Established in 1973, The Wilma Theater presents bold, original, well-crafted productions that represent a range of voices, viewpoints, and styles. In 2011, former artistic director Blanka Zizka founded the Wilma HotHouse Company as an incubator for artistic experimentation and a way to create long-term relationships and collaborations with local Philadelphia artists from diverse backgrounds. Beginning in 2020, the company established a new leadership structure with artists sharing artistic leadership in a cohort format.
A new interpretation of Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, led by Dmitry Krymov, will provide a modern-day means of viewing the 1903 classic through the eyes of a contemporary Russian artist. One of Russia’s most prominent directors, Krymov has a history of reimagining classical works of Western theater with an emphasis on objects over text, and he has worked extensively throughout Europe and the US. For The Cherry Orchard, Krymov’s staging will pare down the original text to concentrate on a more physical approach to Chekhov’s canonical work that follows the decline of an affluent Russian family. The production will feature kinetic set designs and large-scale puppetry to draw on the languages of the body, music, and visual art. Wilma Theater co-artistic director Yury Urnov, who is originally from Russia himself, will serve as a cultural translator and liaison between Krymov and the Wilma’s resident ensemble, the HotHouse company, who will collaborate on the piece’s creation and perform it.
The total grant amount represents project funding plus an additional 20% in unrestricted general operating support.