2024 Season

Uncle Vanya

May 9 - 19, 2024

UNCLE VANYA by Anton Chekhov
A new adaptation by Conor McPherson

Directed by John Sowle
Sets and Sound by Carmen Borgia
Lights by Eric Leary
Costumes by Michelle Rogers
Assistant Director – Tim Dunn
Production Stage Manager – Hannarose Manning


Eileen Schuyler* as Nana
Richard Neil as Astrov
Steven Patterson as Vanya
Eamon Martin as Telegin
Abby Burris as Sonya
Mike Durkin* as Serebryakov
Sarah Jayne Rothkopf as Yelena
Renee Hewitt as Mariya

Click here for production photos.

“Another win for Bridge Street with ‘Vanya’ … In Catskill, BST co-founder, artistic director and production director John Sowle and an eight-member cast bring us inside a wholly realized world, the place instantly established by an evocative set of a badly aging manor house by Bridge Street’s invaluable design collaborator Carmen Borgia … As is often the case in Bridge Street productions, excellence starts with casting decisions. Uniformly skilled, the players create distinctive, individualized, fully inhabited characters … A clear-eyed, profoundly affecting version with pathos properly balanced by humor and irony … After a decade, there’s ample evidence for saying this: Bridge Street Theatre is the region’s most fearless professional stage company. No other company in the greater Capital Region that pays its actors is so determined to be brave in its artistic choices and so successful at realizing quality productions.”  Steve Barnes, Times Union  More…

“A remarkably singular production at Bridge Street Theatre, by a remarkably accomplished ensemble under the direction of John Sowle … McPherson’s treatment flows smoothly with depth, subtlety, linguistic ease and style. Like McPherson’s text, Sowle’s production lives in the play’s depths; in the determination of Chekhov’s people to survive, even when survival may well be the biggest absurdity of all … An exquisitely-crafted, beautifully-understated performance.” Jeffrey Borak, Berkshire EagleMore...

“A beautifully acted and poignant production … Under the direction of Bridge Street’s John Sowle the production soars. The pace never lags. The relationships of the various characters are real and honest and his staging is replete with creative stage pictures. As opposed to most somber interpretations of ‘Vanya’, this version by [Irish playwright Conor] McPherson and the work of the director find the comedy in the plot. The acting is superb … Touching and profound. Bridge Street is known for outstanding theatre experiences. This ‘Uncle Vanya’ enhances that well-deserved reputation.” Macey Levin, Berkshire On Stage  More…

“A very personal rendering … This classic theater piece playing in rural Catskill is a wonderful metaphor for the play’s themes of isolation and the effect it has on the minds and souls of various individuals. This makes it an excellent post-COVID play … A production in which you appreciate all the good in the writing, the acting, the staging and the play’s relevance to today. You leave the theater thinking about the plight of individuals who have devoted their lives and sacrificed their futures to something they believe is unworthy of their skills and potential … For many reasons, it is one of the more memorable versions of ‘Uncle Vanya’ I have seen.” Bob Goepfert, WAMC    More…

“Brilliant! … Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill is making their Chekov debut with a heart-rending, deliciously detailed production directed by the Artistic and Managing Director of BST, John Sowle … Essential viewing for everyone interested in the dramatic arts … Heartbreaking.” Patrick White   More…

Uncle Vanya is wonderfully miserable. I loved it! … The play is over one hundred years old, however the recent 2020 adaptation by Conor McPherson makes Uncle Vanya as sarcastic and snarky as any instagram meme … Excellently and professionally produced and directed, and the acting is superb.”  Trixie Starr, Trixie’s List   More…

“A treat! … Chekhov gets a first-rate treatment by the Bridge Street company.  John Sowle has given a fine rhythm to the play keeping it moving along and allowing the emotions of the characters every opportunity to be expressed in fine Chekhovian style … Uses the talents of many wonderful people to deliver the playwright’s message of the futility of life’s passing experiences … Exhaustingly memorable!”  J. Peter Bergman, Berkshire Edge   More…

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During the heat of the summer, a retired university professor and his restless, alluring, and much younger new wife return to a small estate in the Russian countryside. Their disruptive presence causes polite facades to crumble and long repressed feelings to emerge with devastating consequences for everyone involved. Irish playwright Conor McPherson provides a vibrant, earthy, and surprisingly comedic new translation of this most intimate and heartbreaking of Chekhov’s dramatic works.

This production is underwritten by a generous donation from Nina Matis.


Eileen Schuyler*(Nana) is delighted to be appearing at Bridge Street Theatre for the first time. She’s performed frequently at Capital Repertory Theatre (most recently in Blithe Spirit and 4000 Miles); at WAM Theatre (The Old Mezzo, Escaped Alone); Queens Theatre in the Park (Arsenic and Old Lace); Fulton Opera House (Sherlock’s Secret Life); Studio Arena Theater (Greetings!, Lake Effect); Stageworks/Hudson (A Wedding Story, Play by Play) and Theatre Company at Hubbard Hall (Heartbreak House), as well as in 25 roles with the NYS Theatre Institute, touring the state and performing in Italy and Israel. Artistic Director of Theater Voices, now in its 36th season, Eileen appeared most recently with the company in The Hatmaker’s Wife. She taught acting at UAlbany and Russell Sage College, as well as serving for a decade as a communications coach with the NYS Defenders Institute. She developed and directed original stage adaptations of A BINTEL BRIEF: Sixty Years of Letters from the Lower East Side to the ‘Jewish Daily Forward’ at The Yiddish Book Center, Amherst and The Arts Center for the Capital Region and Spoon River Anthology at Siena College. An AUDIE winner, she’s a proud member of Actors’ Equity and SAG/AFTRA. 

Richard Neil (Astrov) is thrilled to be back working with Steven and John after so many years. It was 1989 with the U.S. premiere of Garcia Lorca’s fantastical and much celebrated El Publico when they last collaborated (Talk about ambitious!). Vast stage credits include regional tours as Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire and as Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. TV credits include Minx, Veronica Mars, Entourage, The Guardian, Terriers, 9-1-1, L.A.’s Finest, S.W.A.T., and The Kids Are Alright. Film credits include: Takashi Koizumi’s Best Wishes For Tomorrow, The Knights of Swing, Prodigy, and the upcoming Max Dagan (co-starring with Rob Morrow and Michael Madsen). He’s also appeared in multiple films created by video artist, Bill Viola. Richard has provided voice and motion-capture performances in several video games, most notably as Aratak in Horizon Zero Dawn. Originally from New York, Richard is a graduate of The Neighborhood Playhouse where he studied with Sanford Meisner.

Steven Patterson (Vanya) has performed in NYC both Off- and Off-Off-Broadway, as well as with theaters such as South Coast Repertory, Capital Repertory Theatre, TheatreWorks/Silicon Valley, freeFall Theatre, Kaliyuga Arts, Lexington Conservatory Theatre, Chenango River Theatre, Centenary Stage Company, and the Orlando, Oregon, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Utah, Tennessee, Richmond, and Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festivals. A few of his favorite roles have been Austin Wiggin in The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World, Jake Sturdy in Kill Me Now, Lear in King Lear, David in Poor Super Man, Judi Boswell in How to Pray, Zach in A Chorus Line, and Rob in King of the Crystal Palace. He also created, performed, and toured internationally for four years with Beauty, a one-man play inspired by the life and works of Jean Genet. He currently resides in Catskill, NY, where he is the co-founder (with John Sowle) of Bridge Street Theatre, where he has appeared in The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Killing & The Love Death, Grinder’s Stand, Lucky Lindy, Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus, Holiday Memories, How to Pray, Frankie & Johnny in the Clair de Lune, The Revenge of the Space Pandas, Shylock, There Is A Happiness That Morning Is, Miss Gulch Returns! (2021 “Berkie” Award for Best Solo Performance), Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Shelley’s Shadow, The Lion in Winter, Rude Mechanics, and Sympathetic Magic, has directed The Tavern, The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, and The Revenge of the Space Pandas, and The Glass Menagerie.

Eamon Martin (Telegin) is very honored to join Bridge Street Theatre for their production of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. Eamon was seen locally in The Two Of Us Productions’ 2023 season program as Kendrick in Stranger In The Attic and Paul in Lady & The Clarinet. Other stage roles have included Dr. David Williams in Rasheeda Speaking, and Michael Waterman in Fiction. In recent years, Eamon has spent a lot of time acting in small, independent films as well as a few religious infomercials that demanded historical reenactments. Before that, he was a low budget news anchor on Free Speech TV for a number of years. Eamon makes art whenever possible and is eternally thankful to Kelly McGillis, Bruce McCarty at William Esper Studio, his family and CREATE Council On The Arts for crucial love, support and artistic guidance.

Abby Burris (Sonya) is thrilled to be returning to Bridge Street Theatre and to be a part of this wonderful cast and crew! Past Bridge Street credits include: Sympathetic Magic and Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes. Other selected works include: Incident at Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Penguin Rep), A Christmas Carol Comedy (Hedgerow Theatre), and The Tempest (Shakespeare in The Woods). Abby has a BFA in acting from Purchase College.

Michael Durkin* (Serebryakov). New York Theatre: Polonius/Gravedigger in Hamlet,  Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night, Bottom in Midsummer Night’s Dream, Anthony Anderson in Shaw’s The Devils Disciple,  Baylor in Sam Shepard’s Lie of the Mind, Finbar Mack in Connor McPherson’s The Weir,  Huckelbee in Jones/Schmidt’s The Fantasticks, Paul Brennan in Christopher Durang’s The Marriage of Bette and Boo, Harry Lee in Samuel Raphaelson’s The Jazz Singer, James Conover in Crouse/Lindsay’s The State of the Union, General MacKenzie in Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, The Toymaker in Babes In Toyland at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fischer Hall. He is a founding member and, since 1992, Executive Director of the improvisational theatre company Freestyle Repertory Theatre, performing Improvisational theatre formats on almost every off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway stage in New York City and improvisational festivals in London, Amsterdam and throughout Canada. He is a docent at the Bronx Zoo and a Man In Red every Christmas at Macy’s Herald Square.

Sarah Jayne Rothkopf (Yelena) is a New York City native with a passion for all things Theatre. Informed by study at Sarah Lawrence College, the Neighborhood Playhouse and a Masters at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, her journey has taken her from The Big Apple to Los Angeles, London, and, lately, the Hudson Valley. With roles in a variety of independent films and theatrical performances over the years, Sarah Jayne is delighted to have recently performed in The Cake, Love is Love Play, a staged reading of Monarchs at The Rosendale Theatre and Coupling at The Phoenicia Playhouse. Last fall, Sarah Jayne had the great pleasure of playing Laura in the Bridge Street Theatre’s production of The Glass Menagerie and is thrilled to join the The Bridge Street Theatre’s production of Uncle Vanya as Yelena this spring

Renée Hewitt (Mariya). An over 30 year veteran who is new to New York. She began in the San Francisco Bay Area at such venues as: Marriott’s Great America Theme Park, American Music Theatre and San Jose Stage Company. Then in Southern Oregon she most recently starred in Bernhardt/Hamlet as Sarah Bernhardt. Other favorites include: Kate in Dancing at Lughnasa, six men and one woman in Around The World in 80 Days all at Collaborative Theatre Project; Anne Sullivan in The Miracle Worker, Aldonza in Man of La Mancha, Guenevere in Camelot at Camelot Theater; Poirot: The Murder On The Links, Rona Lisa Piretti in 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Ashland’s Oregon Cabaret Theatre and Sugar in Tiny Beautiful Things at Rogue Theater Company. In Olympia, Washington she played Helen in Fun Home at the Harlequin Theatre. Her introduction to the New York theatre scene was amazing, performing in the New Play Festival with Gallery Players in Brooklyn. Training includes ACT in San Francisco, Voicetrax in Sausalito and on-going voice and acting with Ramona@studiomallory.com in NYC. Renée is excited and thrilled to be working with John and Steven at Bridge Street Theatre. www.ReneeJHewitt.com

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the USA.