Uncle Vanya

ISBN-10: 082221587X

ISBN-13: 9780822215875

Edition: 1997 (Revised)

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Description:

THE STORY: The scene is a country estate in the declining days of Czarist Russia, the home of an old and ailing professor, his young wife, and various other family members. For years the estate, under the management of Uncle Vanya, brother of the professor's first wife, has yielded a modest income, but now, with the professor older and bored, he offers the idea of selling the estate and investing the money in bonds—a prospect most unsettling for those who have come to regard the place as their home. Counterpointed against the professor's unrest are the situations of others in the family: his daughter Sonya's unrequited passion for the local doctor, Astrov, who visits often; Vanya's love for the professor's young wife; and her own unspoken attraction to another. Throughout there is the bittersweet, deeply human aura of real people helplessly in thrall to events and feelings beyond their control. In the end the estate is not sold and, as the summer wanes, the professor and his wife depart, leaving the others to settle back into the uneventful but bearable routine that has become their way of life.
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Book details

List price: $9.00
Copyright year: 1997
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/1/1997
Binding: Paperback
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.132
Language: English

Van Itallie was born in Brussels and grew up in Great Neck, New York, which, he says, "left me with a horror of the American suburbs." After graduating from Harvard University, he got involved with the Open Theatre group under the direction of Joe Chaikin, producing as a result some of the most stunning and innovative experimental theater work of the 1960s, especially America Hurrah, a 1965 trilogy consisting of Interview, TV, and Motel, and The Serpent, a 1968 ritualistic and largely mimed theatrical piece that grew out of improvisations on Genesis and juxtaposes biblical events with current ones. Van Itallie's plays of the 1970s, which include A Fable and Bag Lady, have been more traditional in form and simpler in scope, and he has also adapted several of Chekhov's (see Vol. 2) plays. In 1983 he returned to the mode of The Serpent in The Tibetan Book of the Dead, but with notably less success.

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