Obie-Winner Roberta Maxwell Joins Soho Rep's UNCLE VANYA Tonight, 7/25

Obie-Winner Roberta Maxwell Joins Soho Rep's UNCLE VANYA Tonight, 7/25

Soho Rep, in association with John Adrian Selzer, welcomes OBIE Award-winner Roberta Maxwell to the cast of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya tonight, July 25, replacing Rebecca Schull as Maria.

In the Annie Baker version of the Chekhov play, directed by Sam Gold, Maxwell will assume the role of Vanya's mother and the professor's first wife. Her part in this world premiere follows her performances in films such as Brokeback Mountain and Dead Man Walking as well as career of Theater Productions, including originating the role of Jill Mason in the debut of Peter Schaffer's Equus, in 1974. Rebecca Schull will play her final performance as Maria, mother of Vanya and the professor's first wife, on Sunday, July 22, at which point she will have occupied the role for the entirety of the initially announced run and the first extension. She must leave to attend to previously made commitments.

The July 25 – August 26 period in which Maxwell performs is the second extension of the tremendously acclaimed production. The initial six weeks and first extension have sold out.

Chekhov's Uncle Vanya reunites Baker and Gold, whose previous collaborations include The Aliens and Circle Mirror Transformation.

The cast also features Peter Friedman (Circle Mirror Transformation and After the Revolution at Playwrights Horizons, Twelve Angry Men on Broadway, Tony Award nomination for Ragtime) as Serebryakov, a retired professor; Maria Dizzia (Tony Award nominee for In the Next Room…, Eurydice at Second Stage; Film: Martha Marcy May Marlene) as Yelena, his wife; Merritt Wever (The Illusion at The Signature Theatre, Touch(ed) at Williamstown Theatre Festival; TV: Nurse Jackie) as Sonya, his daughter from his first marriage; Roberta Maxwell (Our Town, Equus and Othello on Broadway; Film: Dead Man Walking, Brokeback Mountain, Philadelphia) as Maria, mother of the professor's first wife and Vanya; Michael Shannon (Bug, Our Town and Mistakes Were Made at Barrow Street; Film: Academy Award nominee for Revolutionary Road, Take Shelter, TV: Boardwalk Empire) as Astrov, a doctor; Matthew Maher (Orange, Hat & Grace and LEAR at Soho Rep, A Doll's House at Williamstown Theatre Festival; Film: It's Kind of a Funny Story)as Telegin, an impoverished landowner; Paul Thureen (Buddy Cop 2 and Cape Disappointment with The Debate Society) as Yefim, a hired man/night watchman; and Georgia Engel (TV: The Mary Tyler Moore Show; Middletown at the Vineyard, The Drowsy Chaperone on Broadway) as Marina, an old nanny.

The production features set design by Andrew Lieberman, costume design by Baker, lighting design by Mark Barton, sound design by Matt Tierney and fight direction by Thomas Schall. For her version of the play, Baker worked off a literal translation by Margarita Shalina, trying to unearth the grammar and colloquialisms omitted in existing English translations.

*Please note: There will be no performance on Friday, July 27. There is an added matinee performance on Sunday, July 29 at 3:00 P.M. On Sunday, August 12, Soho Rep will host an additional and final 99¢ Sunday for Uncle Vanya.

Through its FEED program, which offers post-performance events aimed at enriching the audience's experience of the work on stage, Soho Rep is offering the "Chekhov and Me" series, in which, after the show, a luminary from theater or the humanities reflects on the writer's work and legacy. Upcoming participants include Siddhartha Mukharjee of Columbia University, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his book The Emperor of All Maladies; and Tanya Saracho, playwright and adaptor of The Cherry Orchard (El Nogalar, set on an avocado farm in Mexico); Richard Brockman, M.D., Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons; and Paul Cremo, the Dramaturg and Director of the Opera Commissioning Program at The Metropolitan Opera. Among those featured to date are actress Olympia Dukakis; Sarah Ruhl, the playwright and adaptor of Three Sisters; The New Yorker theater critic Hilton Als; and Alison Horsley, dramaturg, former Literary Manager of La Jolla Playhouse and literal translator of Chekhov plays for Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Go to for more information and updates.


Annie Baker (Adaptor / Costume Designer)

Baker's full-length plays include Circle Mirror Transformation (Playwrights Horizons, OBIE Award for Best New American Play, Drama Desk nomination for Best Play), The Aliens (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, OBIE Award for Best New American Play) and Body Awareness (Atlantic Theater Company, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations for Best Play/Emerging Playwright). Her plays have been produced outside of NYC at South Coast Rep, the Guthrie, Victory Gardens, Artists Rep, Huntington Theater Company, Seattle Rep, Studio Theatre in DC, Hyde Park Theatre, and the San Francisco Playhouse, and performed internationally in England, Australia, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Venezuela, Mexico, Latvia, and Russia. Baker is a member of New Dramatists and the MCC Playwrights Coalition, and she is a Residency Five Playwright at the new Signature Theatre Center. Recent honors include a United States Artists Collins Fellowship, New York Drama Critics Circle Award, Lilly Award, Time Warner Storytelling Fellowship and Master Artist Residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts. An anthology of her work, The Vermont Plays, will be published by TCG in April 2012, and Playwrights Horizons will produce her newest play, The Flick, in 2013.

Sam Gold (Director)

Gold's previous collaborations with Annie Baker include her plays The Aliens (Rattlestick) and Circle Mirror Transformation (Playwrights Horizons), for which he received a Drama Desk nomination and an OBIE Award in 2010 for Outstanding Direction. Broadway: Seminar by Theresa Rebeck (Golden Theater). Other recent credits: The Big Meal by Dan Lefranc (Playwrights Horizons, Lortel Award for Outstanding Direction); Look Back in Anger by John Osborne (Roundabout); We Live Here by Zoe Kazan(Manhattan Theater Club); A Doll's House by Ibsen (Williamstown Theatre Festival); August: Osage County by Tracy Letts (Old Globe, SD Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Direction); Kin by Bathsheba Doran (Playwrights Horizons); The Coward by Nick Jones (Lincoln Center's LCT3); Tigers be Still by Kim Rosenstock (Roundabout); Dusk Rings a Bell by Steven Belber (Atlantic); Jollyship the Whiz-Bang by Nick Jones (Ars Nova & Under the Radar Festival); Rag and Bone by Noah Haidle (Rattlestick); The Joke by Sam Marks (Studio Dante); and The Black Eyed by Betty Shamieh (NYTW). Gold was the Dramaturg at The Wooster Group from 2003-2006. He is a Roundabout Associate Artist, NYTW Usual Suspect, Drama League Directing Fellow, recipient of the Princess Grace Award, The Garson Kanin/Marian Seldes Theater Hall of Fame Fellowship, and a graduate of the Juilliard Directing Program.

Andrew Lieberman (Set Designer)

Lieberman's opera and theater designs have been seen at English National Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, New York City Opera, Montreal Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Spoleto Festival USA, Australian Opera, Long Beach Opera, Portland Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Gotham Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Austin Lyric Opera, The Curtis Institute, The Royal Shakespeare Company, Second Stage, The Public Theater, Bard Summerscape, The Children's Theater Company, Baltimore's Centerstage, McCarter Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Denver Center, Huntington Theater, Long Wharf Theater, Portland Center Stage, Santa Fe Stages, Actor's Theater of Louisville, Indiana Repertory, Syracuse Stage, The Juilliard School, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Wilma Theater, and California Shakespeare, among others. He was also part of the creative team responsible for Partenope, winner of the 2009 Lawrence Olivier Award for Best New Opera Production & 2010 Australian Helpmann Award for Best Opera. Andrew is a Princess Grace USA Fabergé Theater Award Winner. He is an Associate Arts Professor and Head of Set Design at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.

Mark Barton (Lighting Designer)

Barton's Off-Broadway credtits include Look Back in Anger (Roundabout); Elective Affinities (Soho Rep); The Select (The Sun Also Rises), The Sound and the Fury (April Seventh, 1928) (Elevator Repair Service/New York Theater Workshop); Gatz (ERS/Public); Titus Andronicus, February House (Public); The Patsy/Jonas (Transport Group); Notes from the Underground, Chair (Theater for a New Audience); Circle Mirror Transformation, The Big Meal (Playwrights Horizons); THE SHIPMENT, CHURCH (Young Jean Lee's Theater Company); Paradise Park (Signature); No Child… (Epic Theater Ensemble/Barrow Street). Other New York includes: New Georges; Clubbed Thumb; Target Margin; P.S.122. Regional: A.R.T.; La Jolla Playhouse; Yale Rep; Perseverance Theater; Long Wharf; South Coast Rep; Berkeley Rep; LA Theater Center/Kirk Douglas Theater; Syracuse Stage; Asolo Rep. Many productions with Curtis Opera Theater, Philadelphia. Mark received a 2012 OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence in Lighting Design.

Matt Tierney (Sound Designer)

Tierney's recent work includes Kin, This (Playwrights Horizons); That Face (MTC); The Ugly One, Elective Affinities, Blasted (Soho Rep, Hewes Award, 2009). With Elevator Repair Service: The Select (The Sun Also Rises) (NYTW, OBIE and Lortel Awards for Sound Design, 2012), The Sound and the Fury (April Seventh, 1928) (NYTW, Lortel Nomination, 2009). Other credits: NYTW, A.R.T., Alley Theater, Woolly Mammoth, BAM, Center Theatre Group, Soho Rep, Ridge Theater (including Decasia; Jennie Richee, OBIE, 2001). Tierney is a former associate artist of The Wooster Group: Hamlet (The Public Theater; Lortel Nom., 2008), There is Still Time Brother, Who's Your Dada?! (MOMA),The Emperor Jones. With Young Jean Lee's Theater Company: Lear, The Shipment, Church.

Thomas Schall (Fight Direction)

Thomas Schall's Broadway work includes: Death of a Salesman, War Horse, Venus in Fur, The Lyons, House of Blue Leaves, A Free Man of Color, Merchant of Venice, A View from the Bridge, After Miss Julie, Mary Stuart, Waiting for Godot, The Seafarer, Coram Boy, Journey's End, The Woman in White, Wicked, Noises Off. Off-Broadway: King Lear, Titus Andronicus, Mother Courage, Hamlet, Why Torture is Wrong…(Public Theater); Blood and Gifts, Bernarda Alba, Dessa Rosa, Belle Epoque, A Man of No Importance (Lincoln Center); Look Back in Anger (Roundabout); Ruined (MTC); The Price (MCC); Homebody / Kabul (BAM).

Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, the new version by Annie Baker, directed by Sam Gold plays Soho Rep (46 Walker Street, between Broadway & Church Streets). Extension #1: July 18 – 22, Wednesday-Sunday at 7:30 P.M., Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 P.M.; Extension #2: July 24 – August 26, Tuesdays-Sundays at 7:30 P.M., Saturdays at 2:00 P.M.* Admission: $50-55, Regular / $75, Premium / $20, Student Rush. More information: or (212) 941-8632.

Founded in 1975, and in its theater on Walker Street since 1991, Soho Rep has built an outstanding reputation for being at the forefront of new and innovative theatre, serving as a vital center for Contemporary Theatre artists. Soho Rep is now in its 35th Anniversary year. Soho Rep is dedicated to cultivating and producing visionary, uncompromising, and exuberant new plays. They perform to one of the youngest adult audiences in New York City, with more than three-quarters aged 18-40.

Over the last decade, Soho Rep productions have garnered thirteen OBIE Awards; six Drama Desk nominations, Two Kesselring Awards for Melissa James Gibson and Mark Schultz and The New York Times Outstanding Playwriting Award for Dan LeFranc's Sixty Miles To Silverlake. In recent years, Soho Rep has presented plays by established and emerging theatre artists such as Richard Maxwell, Sarah Kane, Daniel Alexander Jones, Debbie Tucker Green, Mac Wellman, Young Jean Lee and Nature Theater of Oklahoma.

Photo Credit: Linda Lenzi


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