Illustration of a chopped down cherry tree that was cut into logs

The Cherry Orchard

by Anton Chekhov

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Topics for Further Study

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Investigate the Russian class structure that evolved after the emancipation of the serfs in 1861, during the reign of Tsar Alexander II, relating it to the gallery of characters in The Cherry Orchard.

Research the rise of the Moscow Art Theatre, its relationship to Anton Chekhov, and the influence of its great co-director, Konstantin Stanislavsky, on the "method" school of acting that was taught by Sanford Meisner and Lee Strasberg in America and popularized by such actors as Robert De Niro, Jane Fonda, and Dennis Hopper.

Investigate the treatment of tuberculosis in Russia and Europe at the turn of the nineteenth century and relate your findings to Chekhov's life and role as physician.

Investigate the influence of Chekhov on modern American drama and such specific playwrights as David Mamet, Maria Irene Fornes, Spalding Gray, John Guare, Wendy Wasserstein, Neil Simon, and Lillian Hellman.

Research daily life on the provincial estate of late nineteenth-century Russia and relate your findings to The Cherry Orchard and other works by Chekhov.

Research penal conditions in Chekhov's Russia and the playwright's efforts to encourage reform in his nonfiction expose, Sakhalin Island (1893-94).

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