Drama sets stage for ‘Uncle Vanya’ at Delta

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Lead actors, from left to right: Nick Giovanni, Christopher Hunter and Navaz Khan getting ready while the rest of the cast arrives for rehearsal. Photo by Vivienne Aguilar
Lead actors, from left to right: Nick Giovanni, Christopher Hunter and Navaz Khan getting ready while the rest of the cast arrives for rehearsal. Photo by Vivienne Aguilar

Delta Drama’s production of Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekov, directed by Ashlee Temple, opens March 1 at 7 p.m., in the Alfred Muller Studio Theater. The show will run through March 10, and admission is free. 

The story takes place in pre-revolution Russia and focuses on a family with dwindling wealth. 

“What’s interesting about these plays and Anton Chekhov is that you see in the plays the rise of communism and it starting to take place but it hasn’t affected the government yet. So basically what it is is that it hasn’t affected the middle class it’s just you either have an extreme amount of money and you’re on top or you are suffering everyday of your life. That was basically the extreme,” said actor Nick Giovannoni who plays Vanya, the lead. 

He views this play as an opportunity to grow as an actor since his previous roles revolved around “having a shtick”.

Navaz Khan, who plays Astrov the district doctor, claims his character gets thrown into a huge love circle throughout the duration of the play.
The Professor is portrayed by Christopher Hunter. In the context of the play he is on his last leg, much older than any other character. His marriage to the young woman, Yelena causes controversy. 

“I don’t walk with a cane, go figure, I have to pretend. Saying my lines to out speak a mindset of this old man that wants everything but can’t have it all.  I don’t think he’s in love with the wife I think he’s in lust with the wife. I think he maybe at one point was, but then again at the same time he is a 60 year old man- kind of an old pervert,” said Hunter. 

Many costumes were made by hand in the costume department. The set displays an unkempt estate with backlighting made of sunshine at times. In the play, audience members should expect a gunshot. The actors trained with a stage gun and blank bullets.

“I love Chekhov, he’s my favorite playwright I’m just thrilled to come here every night and work on this and I have a  great cast so it’s so enjoyable to be in this world and create this world with this cast,” said Director Ashlee Temple.