“An act of deconstruction designed to exhume the living energies of Chekhov’s writing from under the heavy weight of ‘masterpiece topsoil.’”Robert Brustein, American Repertory Theatre
978-0-8021-3151-5 • $13.00 • Paperback • May 1989
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet’s Uncle Vanya is a sparkling restoration of a masterpiece of the modern stage, marked by Mamet’s finely tuned ear for dialogue and memorable poetic imagery.
In Uncle Vanya, a retired professor and his beautiful young wife return to the country estate left by his deceased first wife to find themselves overwhelmed by the stagnant inevitability of the rituals of their life and class, and mercilessly taxed by the encroachment of age at the expense of youth. All of the play’s characters are plunged into that precarious state where, in Beckett’s words, “the boredom of living is replaced by the suffering of being.”
Working from a literal translation by Vlada Chernomordik, Mamet, who has also adapted Chekhov’s Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard, opens the way for a contemporary audience to establish immediate contact with a classic, infusing the power of Chekhov’s play with the potent precision of his own modern voice.