Local theatre company introduces its third production – the second in its “The Immersive Theatre Project” series – August 24 through September 3 in Ladue
REBEL AND MISFITS PRODUCTIONS is thrilled to announce “Uncle Vanya: Valiantly Accepting Next Year’s Agony,” the second piece in its’ series called The Immersive Theatre Project. This production, directed by Kelly Hummert, Artistic Director of the company, will feature a two-hour interpretation of Russian playwright Anton Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya.” The event will run for two weeks, Thursday through Monday, from August 24 through September 3 at a private residence at 110 Dielman Road in Ladue.
“Uncle Vanya” follows an elderly professor and his young, glamorous second wife, Yelena, to a rural estate, causing the desires and tempers of those residing there to flare. Matters are brought to a crisis when the professor announces his selfish intention to sell the estate and characters’ desperation sets in.
The experience begins with a high-tea reception at 7:00 PM, followed by the play, starting promptly at 8:00 PM. Audiences can expect direct contact with characters from the show throughout the evening as part of the immersive theatre experience. Between acts, various Russian libations will be served.
Kelly Hummert, Artistic Director of REBEL AND MISFITS PRODUCTIONS, is creating immersive theatrical experiences for St. Louis audiences in diverse and unusual locations, inviting audiences to enjoy a new, daring way to experience theatre.
“Immersive theatre is an exciting way to explore plays in another light,” said Hummert. “Destroying the line between actors and spectators thrills me. When you jump into an immersive experience, you become completely invested in the story because you’re a part of it. With Uncle Vanya, we’ve found a new and creative way to immerse spectators in this iconic Chekhov play. Our interpretation is designed for devotees of Chekhov as well as those looking for an introduction to his work and unique worldview.”
The tight ensemble features a talented local cast: Jim Butz as Astrov, Andrew Michael Neiman as Vanya, Peter Mayer as The Professor, Sophia Brown as Yelena, Francesca Ferrari as Sonya, Donna Weinsting as Marina, Kent Coffel as Telegin, and Suzanne Greenwald as Mrs. Voitensky.
Attendees can get a sneak peek inside the play’s country estate in advance of opening night. Digital media director, Aarti Couture, will feature live social media content up to and during the show (including online at www.theimmersivetheatreproject.com) as characters work to persuade guests to attend and “save” them from “the boredom of this stifling country home.”
REBEL AND MISFITS PRODUCTIONS is very excited to deliver this production as its second immersive piece. As Shakespeare says in Richard the Second, “I wasted time, now time doth waste me.” The characters in “Uncle Vanya: Valiantly Accepting Next Year’s Agony” realize the same is true for them as they waste day after day in the country home. Hummert and the cast hope that audiences will walk away from the experience with a lot to say about the immersive world they are leaving as well as fresh eyes on the one they are re-entering.
Tickets for “Uncle Vanya: Valiantly Accepting Next Year’s Agony” are currently on sale. Admission is $45 with a discounted price of $30 for college students with a valid student ID. All participants must be age 18+. Audience members should be ready to move during some key scenes but will mostly remain in one area where seating consists of sofas, chaise lounges and pillows. More information is available at www.theimmersivetheatreproject.com.
More about REBEL AND MISFITS PRODUCTIONS
REBEL AND MISFITS PRODUCTIONS is a St Louis-based theatre company founded in 2016 by actor, artistic director and producer Kelly Hummert. Its inaugural production, “Hamlet: See What I See” was the first in a series of true immersive theatre experiences – which creates no line between the actors and spectators – called jointly “The Immersive Theatre Project.” Each show in the series will have a hidden theme that connects each play in some way. The company also does non-immersive projects, such as its March 2017 intimate interpretation of Laura Eason’s “Sex with Strangers.” The name of Rebel and Misfits Productions is derived from the Steve Jobs quote, “Here’s to crazy ones. The rebels. The misfits. Because the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
Kelly Hummert is originally from Illinois and attended Webster University. She returned to St Louis in 2011 after spending eight years doing theatre in New York including playing Viola in Twelfth Night at Brooklyn Shakespeare Experience, Maggie in After The Fall with Stage 15 Productions, Medea in Medea Redux in The 24 Hour Plays at the Public, the New York Premiere of Kato McNickle’s Swimming In The Ocean, and Helen in the workshop of Warning: Adult Content at MCC. Other roles: Jack in Lord of the Flies, Hermione in The Winters Tale, Lula in The Dutchman, and Antony in Julius Ceasar. Upcoming: Kill Your Superstars, a newly commissioned work as well as writing a new series for television called The Twelve. Film Credits: The Devil Wears Prada, The Marconi Brothers, The Good Shepard, and Across the Universe.