A sublimely beautiful script by Canadian playwright Tom Wood
Willamet Week
The power of William Hurt’s performance is matched and aided by the clarity of Wood’s adaptation.
The Oregonian
Wrenching luminescence and redemptive power. Intimately engaging- touching and wistful
Edmonton Sun
“Tom Wood's adaptation of Uncle Vanya is unusual in two major ways. First and most important is the accessibility of the language and its contemporary feeling. This is important both for the actors and the audience. It is rare to find translations of Chekhov that jump forward in our consciousness and strip off the layers of dust and stiffness that distinguish most versions. This effect is partly the language and partly the setting. Northern Alberta in the 20's, with the first War in the immediate past and the depression and the second war looming, is a very close parallel to the Russia of the 1890's. And the people, I have always thought, are closer to Canadians than to the English who have produced most versions. Tom’s rendering of these characters brings them very close to us, without losing any of Chekhov's insights. His actor's ear completes the process by giving each character a special and unique voice. So the words leap off the page, and Canadian actors have a rich entry into the complex nature of Chekhov's thinking. When, as a teacher, I introduce student actors to the classics, I always look for contemporary versions, and where Vanya is concerned this is the very best.”

Patricia Hamilton:Actress, Director, Teacher, Producer
“This Vanya adaptation is rich with themes. Themes threaded poetically through the work”
“The power of William Hurt’s performance is matched and aided by the clarity of Wood’s adaptation. This version makes a variety of changes that put the story’s conflicts in higher relief and emphasize the humor Chekhov always insisted was essential. Coarser, colloquial language is part of that. Vanya (played with disheveled charm and desperate pathos by Allen Nause in a performance the equal of Hurt’s) derides his nemesis- the retired professor who was married to Vanya’s deceased sister- as a “gas bag” a dusty old carcass”, a soap bubble.”
“Between Wood’s alterations and JoAnn Johnson’s direction, there’s a palpable sense of loss, not just of opportunities squandered but of the death of Vanya’s beloved sister.”


“Wood’s new version of Uncle Vanya takes to its transplant to the Alberta of the late 1920’s like a northern scrub pine.”
“The actor-playwright has a fine ear for the way people talk way out here, and his translation feels strongly contemporary while keeping the classic tone of the Chekhovian original.”
‘Wrenching luminescence and redemptive power.”
“intimately engaging” “touching and wistful”
“Potent moments of distilled and pure emotion filled with the poignancy and absurdity of its characters’ unfulfilled ideals and frustrated loves.
“There is not a false moment or emotion anywhere in this pitch-perfect production”
Vanya’s fuming sense of grievance and betrayal finally explode in a malfunctioning prairie volcano of rage and despair, all the contradictions of life in the Alberta hinterland take on a new jagged edge of absurdity."
"Farce and tragedy are blood brothers. ”
“Grandly bleak”
“Brings alienation home”
“Inspired by Chekhov’s 1899 play with its characters stalled in the Russian boondocks and on the threshold of the 20th century, Wood’s version translated to our part of the world in the 20’s and with the arrival of the unbearable Professor from the east the sensibilities slide into place.”
“A sense of absurdity is cultivated by this deeply sad production”
“A comedy poised somewhere between naturalism and nihilism.”
“It captures the stultifying claustrophobia of intimacy, both as a surface pattern and a principle.”


“Moved from Chekhov’s Russia to the oppressive wilds of 1928 Northern Alberta…the longing, pain, suffering and dark comedy remain.”
“Crushing final moments…”

“Canadian playwright Tom Wood takes Chekhov’s darkly comic study of longing and regret and replaces it in rural Alberta during the Depression.”

This adaptation of Vanya was first produced by the Citadel Theatre, Edmonton.- Direced by Bob Baker- Set and Costume Design by Leslie Frankish- Lighting by John Monro- Music Composed by Michael Becker

Nana - Wilma Pelly
Michael - David McNally
Vanya - Tom Wood
Vera - Barbara Reese
Sonya - Catherine Fitch
Alexander - Grant Reddick
Elena - Jan Alexandra Smith
Waffles - Peirre Brault

To PURCHASE a copy of VANYA by Tom Wood please link here with:
Amazon.ca or Stageplays.com

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