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Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell directs Annie Baker’s fresh version of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya

-  Previews begin May 1 -

Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON (April 29, 2016) — In her final season as the Shaw Festival’s Artistic Director, Jackie Maxwell returns to Anton Chekhov, having directed Three Sisters in 2003 – her first season in the position. Maxwell’s production of popular, American playwright Annie Baker’s new version of Uncle Vanya begins previews on May 1 at the Court House Theatre. Baker’s deft adaptation gives Uncle Vanya a sense of the present, while maintaining the integrity of Chekhov’s classic and his unique blend of humour and heartache.

Designer Sue LePage weaves together influences from Chekhov’s own country estate and the mystique of the progressive world outside to create a rural existence that emanates a sense of uncertainty. Lighting design by Rebecca Picherack and original songs and soundscape designed by Paul Sportelli complete the portrait of a provincial existence teetering on the precipice of an explosive new era.

Neil Barclay as Vanya Petrovich tirelessly cares for his brother’s dilapidated rural estate with the help of his niece, Sonya (Marla McLean). Their routine is occasionally interrupted by visits from Astrov (Patrick McManus), a once idealistic doctor who still lobbies for the conservation of the land around him. With the arrival of Vanya’s brother Serebryakov (David Schurmann) and his beautiful second wife, Yelena (Moya O’Connell), old loyalties and new loves conflict, erupt and then subside to be hidden once more.

The Shaw’s production of Chekhov’s masterpiece also features Donna Belleville, Sharry Flett, Peter Millard, James Daley and Kate Besworth.

Uncle Vanya is on stage at the Court House Theatre (26 Queen Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake) from May 1 to September 11 (opening May 13).

This production of Uncle Vanya is sponsored by James and Diane King.

Cast (in alphabetical order):

Neil Barclay
Donna Belleville
Kate Besworth
James Daly
Sharry Flett
Marla McLean
Patrick McManus
Peter Millard
Moya O’Connell
David Schurmann
Ivan Petrovich (Vanya)
Maria Vasilyevna
Sophia Alexandrovna (Sonya)
Yelena Andreyevna

Creative & Production:

Jackie Maxwell
Sue LePage
Rebecca Picherack
Paul Sportelli
John Stead
Beatrice Campbell
Amy Jewell
Lighting Designer
Fight Director
Stage Manager
Assistant Stage Manager

The Shaw Festival’s 2016 season is on stage April 9 through October 23. The playbill features Alice in Wonderland, A Woman of No Importance, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Uncle Vanya, “Master Harold” …and the Boys, The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God, Our Town, Mrs Warren’s Profession, Engaged, and The Dance of Death. Tickets for the Shaw Festival’s 2016 Season are available through the Box Office at 1-800-511-7429 or online at www.shawfest.com.


About the Shaw Festival

The Shaw Festival is a theatre company inspired by the work of Bernard Shaw. The Festival produces plays from and about his era and contemporary plays that share Shaw’s provocative exploration of society and celebration of humanity.

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Media Contacts:

Laura Hughes
Senior Communications Manager
905-468-2153 / 1-800-657-1106 ext. 2222
Jenniffer Anand
Public Relations Coordinator
905-468-2153 / 1-800-657-1106 ext. 2224
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