THE WOOD DEMON (1889)
by Anton Chekhov
in a version by Nicholas Saunders and Frank Dwyer
directed by Lila Neugebauer
You heard Wood Demon just now: man rashly destroys the forests, and soon there will be nothing left. In the very same way, men destroy each other…
In 1889 at the age of twenty-nine, Anton Chekhov wrote a play called THE WOOD DEMON. This youthful, bright play was in essence a first draft of what was to become the great classic UNCLE VANYA. Rather like peering at the underdrawings of an Old Master’s painting to see the sketches and plans, THE WOOD DEMON examines the characters in VANYA and adds a few that didn’t make the cut in the final version. With broad strokes full of melodrama, vigor – and far less subtlety than one might be used to – Chekhov wrestles with the themes that would obsess and haunt him throughout his entire writing life: aging, stasis, the environment, rich versus poor, regret for the past and hope for the future, as well as his eternal devotion to love and desire.
Kristen Bush, John Patrick Doherty, Gibson Frazier, Matthew Maher, Alfredo Narciso, Gayle Rankin, Judith Roberts, Thomas Jay Ryan, Cameron Scoggins, Kristen Sieh, Keith Randolph Smith and Paul Thureen