Urbana University offers audiences an opportunity to see one of Anton Chekhov’s greatest plays, “Uncle Vanya,” staged in the round at the university’s Black Box Theatre in the Hub. Classified as a tragi-comedy in which tragic and comedic elements intertwine, this play encourages avoidance of a dreary life. Written in 1897, “Uncle Vanya” has been called the first environmental play due to the characters’ musings on the survival of a Russian birch forest, where the play is set.
Tickets are free and donations are accepted to support the university theater. Performances are at 8 p.m. on April 7, 8 and 9 and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 10. The theater has only 70 seats, so reservations are recommended. They can be made through Tuesday, April 5, by calling 937-772-9315. Reserved tickets should be picked up at the Hub 7:30-7:45 p.m. on performance nights and 2:30-3 p.m. for the Sunday matinee. Only 40 seats will be reserved and the remaining will be available as general seating on a first come, first served basis beginning at 7:30 p.m. each night and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Urbana University students include Cameron Harmon in the title role with Heather Berry, Joe Brown, Jaclyn Korte and Morgan Finch as other members of the Serebryakov family. Their friends and workers are played by Zachary Brackney, Logan Boggs, Canaan Gray and Dale Madison. Mathematics professor Dr. Jacob Daniel, who encouraged this production, appears in a cameo role of the night watchman. Jessica Combs is the production manager and graduate student Sam Little is the lighting designer.
The production is directed by Margaret Piatt, associate professor and director of theatre at Urbana University. She supervises the student crew, including Dereck Givens, Scott Godby, Preston Jenkins, Denzel Larkin, Ashley Lewis and Dale Madison. Original art of a birch forest by Keara Henry will be featured. Additional support and instruction is provided by professional theater artists and technicians: Michael Hurwitz, Tom Murphy and James White.
Submitted by Urbana University.