Enter the provocative world of master playwright Anton Chekhov’s Russia as tension and secret ignite into comedy at Hedgerow Theatre in Uncle Vanya, February 9 to March 5.
Vanya and his niece, Sonya, have toiled for years to keep the family estate going, when Sonya’s father, retired Professor Serebryakov, returns with his new wife Yelena. All work comes to a halt as buried resentments and forbidden feelings resurface. Vanya thematically focuses on the idea of a “wasted life,” as each character is consumed by lethargy and regret over their unsatisfactory lives; however, through Chekhov’s wit the dialogue is both pointed and comic.
Under the direction of Barrymore Recommended director of On the Verge Kittson O’Neill, Producing Artistic Director Jared Reed steps into the role of Serebryakov with his mother Penelope Reed as Maria along with an all-star Philly cast including Adam Altman as Vanya and Jennifer Summerfield as Sonya.
“It’s wonderful for us as a theatre company, because Chekhov is one of the great writers of drama and you have to be working at your best to meet him…He shows us that people don’t change – we still feel and process and laugh and cry over the same wonderful and absurd things, and to experience life that is funny at the same time it is sad, and the sad makes it funny, as the fact that you laugh makes it sad,” said Reed.
A founder of both the modern short story and modern prose drama, Chekhov was intimately acquainted with nineteenth-century provincial due to the debts amassed by his father. He became a tutor and writer in order to support himself, ultimately choosing to study medicine. Throughout his life Chekhov would have two loves, famously quipping that medicine was his lawful wife, while literature was his mistress.
“Chekhov is always relevant. His characters are like us in every possible way, with love, and sorrow, and caring. Chekhov is unmatched when it comes to showing us humanity, as it is,” said Reed.
Though he would not live to see it, Chekhov died of tuberculosis in Germany in 1904, he would transform the modern theatre. Chekhov’s plays use indirect action, focusing on understatement, broken conversation, off-stage events, and absent characters as catalysts for the dramatic action of a realistic play.
Adult ticket prices are $34, with a $3 discount for seniors. Tickets for those 30 and under, as well as students, are $20. For groups of 10 or more, tickets are $18. Prices include all fees and are subject to change. For reservations or more info, call 610-565-4211 or visit www.HedgerowTheatre.org. Hedgerow Theatre is located at 64 Rose Valley Road in Rose Valley (near Media).