ESU Theatre explores the world of Chekhov with the classic 'Uncle Vanya'

March 26, 2014

Emporia State University Theatre will present Uncle Vanya, Chekhov’s classic tragicomedy.   The production is scheduled for consecutive weekends in April in the R.Q. Frederickson Theatre in Roosevelt Hall.  Translated by Irishman Brian Friel (Dancing at Lughnasa, Translations) this modern adaptation of the Chekhov classic was first produced at the Gate Theatre, Dublin, in 1998.  Friel's adaptation renders the language of the play into a modern idiom and offers humor and further developed characters' roles and relationships.

In Uncle Vanya, a retired professor, Sebryakov (Mike Koetkemeyer, Senior, Salina) and his beautiful young wife, Elena (Miranda Nation, Sophomore, Winfield) have returned to Vanya’s country estate.  Uncle Vanya (Colter G. Lemmon, Junior, Crawford, Nebraska) discovers his hopeless and unrequited feelings for the professor’s wife. Meanwhile, the professor's daughter, Sonya (Holly Davis, Freshman, Valley Falls), yearns for the doctor, Astrov (Nathan Dale Short, Sophomore, Paola) who only has eyes for Elena. If things don’t seem complicated enough, the professor has an announcement that could change the lives of the entire household.

Other cast members include: Samaria Fleig (Senior, Emporia), Ryan Scully (Senior, Winchester), Evan Eisenbarth (Sophomore, Cassoday), and Ann Baldridge (Freshman, Topeka).  A timeless observation of human behavior and relationships, Uncle Vanya remains relevant to audiences of our time.  In describing the 2013 production of the play at Minneapolis' Guthrie Theatre, director Joe Dowling observed that "people have compared Friel with Chekhov, and these two major artists have been profoundly influential…"

The production is under the direction of Dr. Jim Ryan. Nancy Pontius is the set designer; Susan Mai is the costume designer.  Lighting is designed by Ron Fowlkes.  Senior Aubrey Near (Independence) is the company manager.  Rochelle Watson (Junior, Oak Grove, MO) is the Production Stage Manager.  Veniese Razo (Freshman, Topeka) will serve as the properties master; Kylie Geiman (Junior, Louisburg) and Ethan Crapser (Freshman, Overland Park) will be running sound and lights during the run.

The scenery crew consists of John Lloyd Stafford III (Junior, Independence), Tyler Lang (Freshman, Wichita), Elizabeth Kennell (Sophomore, Belton), Courtney Romero (Freshman, Kansas City), and Andrew McCutcheon (Junior, Gardner).  Bekah Lane (Freshman, Wichita) and Elliot Brest (Junior, Tonganoxie) will serve on the costume crew. Cameron Reynolds (Freshman, Louisburg) will work in the box office and Adam Helmer (Senior, Emporia) will be the House Manager.

Uncle Vanya will be performed April 16-19 and 23-26 at 7:30 in the R.Q. Frederickson Theatre in Roosevelt Hall. Call (620) 341-6378 to reserve tickets. 

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