Anton Chekhov's UNCLE VANYA is New American Theatre's Fall 2019 Production
Critically-acclaimed Hollywood theatre company The New American Theatre (NAT) will present Anton Chekhov's masterpiece Uncle Vanya, directed by Artistic Director Jack Stehlin, who recently was honored along with managing director/producer Jeannine Wisnosky Stehlin with a career achievement award from Stage Raw. Subtitled "Scenes from a Country Life in Four Acts," Uncle Vanya is adapted by the company from a translation by Constance Garnett. Opening weekend begins Friday November 1 at 8pm.
"Uncle Vanya is the perfect play at the perfect time. It speaks to us on a personal as well as a global scale," says director Jack Stehlin. "Chekhov was essentially an optimist, writing through his characters that life has value and encouraging us to have hope and the courage to fight against our worst inclinations in order to save ourselves and our planet."
Vanya and his niece Sonya toil over their country estate, sending most of the proceeds to Sonya's city-dwelling father Alexander, a renowned professor. When the professor retires and returns home with his much younger second wife Yelena, hidden resentments and passions are uncovered, and the future of the family and estate are threatened. Country doctor and environmentalist Astrov adds to the upheaval with his dire warnings about the destructive human impact on the earth and to each other.
The New American Theatre has assembled a stellar cast to bring this timeless play to life. Don Harvey (Lie of the Mind/Broadway directed by Sam Shepard, film classics such as Untouchables, Eight Men Out) plays Vanya Voynitsky; Eve Danzeisen (New American Theatre's Boxing Lessons, Uranium Madhouse's Cold Sweat at Atwater Village Theater) is Sonya, Brian Henderson (Cry It Out at Echo Theater Co, The Little Dog Laughed on Broadway and The Kirk Douglas Theatre, As You Like it at NY Shakespeare Festival, House in Scarsdale Boston Court/SAGE Winner) is Mikhail Astrov, David Purdham (NAT's Measure for Measure, Macbeth Revisited, regional stages including New York Shakespeare Festival, Roundabout Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Old Globe- San Diego, etc.) is Alexander Serebryakov, Jade Sealey (NAT's Meanwhile, Back at the Super Lair, Macbeth: Revisited, The Number, Julius Caesar, Bedfellows) is Yelena, Michael Matthys (NAT's Measure for Measure, The Seagull at The Guthrie, Enemy of the People with Ian McKellen at The Ahmanson) plays Treplev, Janellen Steininger (Denim Doyles at Sacred Fools, As You Like it, Picnic at Antaeus, Phaedra at Getty Villa) is Maria, and April Adams (The Pain and the Itch at the Zephyr, Careful What You Wish For at the Blank, film The Way Back w/Ben Affleck) is Marina.
The creative team for UNCLE VANYA includes scenic designer Clare Scarpulla, sound designer Christopher Moscatiello, costume designer Florence Kemper Bunzel, and lighting designer Ryan Dohner. Scenic painter is Stuart Chapin. Jeannine Wisnosky Stehlin produces for The New American Theatre.
Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) is often considered "The Father of the Modern Short Story and the Modern Play." He was the leading playwright of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The third of six children,, he understood first-hand the realities of the lower-middle-class and peasant life in nineteenth century Russia. He humorously investigated their lives and the lives of the landowners in his stories and plays. As a medical student in Moscow, he first began writing out of need to support himself and his family. His humorous stories about Russian life first appeared in lowbrow comic magazines,and then later in similar journals and under various pseudonyms. He began practicing medicine in 1884 - a second career which brought him hard work but little income. Uncle Vanya: Scenes from a Country Life in Four Acts, was an update of his earlier play The Wood Demon. Uncle Vanya was first published in 1898, and received its Moscow première in 1899 in a production by the Moscow Art Theatre under the direction of Konstantin Stanislavski. Chekhov's wife, actress Olga Knipper played Yelena.
Jack Stehlin has directed over 50 plays for The New American Theatre. Fresh out of The Juilliard School, he founded the company (as Circus Theatricals) in 1983. In fact, Uncle Vanya was the company's first production. Also an actor, he can regularly be seen on television. His Los Angeles stage roles include New American Theatre productions of Tempest Redux (co-production with Odyssey Theatre), 63 Trillion, More Lies About Jerzy, Julius Caesar, Harm's Way (LA/Off Broadway), Titus Redux (Not Man Apart co-production at Kirk Douglas Theatre and RadarLA,) and Odyssey/New American Theatre co-productions of Creditors (LA Weekly Award nomination-Best Actor),Taming of the Shrew, The Misanthrope, Macbeth, Richard III, Tartuffe, and True West. On the small screen, he is perhaps best known on television as DEA captain Roy Till on the Showtime series Weeds (SAG award nomination). New York/Regional stage credits include Salome (with Al Pacino), numerous productions at New York's Public Theatre including Richard II (dir. Steven Berkoff), Henry V (with Kevin Kline), Casanova (with Ethan Hawke), Henry IV, (with Mandy Patinkin), and Julius Caesar (with Al Pacino and Martin Sheen). His many guest-starring roles on countless TV fan favorites include the recent Assassination of Gianni Versace, NCIS Los Angeles, Without a Trace, Monk, The Practice, Crossing Jordan, ER, NYPD Blue and Fox's Hieroglyph. Films include Wilde Salome with Al Pacino.
The New American Theatre is a company of professional actors and artists who work in theater, film, television and new media. The company has enjoyed critical acclaim, awards and nominations from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, LA Drama Critics Circle, Back Stage, LA Weekly, LA Stage Alliance Ovations and more. CBS Los Angeles named The New American Theatre as one of the top five 99-seat theater companies in Los Angeles.
Uncle Vanya opens on Friday, November 1 at 8pm with performances continuing through December 7 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m, select Sundays at 3pm Tickets are $35, except previews which are $15. The New American Theatre is located at 1312 N. Wilton Place, Hollywood, CA 90028. For reservations and information, call (310) 424-2980 or go to www.newamericantheatre.com/