Director Bob Belfance called "Uncle Vanya" by Anton Chekhov "one of Chekhov's most challenging plays, both for the cast and for the audience." Belfance directed this play, which opened Jan. 9, at Weathervane Playhouse.

"The challenge in directing 'Vanya' is, unlike most of Chekhov's plays, where there is an obvious conflict, in this, the conflicts are within all the people," Belfance said. "The turmoil within each character affects the characters around them."

The cast does a commendable job bringing the material to life on Weathervane's black box space and making it engaging for the audience.

In the play, retired university professor Serebryakov (played by Dale M. Franks) returns to his late first wife's country estate with his second wife, the young and beautiful Yelena (played by Amanda Larkin). The estate has been managed by Vanya (played by Alex Cikra), brother to the late wife, and Sofya (played by Jen Klicka), the professor's daughter from his first marriage.

It is soon apparent that this is not a happy household, and the appearance of the sickly professor and his lovely second spouse ignites new tensions as well as reopens some old wounds. The main characters all desire something which seems just out of their reach.

Other cast members include Jim Fippin as country doctor Mikhail; Marci Paolucci as the kindly, elderly nurse Marina; and Barbara Trotter as Mariya, Vanya's mother.

Ticket and show information

"Uncle Vanya" can be seen through Jan. 25.

Shows will start at 7:30 on Thursdays, 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 2:30 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $18. Ticketholders are encouraged to arrive no later than 10 minutes before the performance. All seats are sold on a general admission basis.

Buy tickets in person or by telephone at 330-836-2626 Mondays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; and from noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays when there is a performance at the theater.

The box office is also open beginning one hour before each performance and remains open until the final curtain.

Weathervane Playhouse is at 1301 Weathervane Lane in Akron. For details, visit online.

Next on stage

Weathervane will next produce "Race" by David Mamet on its main stage Jan. 30 through Feb. 16.


Phone: 330-541-9438