12 Dec Faculty First-Person: My Norwegian Vanya, Dr. Sharon M. Carnicke shares her experience directing at the Norwegian National Academy of Arts
The Norwegian National Academy of Arts invited me to direct a production of any Anton Chekhov play I wanted, using Active Analysis — a rehearsal technique developed by Stanislavsky, but little known outside Russia. How could I resist!
First, I love Chekhov. “The pens scratch, the cricket chirps. It is warm and cozy,” says Dr. Astrov in Uncle Vanya. It is as if he and Chekhov (a doctor by training) are prescribing a simple cure for all our frustrations and petty squabbles: stop for a moment, listen, and take pleasure in the ordinary music of everyday life. In fact, Uncle Vanya is the most musical of all Chekhov’s plays. It builds a crescendo of rhythms and sounds until it ends with an audible exhalation of breath as Vanya’s niece, Sonya, comforts him with “We’ll rest!”