The Irish Heritage Theatre Presents.... The Bear and Afterplay
by Brian Friel (Two Plays After Chekhov)
at Plays and Players Theatre Mainstage
What would happen if Sonya Serebriakova, the long-suffering niece of Uncle Vanya still pining away for Mikhail Lvovich Astrov, and Andrey Prozorov, the jilted husband, isolated and devoted brother in Three Sisters met at a Café, twenty years after their respective plays ended? A connection evolves as the two get to know each other’s deepest secrets, but is that connection strong enough for them to break free from their pasts? This is Afterplay, Friel’s reimagining of two legendary characters’ later lives from Chekhov’s greatest masterpieces. Then there is The Bear, based on Chekhov’s short play of the same name. Grigory Stepanovitch Smirnov storms into the home of Elena Ivanovna Popova demanding his due from her late husband. It turns out that Elena is grieving a man who did nothing but cheat on and lie to her, and Grigory is, quite simply put, a philandering, misogynist. Then there is Elena’s put-upon elderly manservant, Luka, who does his level best to referee. Will the play end in a duel, a massive heart attack, or a wedding? The Bear and Afterplay pair two literary giants, Friel and Chekhov, in these gorgeous and hilarious meditations on the absurdities of life and the human condition.
Health: As of April 22, 2022, masks are not required in Philadelphia, though city officials strongly recommend mask-wearing at indoor public spaces in the city.
Accessibility: First Floor of Plays and Players, but restrooms are down one flight of stairs.