The Oasis Theatre Company presents four plays focusing on trust issues during its 2018-2019 season, which kicks off on October 11 with the production of Anton Chekhov’s play “Uncle Vanya” that was first published in 1898.
Adapted by David Mamet from a translation by Vlada Chernomordik, “Uncle Vanya” begins with the visit of an elderly professor and his attractive and much younger second wife, Yelena, to the rural estate that supports their urban lifestyle. The play is about a man, his best friend and the woman they love.
“Uncle Vanya reveals the brilliance of Chekhov’s perception of the human struggle with day-to-day living,” says director Brenda Bynum.
Emphasizing the various relationships going on in the play is what’s been important to Bynum in her role as director. Chekhov talks about infidelity in marriage quite a bit in the play, with much focus on Yelena, who is not fulfilled in her relationship. “What emerges is how there was, and often still is, a double standard in a marriage,” Bynum adds.
Keeping the play in the 19th century through costumes and set design was a conscious decision on Bynum’s part. “I think audience members feel freer to recognize the people in their own lives through the actors when the play is set in a different time period than the one they’re living in,” she says.
Starring in “Uncle Vanya” are Nicholas Ballas (Dr. Astrov), Jody Durham (Yelena), Joey Beth Gilbert (Sofya), Armando Hernandez (Yefim)), James Jenner (Uncle Vanya), Argos MacCallum (Telegin), Steven Oakey (Professor Serebryakov), Juliet Salazar (Marina) and JoJo Sena-Tarnoff (Voynitzkaya Mariya).
The Oasis Theatre Company, which formed in New York in 1988 with the mission of shedding new light on old perceptions, moved to Santa Fe in 2016. It’s in the process of converting the space next to Teatro Paraguas so it can host the company’s November production of works by Mamet.