I AM THEATRE: Curt Columbus

At my theatre, we do a lot of performances
for student audiences. I was staging a production of “The Cherry
Orchard” by Anton Chekhov in a translation that I had done myself and there was an audience
of 8th and 9th graders seeing that play. They were talking amongst themselves, particularly
when a character, Lopakhin, played by Joe Wilson Jr., came on stage. Joe is this young, handsome guy and people
in the audience really got into him and his performance. By the 3rd act when the party
is happening, the kids were really vocally engaged and shouting and laughing and having
a great time. And then the party, of course, shuts down when Lopakhin comes in and Lyuba
says to him, “What happened to the cherry orchard?” And Lopakhin says, “I bought it”. And suddenly one of the little girls that
was sitting in front of me, leapt up and went, “Yes! I told you that was gonna happen.” I think as a Chekhov translator you can spend
your whole life waiting for someone to have that kind of a visceral response to Chekov
and never see it happen. So I felt really, really blessed to be in the room to watch
a young person hear Chekhov in a way that made her leap to her feet. I am Curt Columbus and I AM THEATRE.

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