CSC's Uncle Vanya Will Star Sarsgaard and Gyllenhaal, Joining O'Hare

By Kenneth Jones
11 Dec 2008

Maggie Gyllenhaal
Maggie Gyllenhaal

The new Austin Pendleton-directed production of Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, for Off-Broadway's Classic Stage Company in early 2009, will feature Maggie Gyllenhaal as Yelena and Peter Sarsgaard as Astrov, the troupe announced.

The real-life couple join Tony Award winner Denis O'Hare as Vanya, Mamie Gummer as Sonya, Louis Zorich as Waffles, George Morfogen as Srebryakov, Delphi Harrington as Maria and Cyrilla Baer as Marina.

Previews begin Jan. 17, 2009. An official opening date will be announced. The limited run plays to March 1.

Sarsgaard (of the films "Shattered Glass," "Boys Don't Cry," "Kinsey") will jump from his current Chekhov play (he's Trigorin in Broadway's The Seagull) into rehearsals for Vanya, about an old professor (Morfogen) and his young wife (Gyllenhaael) returning to his old estate, arousing old tensions with Vanya and his niece (Gummer).

Gyllenhaal is known for the films "The Dark Knight," "Sherrybaby," "Secretary," "Donnie Darko" and more.



O'Hare, a veteran of Broadway's Take Me Out and Sweet Charity, who last performed at CSC in Yasmina Reza's A Spanish Play, stars as "Vanya, the quintessential superfluous man, who wakes up one morning to discover he has wasted his life in the service of others, in Chekhov's tragicomic masterpiece of dashed dreams, thwarted love and eternal longing," according to CSC.

The play was first performed at the Moscow Art Theater in 1899, directed by Constantine Stanislavsky.

Uncle Vanya will feature scenic design by Tony Award winner Santo Loquasto, costume design by Suzy Benzinger and lighting design by Jason Lyons.

Actor-director Pendleton has directed Uncle Vanya twice before: at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in 1972 and at the Hartman Theatre in Stamford in 1980; both times featuring sets by Santo Loquasto. The CSC staging is completely new, however. Pendleton has also played Vanya several times: at the Whole Theatre Co. (directed by Olympia Dukakis); at the Williamstown Theatre Festival (directed by Jeff Blechner); at CSC (directed by Maria Irene Fornes); and for Steppenwolf Theatre Company (directed by Sheldon Pantinkin).

Classic Stage Company is located at 136 East 13th Street.

Uncle Vanya will be performed Tuesday through Fridays at 8 PM; Saturdays at 2 PM and 8 PM and Sundays at 2 PM. Tickets are $70 and $75. For tickets and more information, visit www.classicstage.org, call (866) 811-4111 or (212) 352-3101, or visit the CSC box office.