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Quintessence Theatre Group presents UNCLE VANYA

Quintessence Theatre Group concludes its 7th season of progressive classic theatre with Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, in the Philadelphia premiere of a new version by Annie Baker. All performances are at the Sedgwick Theater, 7137 Germantown Ave. in Mt. Airy, Philadelphia, 19119. To purchase tickets, visit or call 215.987.4450.

Uncle Vanya asks the question: What keeps a person alive? A celebrated professor has built a life and career from the profits of a rural farm run by Sonya, his daughter, and Vanya, his brother-in-law from a previous marriage. Returning to the family estate, the professor surprises all by announcing his intention to sell the property so that he and his beautiful young second wife can live more comfortably in the city. Can the different members of this complicated family and their friends survive the tedium of life without work? This classic Russian drama is part romance, part tragedy, part farce, and explores what is essential in the collective human struggle to progress and endure.

Chekhov has traditionally been perceived as an all-white "Masterpiece Theatre" kind of playwright. Quintessence strives to correct that perception in this -- its second -- contemporary exploration of Chekhov's work. Annie Baker, an award-winning and innovative American playwright known for pushing the boundaries of theatre and naturalism, has created a powerful American idiom for Chekhov's masterpiece, while remaining faithful to his original language and intent.

Steven Wright, one of Philadelphia's finest comedic actors (celebrated for his portrayal of Barack Obama at 1812 Productions and his Othello at Curio Theater), makes his Quintessence debut as Uncle Vanya. Also, making their Quintessence debuts are People's Light Ensemble member Kevin Bergan (Doctor Astrov) and award-winning actor and Temple University professor emeritus, Dan Kern (Serebryakov). They are joined by Jessica M. Johnson (Arden Theater's The Legend of Georgia McBride) as Sonya and Quintessence favorite Julia Frey (Quintessence's Three Musketeers and New Paradise Laboratories' Prom and 27) as Yelena. The ensemble also includes David Blatt as Telegin, Susan Chase as Marina, Rosalyn Jamal as Maria, and Daniel Ison as Yefim.

The production includes sets by Quintessence's Artistic Director Alexander Burns, lights by Helen Hayes Award winning designer John Burkland, costumes by Christina Lorraine Bullard, and an original musical score by Broadway actor and composer Randy Redd.

Quintessence Theatre Group is a professional classic theater dedicated to the performance and adaptation of epic works of literature and drama for the Contemporary Stage. Its approach attracts both nationally-recognized and local actors who find challenge and inspiration in Quintessence's thought-provoking, innovative productions.

It is building an acting ensemble with a rotating repertory at the historic Sedgwick Theater in the Mt. Airy neighborhood. As Quintessence Theatre Group's home, the Sedgwick, a 1928 art deco movie palace designed by William Lee, has regained its place as a jewel in Philadelphia's cultural landscape.

Named Best of Philly 2015 for up-and-coming company, Quintessence Theatre Group has produced thirty-two fully staged productions over the past seven years. This past fall at the Barrymore Awards, E. Ashley Izard won the Charlotte Cushman Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play for her role in Quintessence's Happy Days.

Uncle Vanya plays May 31 - June 18. Special PAY WHAT YOU CAN preview will be presented on Wednesday, May 31 at 7:00 pm. Opening night is Saturday, June 3, at 8:00 pm. Post-show talkbacks with the cast and director will take place on Thursday, June 8 and Sunday, June 11.

Performances are scheduled Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:00 pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm and Sundays at 3:00 pm. There are also matinees on Saturday, June 10 and Wednesday, June 14 at 2:00 pm. Please check the schedule at for exact performance times.

Tickets are $27-$34 general admission, $25 for seniors (65 and over), $15 for students/youth (21 and under). To purchase tickets, visit or call 1.215.987.4450. For ticket information please email

KEVIN BERGEN* (Astrov): People's Light, Shakespeare Theatre, American Repertory Theatre, Walnut Street Theatre, Wilma Theater, Arden Theatre, Bristol Riverside Theatre, Delaware Theatre Company, InterAct, Simpatico Theatre Project, Shakespeare in Clark Park, The Studio Theatre, Shenandoah Shakespeare, American Stage Theatre Company.

DAVID BLATT (Telegin): Simpatico, Hedgerow Theatre, PAC, 1812 Theatre, Lantern Theater, EgoPo Classic Theater, Wilma Theater, People's Light, Delaware Shakespeare Festival.

Susan Chase (Marina): Touchstone Theatre, Muhlenberg Summer Theatre, Pennsylvania Youth Theatre, South Camden Theatre Company, Philadelphia Fringe Festival, Plays and Players, Luna Theater, Naked Feet Productions, Festival Mundial Teatro de las Naciones.

Julia Frey (Yelena): Quintessence: The Three Musketeers, The Metamorphosis, The Seagull. Mt. Tremper Arts Festival, Hangar Theater, FringeNYC, New Paradise Laboratories/Fringe Arts, NPL/Phila Live Arts, Luna Theater.

Daniel Ison (Yefim): Arden Theatre, Commonwealth Classic Theatre, White Pines Productions, Fu-Gen.

ROSALYN JAMAL (Maria Voinitskaya): University of Delaware.

JESSICA M. JOHNSON (Sonya): Arden Theatre Company, New Paradise Laboratories, 11th Hour Theatre Company, Le Festival d'Avignon

DAN KERN* (Serebraykov): A Noise Within, InterAct Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Rep, The American Conservatory Theatre, Arden Theatre, Wilma Theater, Interact.

STEVEN WRIGHT* (Vanya): Theatre Exile, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Curio Theater Company, EgoPo Classic Theater, Arden Theatre Company, 1812 Productions, Theatre Horizon, Wilma Theater, Azuka Theatre, Walnut Street Theatre.

*Actor appears courtesy of Actor's Equity Association

ALEXANDER BURNS (Director/Artistic Director): Quintessence: The Broken Heart, Love's Labor's Lost, Mother Courage and Her Children, Happy Days, Doctor Faustus, Hansel & Gretel, Romeo & Juliet, The Mandrake, The Three Musketeers, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, As You Like It, Richard II, The Wind in the Willows, She Stoops To Conquer, Hamlet, The Misanthrope, Arms and the Man, The Diary of a Madman, Othello, The Seagull, Antigone, The Merchant of Venice, The Venetian Twins, The Importance of Being Earnest, Don Juan, Apology, Henry V, Measure for Measure. Regional: Romeo and Juliet (Trinity Shakespeare Festival), Hamlet (Shakespeare Theatre Company, DC @ Carter Barron), Henri Gabler, Diabolique, The Maids (Exigent Theatre). Philadelphia: Macbeth (Arden Theatre).

CHRISTINA LORRAINE BULLARD (Costumes): Quintessence: Love's Labor's Lost. The Joyce Theater, Dance Theatre Workshop, Off-Broadway, NY Fringe Festival, Yale Repertory Theatre, Connecticut Repertory Theatre, The Julliard School, Hofstra University, Fordham University.

John Burkland (Lighting Design): Quintessence: Hansel and Gretel, Three Musketeers, Mourning Becomes Electra. Lincoln Center Institute, Peter Jay Sharp, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Fourth Universalist Society, Alice Tully Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, DR2, La Mama E.T.C., Sonnet Repertory, NYU Strasberg, HB Playwrights Studio, Guggenheim Arts and Process, The Blue Heron Arts Center, Flushing Town Hall, NYC Fringe, New York Musical Theater Festival, The Summer Play Festival, Papermill Playhouse, Northern Stage, Opera Tampa, Studio Theater, Studio Theater 2nd State, Long Acre Lea, Studio Lab, Critical Threat Theater, Theater Alliance, Washington Shakespeare Company, MetroStage, Rorschach Theater, The John F. Kennedy Center, Luna State, The Bay Theater, Williamstown Theater Festival, Source Theater, The Actors Theater of Atlanta, Bellingham Theater Guild, Andrea Dance, Big Apple Circus to Go, Dance Gallery.

Randy Redd (Composer): Philadelphia Theater Company, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center.


Wednesday, May 31, at 7:00 pm Pay What You Can Preview

Thursday, June 1, at 7:00 pm Preview

Friday, June 2, at 8:00 pm Preview

Saturday, June 3, at 8:00 pm Opening Night

Wednesday, June 7, at 7:00 pm

Thursday, June 8, at 7:00 pm Talkback

Friday, June 9, at 8:00 pm

Saturday, June 10, at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm

Sunday, June 11, at 3:00 pm Talkback

Wednesday, June 14, at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm

Thursday, June 15, at 7:00 pm

Friday, June 16 at 8:00 pm

Saturday, June 17, at 8:00 pm

Sunday, June 18, at 3:00 pm Closing

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