CHILDREN OF THE SUN (PAC): A knockout contemporary production of a rarely seen classic

Photo by Wide Eyed Studios.

Now this is what a collective can do: a huge cast all so attuned to each others’ idiosyncrasies that they might as well be the household they are portraying. The PAC (Philadelphia Artists’ Collective) production of Gorky’s Children of the Sun, directed by Megan Bellwoar, is a knockout.

Part of the success of this rarely seen Russian play is the very contemporary adaptation by Andrew Upton, giving the actors realistic language to speak, so when an aggravated sister says to her ineffectual brother, “What is your problem?”and he replies, “How long have you got?” we feel we know the people. Maybe we are these people. The relevance to our world is so obvious that we easily see past the  elegant clothes and the period furniture to the class riots in the streets, to the mysterious disease that is killing the townspeople, to the future dangers of idealistic science.

The house is full of neurotic, self-absorbed people sodden with Chekhovian despair.  Pavel (Newton Buchanan) is the naive scientist oblivious of his beautiful wife (Jessica Dlanton), while she is adored by an artist (Eli Lynn). Maurice (Damon Bonetti) the self-mocking clown is in love with Lisa (Cassandra Alexander), the half-mad poet, and the sexy rich widow Melanya (Madeleine Clare Garcia) is crazy for Pavel. They all turn in excellent performances  supported by a fine crew of minor characters.

[Philadelphia Artists Collective at the Bluver Theatre at the Drake, 302 S. Hicks Street] May 2-19, 2024;


One Reply to “CHILDREN OF THE SUN (PAC): A knockout contemporary production of a rarely seen classic”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.