WORLD PREMIERE                
Adapted from Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya
By Lavina Jadhwani

Directed by Kaiser Ahmed
Presented at The Edge Theater
5451 North Broadway, Chicago, IL 60640

January 5th, 2017 – February 3rd, 2017


By Margaret Baughman

On VANYA (or, “The Essay I Didn’t Want to Write”)

“But if you want to build a muscle, then you need both stress and rest. You have to lift just a little more weight than your body is used to… and the next time you can lift even more.” — VANYA (or, “That’s Life!”): Act One, Scene One

When Lavina Jadhwani asked me to work on this play, I was excited.

Anton Chekhov’s UncleVanya continues to be one of the greatest and continually relevant of plays – concerned with family relationships, broken hearts, and the rampant disappointment of midlife crisis. In this hilarious and sharp reinvention, there is great providence in the shattering of a teacup, time moves backwards, and our bored, sad Chekhovian friends have a tendency to lapse into singing American Indie folk tunes. What could be more Russian? Or American?

Jadhwani – O’Neill Theater Center / National New Plays Network Fellow and former Rasaka Theatre Artistic Director – and Ahmed – Jackalope Theatre’s Associate Artistic Director were integral to the success of Rasaka’s 2014 and 2015 hit productions: A Widow of No Importance, Washer/Dryer and A Nice Indian Boy.

“After our well-received production of Multitudes, we are excited to present a fresh, multicultural take on Chekhov’s classic family story. VANYA (or That’s Life!”) continues our tradition of telling stories that sharply and emotionally examine the myriad issues that tear families apart – and what keeps them together,” said Kamal Hans, Rasaka Theatre’s producing artistic director.