VANYA (or "That's Life!")
by Lavina Jadhwani
Jan. 5 - Feb. 3, 2017
“In addition to the reversing of the timeline, the play also uses other thought-provoking choices in the design of the show: The barebones scenic design becomes more scarce by the end of the play. The folk/pop song choices including Taylor Swift and Beyonce. They break the fourth wall to ask the audience’s opinions of what’s happening onstage. All of these choices seem to bounce off one another in an eclectic way.
The set being pulled away at the end releases the characters to make their own choices. The songs help contemporize Chekhov’s work. And, breaking the fourth wall helps call the audience’s attention to when the characters are questioning what’s on stage. VANYA allows us to see that while there are some things you cannot change, you can also choose how you will take on these challenges. After all, that’s life!”
-- Alexis Bugajski, Picture This Post
“Director Kaiser Ahmed and author Lavina Jadhwani breathe a lot of modern language, modern music and casual fourth wall dismissal into Chekov's wistfully sad ode to wasting your life.”
-- Sean Margaret Wagner, Windy City Times
"The cast was terrific, and I enjoyed each of their performances. The set, by Andrew Swanson, was beautiful in its simplicity, and there were moments where everything looked stunning against the backdrop of Cat Wilson’s lights."
-- Hilary Holbrook, Perfomink
Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya continues to be one of the greatest and continually relevant of plays - concerned with family relationships, broken hearts, and the rampant disappointment of midlife crisis. In this hilarious and sharp reinvention, there is great providence in the shattering of a teacup, time moves backwards, and our bored, sad Chekhovian friends have a tendency to lapse into singing American Indie folk tunes. What could be more Russian? Or American?
Featuring: Rom Barkhordar, Raj Bond, Allison Cain, Bill Chamberlain, Richard Costes, Puja Mohindra, Tiffany Johnson
Andrew Swanson (Scenic), Ana Culajay (Costume), Cat Wilson (Lighting), Matt Reich (Sound), Corinne Bass (Prop), Margaret Baughman (Dramaturg)
Photos by Scott Dray