Video: Uncle Vanya Star Steve Carell on How Theatre Is an Antidote to AI | Playbill

Video Video: Uncle Vanya Star Steve Carell on How Theatre Is an Antidote to AI

Lincoln Center Theater's production of the Anton Chekhov play began Broadway previews April 3.

After beginning previews April 3, Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya is back on Broadway, with a new translation by Tony nominee Heidi Schreck. Lincoln Center Theater produces the new Broadway work, which officially opens April 24. Hear from the cast and creatives in the video above.

With her new translation, Schreck has emphasized Uncle Vanya's timelessness. "The thing I feel most in the play is this deeply felt knowledge that life is given to us only once, that we die," Schreck says. "Our goal has been to remove anything that gets in the way of the audience experiencing all of that very viscerally, and directly, and kind of allow it to feel like it could be living in our time, right now, at this moment today, without being cute about it."

Oscar nominee Steve Carell stars in the title role, a man disappointed in having spent his life managing the family farm while his brother-in-law pursued an academic career. It's the Broadway debut for the actor, best known for his many seasons as Dunder Mifflin Paper Company boss Michael Scott on The Office. 

"I am a huge proponent of live concerts, [and] theatre," Carell says. "I kind of think it’s the wave of the future, frankly. With AI and with everything you’re seeing on a screen, who knows what’s real and what’s not. And when you go to see someone perform live, there’s no hiding. It’s exactly what you think it’s going to be."

The cast also includes Alison Pill as Sonia, Alfred Molina as Alexander, Anika Noni Rose as Elena, Jayne Houdyshell as Maria, William Jackson Harper as Astros, Mia Katigbak as Marina, Jonathan Hadary as Waffles, and Spencer Donovan Jones as Neighbor.

The company is completed by understudies Marceline Hugot, Stephen Conrad Moore, Robert Stanton, Michael Bryan French, and Brenda Meaney.

READ: 'Big Russian-Literature Nerd': Heidi Schreck Translates Uncle Vanya for a Modern Audience

"[Schreck's adaptation is] modern without being cute about that," Houdyshell says. "It feels very fresh and very accessible. I’ve always found Chekov fascinating, in how it has a great deal of depth. But I don’t always understand what motivates the character because of the language and the translation. There’s a kind of special clarity in Heidi’s adaptation and translation that makes it very immediate and recognizable."

Lila Neugebauer directs, her second Main Stem production this season following her work on Appropriate which is currently still running She leads a creative team that includes set designer Mimi Lien, costume designer Kaye Boyce, lighting designers Lap Chi Chu and Elizabeth Harper, and sound designers Mikhail Fiksel and Beth Lake. Kate Wilson serves as the vocal coach.

The production team includes General Manager Jessica Niebanck, Production Manager Paul Smithyman, and Stage Manager Charles M. Turner III. Casting is by Daniel Swee. Lincoln Center Theater is led by Producing Artistic Director André Bishop.

Uncle Vanya was last seen on Broadway in 2000 starring Derek Jacobi and Amy Ryan as Vanya and Sonia, respectively. Ryan, who is currently in Roundabout's Doubt, was Tony nominated for her performance. 

Take a look at the photos from the Lincoln Center Theater company's first rehearsal in the gallery below.

Photos: Steve Carell, Alison Pill, William Jackson Harper, More in Uncle Vanya At Lincoln Center Theater

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