2013 Capital Fringe Show Preview: ‘The Tragical Mirth of Marriage & Love: Short Scenes by Anton Chekhov’

Pallas Theatre Cordially Invites You to…
The Tragical Mirth of Marriage & Love: Short Scenes by Anton Chekhov
Some marriages are tragical.  Some farcical. All are challenging!  

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Marriage. So hot right now. Whether we’re redefining it through our court system, advocating on its behalf with opinion pieces and dialogue, mixing it up to include more than one gender or partner, fighting for its traditions, or expanding its boundaries, marriage always has been and will be a hot-button issue.

Anton Chekhov, a master in understanding the humanity, melodrama and frivolity surrounding our rites and relationships, is much beloved for his series of short stories and plays. As Pallas Theatre Collective began to dive into this vast collection, a theme quickly emerged — The Proposal, The Wedding, The Anniversary — each a vital phase in a relationship’s course, winding its way from infatuation to love to honor, and finally, to obligation.

As we placed these plays in order, we realized we could offer two actors a great challenge: by having our leading man and leading lady play opposite each other in each of the scenes, they not only get to journey down the fairly well-traveled road of love and marriage, but also inhabit four different characters at four distinct points in their respective relationships. These stories and situations might ring true for many, but our actors can show how different people individually approach each stage of this process.

We start with The Bear, and a widow whose daily routine of doing nothing but wearing black and remaining locked in her home is interrupted by a stranger who cares not for her sadness but only for his ability to pay rent.

After the first kiss comes The Proposal, which doesn’t go quite as smoothly as some of the highly orchestrated proposals we see today but would still make for good YouTube fodder.

At The Wedding, audiences will love and recognize the overbearing mother-in-law, the groomsman chasing after the cute bridesmaid, the stranger who crashes the reception and, of course, the drunk father of the bride whose turn at the microphone terrorizes the guests and wedding party alike.

In The Anniversary, a narcissistic banker meets his match when he comes up against the drama of his wife’s trip home to family, and a daffy older patron who may or may not need the services of his bank.

Joining Pallas again after making her debut as Luciana in last year’s The Comedy of Mirrors, Ty Hallmark directs a cast of D.C. favorites in this lively collection of Chekhov’s short plays. There will be the usual Chekhovian chicanery, wordplay and threats of sudden death, infused with a modern touch as we explore how the right to marry has for centuries given us material to laugh, cry and gnash our teeth over.

The Tragical Mirth of Marriage & Love: Short Scenes by Anton Chekhov features Michael Boynton, Allison S. Galen and David Dubov, supported by an ensemble that includes K. Clare Johnson, Steve Beall, Luke Cieslewicz, Joseph Michael Jones, Julia Morrissey, and Elizabeth Darby.

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Performances this year at 3 exciting locations: 

Location #1: Fort Fringe – The Shop – 607 New York Ave NW, in  Washington, DC 20001 

Saturday, July 13th at 3:15pm
Tuesday, July 16th at 9:15pm
Sunday, July 21st at 3:45pm
Wednesday, July 24th at 8:00pm
Saturday, July 27th at 5:00pm


Location #2: Warner Memorial Presbyterian Church – 10123 Connecticut Avenue, in Kensington, MD 20895

Thursday July 18th at 7:30pm
Friday, July 19th at 7:30pm
Saturday, July 20th at 7:30pm

Location #3: North Bethesda United Methodist Church – 10100 Old Georgetown Road, in Bethesda, MD 20814 

Thursday, July 25th at 7:30pm
Friday, July 26th at 7:30pm


This production is presented as a part of the 2013 Capital Fringe Festival, a program of the Washington. DC non-profit Capital Fringe.


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