Sounding Vanya



[1] “Where the tune is familiar and the end emphatic – lovers united, villains discomfited, intrigues exposed – as it is in most Victorian fiction, we can scarcely go wrong, but where the tune is unfamiliar and the end a note of interrogation or merely the information that they went on talking, as it is in Tchekov, we need a very daring and alert sense of literature to make us hear the tune, and in particular those last notes which complete the harmony.” (Virginia Woolf ) 

[2] SOUND [v.1]: “to be audible, to produce vibrations affecting the ear,” early 13c. sounen, from Old French soner and Latin sonare, “to sound, make a noise.” 

[3] SOUND [v.2]: “fathom, probe, measure the depth of,” mid-14c., from Old French sonder, from sonde “sounding line,” perhaps from the same Germanic source that yielded Old English sund, “water, sea.” 

[4] ‘Uncle Vanya: Scenes from Country Life in Four Acts,’ an 1898 play by Anton Chekhov (1860-1904). 

[5] Leo Tolstoy: “I went to see ‘Vanya,’ and I was appalled. Where’s the drama? The play treads water.” 

[6] And Maxim Gorky: “One can’t clearly express what this play calls up in one’s soul, but I felt as
I watched its characters as if I were being sawn in half by a dull saw. Its teeth go straight to the heart, and they make the heart clench, groan, cry out. I feel it to be something terrible. Your ‘Uncle Vanya’ is an entirely new form of dramatic art, a hammer with which you strike at the empty skulls of the public.” 

Images courtesy Lumiere Project


Curated by Atul Kumar, Directed by Rehaan Engineer, Actors Aarti Aney, Abir Abrar, Anna Ador, Ira Dubey, Kalki Koechlin, Meher Mistry, Puja Sarup, Director’s Assistant Vrinda Kacker, Original Music Guy Hershberg, Original Light Design Arghya Lahiri, Assistant Light Design Gurleen Judge, Costume Design Nakul Sen, Executive Producer Sachin Kamani, Production Hussain Zaidi.

All 2019 Grants