Tarragon brings back Chekhov’s love letters until April 23

From the 2015 run of the show: Richard Sheridan Willes as Anton Chekhov and Rena Polley as Olga Knipper.

Theirs was one of the theatre world’s most extraordinary love stories: he a famous playwright and she a leading actress of the Moscow Art Theatre. ‘I take your hand in mine…’ by Carol Rocamora is a play suggested by the love letters of Anton Chekhov and Olga Knipper.

This production returns to the Toronto stage after its 2015 sold-out run, with performances at Tarragon Extraspace from April 6 to 23.

Richard Sheridan Willis and Riverdale resident Rena Polley are back playing the playwright and his leading lady in a relationship that spans the birth of the Moscow Art Theatre and the production of Chekhov’s four major plays. Embedded into the everyday are gems of theatre history and insights into Chekhov’s creative process as well as a real-life love story that is as tempestuous, teasing and spontaneous as any Chekhov play.

“We are so fortunate that the Chekhov-Knipper correspondence was preserved,” says Dmitry Zhukovsky, a Wellesley and Yonge resident and director of this production.

“While their careers kept them apart, these letters depict a relationship that was very much alive, and vibrant with tender feelings, humor and artistic insights. The play of Carol Rocamora takes us into the heart of a special love affair and also opens for us a vital page in Russian theatre history.”

The play is a co-production between Toronto’s The Chekhov Collective, a company founded by Rena Polley to explore Chekhov’s work and the acting technique of his nephew Michael Chekhov, and Theatrus, a performance art company created by recent Russian émigrées Dmitry Zhukovsky and Yulia Rubina. They are the producers behind last years The Cherry Orchard and The Seagull in 2014.

For more information, visit thechekhovcollective.com.