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items tagged with Independence

Say "Uncle"! : Tony Nominee Lee Blessing Debuts His New Comedy at New Ground Theatre, April 29 through May 8
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2016-04-21 12:00:00

Jordan Smith, Bill Peiffer, Jake Walker and Maggie Woolley in UncleAt the very end of Anton Chekhov’s 1897 tragicomedy Uncle Vanya, two of the play’s principal characters – Vanya and his niece Sonya – sit quietly at a table at their Russian estate, each lamenting the departure of their recent house guests. They’ve endured all manner of emotional hardships over the stage hours prior, and as they prepare to face more in the lonely years ahead, Sonya delivers one of theatre’s most famous closing monologues, climaxing her speech by telling Vanya not to fear – God will show pity on them. “We shall rest,” she says, gently, just before the curtain falls. “We shall rest.”

Hopefully, for Vanya and Sonya, 119 years constitutes a long-enough rest. Because thanks to a playwright’s imagination and a rather inconvenient (and fictitious) wormhole, Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya characters are continuing their sagas in author Lee Blessing’s debuting comedy Uncle, a world-premiere production by Davenport’s New Ground Theatre running at the Village Theatre from April 29 through May 8.

“Sometimes you just don’t know where things come from,” says Blessing, with a laugh, regarding his sci-fi-comedy continuation of Chekhov’s masterpiece. “I’d seen a modern update of Vanya not that long ago in Los Angeles, and around the same time I said to myself, ‘Wouldn’t it be interesting to write a play about a guy who suddenly has a cosmic wormhole open up in his backyard, but doesn’t want it? Doesn’t want the things that come out of it?’ And so, for some odd reason, I put those things together."
Read More About Say "Uncle"! : Tony Nominee Lee Blessing Debuts His New Comedy At New Ground Theatre, April 29 Through May 8...


Trapped at Home for the Holidays: "A Nice Family Gathering," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through November 18
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2012-11-12 12:00:00

Christopher Tracy, Liz Blackwell, Andy Davis (standing), Gregg Neuleib, Dianna McKune, Justin Raver, and Dana Skiles in A Nice Family GatheringThree days after seeing A Nice Family Gathering at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre, I was still trying to understand the inclusion of the word “nice” in playwright Phil Olson’s title. This isn’t a feel-good, fuzzy-holiday-feelings sort of Thanksgiving play that would render the title appropriate, if clichéd. Nor is it an over-the-top, crass, outrageous comedy that makes the use of the word ironic. (Nor, for the record, is it a play about a family with the last name Nice.) I’m guessing, however, that an over-the-top, crass, outrageous comedy was Olson’s intent, given that the content of his play kind of approaches shocking, though barely.


Read More About Trapped At Home For The Holidays: "A Nice Family Gathering," At The Richmond Hill Barn Theatre Through November 18...


Home Is Where the Hard Is: "Independence," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through February 20
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2011-02-14 12:00:00

Nancy Teerlinck and Dana Skiles in IndependenceDirector Emmalee Moffitt’s Richmond Hill Barn Theatre production of Independence may be the first work I’ve seen in which the pacing is a problem because it’s too fast. It struck me, while watching Thursday night’s performance, that a lot of tension was lost due to the lack of awkward silences during verbal spats; Moffitt doesn’t allow several scenes to breathe, particularly whenever the play’s matriarch and her eldest daughter argue, and so they wind up playing like ordinary family squabbles, rather than the uncomfortable, dysfunctional altercations playwright Lee Blessing intended.


Read More About Home Is Where The Hard Is: "Independence," At The Richmond Hill Barn Theatre Through February 20...





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