiered as part of an all-female student program by London’s Academy of Dramatic Arts, providing audiences with “the pure milk of the Tolstoyan word on loving-kindness.” Audiences shell-shocked by the war welcomed this balm; audiences today will also warm to this hopeful tale of love and redemption. Mint’s production will be the first-ever pairing of Malleson’s Russian gems, co-directed by Mint Artistic Director Jonathan Bank and his longtime collaborator, Jane Shaw. Jane has designed sound, and composed and arranged music for thirty Mint productions; she will be making her directorial debut at the Mint.
Opening Night Credits

Production Credits
Person/Company Credit
Mint Theater Company Producer
Anton Chekhov Original Author
Leo Tolstoy Original Author
Miles Malleson Adaptation
Jane Shaw Original Music
Jonathan Bank Director
Jane Shaw Director
Mark Thomas Johnson Assistant Director
Roger Hanna Set Designer
Oana Botez Costume Designer
Matthew Richards Lighting Designer
Jane Shaw Sound Designer
Natalie Carney Props Designer
Zhanna Gurvich Assistant Set Designer
Caleb Daniel Krieg Assistant Costume Designer
Erin MacDevitt Assistant Lighting Designer
Emma Wilk Associate Sound Designer
Jeff Meyers Production Stage Manager
Andrea Jess Berkey Stage Manager
Rob Reese Production Manager
Carlo Andolfi Technical Director
Maya Cantu Dramaturgical Advisor
Stephanie Klapper Casting
David Gersten & Associates Publicity

Actor Role
Brittany Anikka Liu1 Lidia/Woman
Vinie Burrows2 Aniuska
Katie Firth3 Matryona/Mother
Anna Lentz4 Genya/Servant
J. Paul Nicholas5 Simon/Byelkurov
Malik Reed2 Michael
Alexander Sokovikov6 Nicov/Nobleman

1Plays Lidia in The Artist; Plays Woman in Michael.
2In Michael.
3Plays the role of Matryona in Michael; Plays the role of Mother in The Artist.
4Plays Genya in The Artist; Plays Servant in Michael.
5Plays Simon in Michael; Plays Byelkurov in The Artist.
6Plays the role of Nicov in The Artist; Plays the role of Nobleman in Michael.