Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, Still Relevant Today

I watched “Uncle Vanya” last night at the INTIMAN Theatre at the Seattle Center. This play, written by Anton Chekhov, is a rework of a play that he had written a decade earlier called “The Wood Demon.” I have watched two other plays by Chekhov, “The Seagull” and “The Cherry Orchard.” Although Chekhov’s plays tend to be hard to follow, if you are used to light hearted, main stream type of theater, once you’re used to his style of writing, I think you will find his plays rather enjoyable…

But what is even more interesting is that the various themes Chekhov explores in his various plays are still relevant today. For example, the doctor in “Uncle Vanya”, who is a huge environmentalist, expresses his concern about the way the environment is being used in a non sustainable way resulting in deforestation and the loss of natural habitat and wildlife. A lot of this destruction is being done either for commercial or domestic use but regardless, it is being done without thought about what will happen once all the resources have been used up… funny enough, this is just as relevant today in many parts of developing world where commercial interests simply denude the land and wildlife for quick gain or locals use up the precious resources in a non sustainable way with the long term result of killing the golden goose.

It is the fact that Chekhov was raising these issues 100 years ago and we, in the developing world, are still not being responsible stewards of our resources, reminds me how little we have progressed… if not actually regressed…

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