‘Cherry Orchard’ on Orchard Street

Laura Austin stars in Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard.”

Laura Austin stars in Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard.” Laura Austin Photo

— Redhouse artistic director and longtime professional actress Laura Austin will star as Mrs. Lyuba Ranevsky, an aristocratic pre-revolution Russian matriarch, in “The Cherry Orchard,” being staged at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 28, at Fayetteville Free Library, 310 Orchard St. Tickets cost $25 or $15 for Redhouse members; theredhouse.org; 362-2785.

“We know everybody loves ‘Downton Abbey,’ so here’s an opportunity to see the Russian version right here in Central NY,” Austin said.

The Redhouse is touring Anton Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard” with performances at 7 p.m. June 26 at the Mandana Barn in Skaneateles, at 7 p.m. Friday, June 27, at the Delevan Warehouse in Syracuse, and Saturday in Fayetteville.

For more than a century, critics have struggled to categorize Chekhov’s 1904 play. Is it a comedy or a tragedy or a farce?

In any case, Chekhov’s work continues to be cherished for its sharp wit and deep insight into the human condition. “The Cherry Orchard” lovingly portrays some of his most memorable characters as they struggle against clashing desires and lose their balance in the shifting eruptions of society and a modernizing Russia.

“This comedic play has a hint of ‘Downton Abbey’ that you won't want to miss,” Austin said.

A founder and associate artistic director of Redhouse Arts Center, in downtown Syracuse, Austin developed and implemented the Redhouse Capital Campaign in 2003, raising $1.4 million. She also managed the renovations of a three-story historic building on the outskirts of Armory Square.

Austin, who lived in Skaneateles, has a wide range of acting credits both nationally and internationally, and she is an active member of the Screen Actors Guild and Actors Equity.

In “The Cherry Orchard,” Austin’s character faces the dissolution of the family estate which she’s forced to sell top the son of a former serf.

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