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The Cherry Orchard stirs up laughter amidst tragic plot

“The Cherry Orchard” ran from March 3 through March 6 and gave many people insight into what early 1900s Russia was like. This four act play was inspirational and a pleasure to watch. I frequent the theater as often as I can and this play was one of the most entertaining that I have seen in a long time.

Before seeing the play I had done some research on “The Cherry Orchard.” Apparently it was written as a comedy, but the tragic nature of the play lent itself away from a comedic performance. The play was hilarious. There were many scenes where subtle humor was superbly expressed by the actors. The actors preformed these subtle actions with much more elegance than many well-known actors on television today.

Whenever I visit the theater, I am usually struck by one or two items of interest that are worthy of discussion; this production, however, had all the necessary elements, from the costumes to the props to the stage and lighting design. Let alone the actors who really made this performance memorable. This play was a tale of missed opportunities and a wacky reclamation of social standards.

Of all the plays to end a career, this one would certainly be the most fitting. As Clive Elliott said himself, “The play is literally about an end of an era, and it’s also the end of my Drake career.”

Clive Elliott has been a powerful force on Drake campus for 23 years but he is not bothered by leaving.

“I’m not losing anything, I’m gaining something. I will enjoy this new world where I can make anything I like,” Elliott said.
Elliott is truly an inspiration to us all.

“You have given your life, your heart, your art to the education of our students, teaching them and us the necessity of the theatre in making sense of our lives,” wrote Dean Joe Lenz in a letter to Elliott.

Everyone here at Drake will be sad to see him leave because of the deep impact he has made on all of us. President Maxwell had become rather close to Elliott and said in a recent press release that, “I am saddened for all of us at Drake that Clive is retiring. He is one of the most remarkable people with whom I’ve ever worked — he is gifted at his craft, immensely knowledgeable about the history of the theater and an absolute magician at bringing out the best in our student actors.”

Clive is brilliant in the theater giving emotional performances as well as comedic ones. His repertoire is vast and his talent is immeasurable. Maxwell agreed saying that, “Clive’s interpretations of the plays he has produced reflect a very sophisticated and nuanced sense of the material and its possibilities.

Most of all, he has been an inspiration to us all, regardless of academic field — so passionate about what he does that he infects everyone around him with enthusiasm and aspiration.”

If you were not able to attend this play or even if you were, keep an eye out for future performances because our Drake theater department is incredibly talented. No matter what the play is these young actors will amaze you.

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