DDCUS Performing Arts: Uncle Vanya

DDCUS’s best actors are gearing to put on the play of the year on April 20th

DDCUS Performing Arts: Uncle Vanya

by Isabel Andjell, Staff Writer

Uncle Vanya is a play by legendary Russian playwright, Anton Chekhov. DDCUS’s Theater Director, Mr. Alderiso, has chosen it to be this year’s production and has high hopes for the final product. Last year’s Twelve Angry Jurors was an enormous success, and received stellar ratings from all who watched it. After the cast list was posted, the actors and Mr. Alderiso began the tough, yet rewarding work of putting on the play and are about halfway through with the piece.

Are you using any new methods or processes in the creation of Uncle Vanya that are different from the ones for Twelve Angry Jurors?

You can never make a play the same way. I’m learning through my training how people did Chekhov, and I’m adapting similar staging techniques that I encountered. The colors this year are very different; the color palette isn’t as dramatic. It’s less intense theatrical colors. Every play brings with it different challenges, and the challenge with this play is the emotional realism that needs to be brought by the actors. They have to be intuitive and psychologically intelligent. I got very lucky with my actors.”

Have you taken inspiration from anyone in particular when adapting the play?

“There was a recent production that was filmed at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London that made some very interesting choices. I am particularly influenced by the Paul Schmidt translation that came out in the 90s and was very celebrated by America. When you’re adapting a play, you have to honor the essence of the work but make it relevant to the world we live in now. I’ve pulled a lot of things out of the subtext and made them textual and more concrete.”

Is there anything in particular about the production that you’re looking forward to?

“I’m really excited to bring a classic play to DDCUS. There’s so much humanity in this play. The story that everyone will see in April will be Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, but the words will be mine. I’m most excited for people to see this play and get wonderful performances out of my high school actors.”