So, what happens in Uncle Vanya? Not much; just life, played out over four acts. There are rich people, and there are people who work for the rich people, whom the rich people don't really care about. There is a gun fired in anger and desperation, but there aren't any bodies to carry off stage. There are men making fools of themselves over women. There are those who accept their fates and wait for their rewards in heaven, and there are others who don't care one way or another. Chekhov's play moves so languidly that, without a vibrant cast, an understanding director, and a lively translation, it stands the chance of passing under the radar of the average audience. The reworking of the script aims at accessibility, replacing the "outdated colloquialisms" and "brittle prose" of earlier translations.
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Alexandr Alright ANTON CHEKHOV ASTROV enter ASTROV pause beautiful bells is heard chick chick chloroform damn darling DAVID MAMET dear doctor drink Excuse Exits Farewell feel Finland forests Forgive geese Give it back gone Goodbye gout GROVE PRESS guitar happy hear horses husband Ilya Ilyich IVAN PETROVICH Kharkov kiss Ladies and Gentlemen lazy leave live look Lord MARINA MARIYA VASILYEVNA Mikhail Lvovich morning morphia mother Nanny never night offstage once Papa peace perhaps Philistine pity play ralgia real calling rest rheumatism rubles samovar SEREBRYAKOV Shhh Shhhh sick sideboard sleep SOFYA ALEXANDROVNA Sonetchka Sonya sorry speak stand stay stop stupid talk TELEGIN enters tell Thank There's thing thought twenty-five Uncle Vanya understand vegetable oil vodka Waffles walk What's wife wish woman woods WORKMAN enters write YELENA ANDREYEVNA