Following a sold-out, critically acclaimed engagement in Sydney, Australia last August,THE PRESENTstars Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh and is directed by John Crowley. Set and costume design is by Alice Babidge with lighting design by Nick Schlieper. Stefan Gregory is Sound Designer and Composer.
Variously known as Platonov, Wild Honey, Fatherlessness and The Disinherited, Anton Chekhov’s untitled first play was not discovered until 1920, some 16 years after the playwright’s death.
Andrew Upton’s adaptation is set post-Perestroika in the mid-1990s at an old country house where friends gather to celebrate the birthday of the independent but compromised widow Anna Petrovna (Blanchett). At the center is the acerbic and witty Platonov (Roxburgh) with his wife, his former students and friends and their partners. They may appear comfortable, but boiling away inside is a mess of unfinished, unresolved relationships, fuelled by twenty years of denial, regret and thwarted desire.
Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh are making their Broadway debuts inTHE PRESENT. They previously appeared together on the New York stage in Sydney Theatre Company’s acclaimed production of Andrew Upton’s adaptation of Chekhov’sUncle Vanya. Additionally, Cate Blanchett appeared in New York in Sydney Theatre Company’s productions ofHedda Gabler,A Streetcar Named DesireandThe Maids.
Andrew Upton has been at the creative helm of Sydney Theatre Company (STC) for the last eight years, the first five as co-Artistic Director alongside Cate Blanchett. He left the Company at the end of 2015, succeeded by Jonathan Church. During the Upton/Blanchett years, STC’s international touring profile increased with tours ofWaiting for Godotto the UK,Gross und Klein (Big and Small)to the UK, France, Austria and Germany, bothA Streetcar Named DesireandUncle Vanyato Washington and New York andThe Maids to New York.A History of Everything, commissioned by STC as a co-production with Belgian theatre company Onteroend Goed, has also had seasons in Chicago and in Belgium, Holland and the UK whileLong Day's Journey into Nightplayed in Portland, Oregon.