Assistant Professor of Theatre Chris Woodworth has been invited to present a talk as part of the “Wednesdays @ 1 Lectures” program at Syracuse Stage. Her presentation, “Chekhov in Pennsylvania: Durang’s Riff on Nostalgia, Longing, and the Importance of Place,” will be held on Oct. 1, at 1 p.m., in conjunction with the season opener, “Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike,” by Christopher Durang.
“One of the brilliant aspects of Durang’s play are the ways in which he pays homage to the writing of Chekhov,” says Woodworth. “Chekhov interrogates the ways in which place–primarily family country homes–shapes the dynamics of families and the lives of individuals. Much like in Durang’s play, the characters long for a time that has passed, clinging to a way of life that has faded. Homes that once were the places that families came together become the sites of fracture and dispersal.”
Woodworth was approached about the Weds @ 1 series by Kyle Bass, the resident dramaturg at Syracuse Stage who she met last year and asked to speak to one of her classes. “This play seemed like a great fit for me,” she says.
Last summer, she was living in New York City, participating in the month-long Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab. Although the schedule for the lab was intense, she tried to see as much theatre as she could and “Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike” was one of those productions (and it had just won the TONY Award for Best Play with a cast that included David Hyde Pierce and Sigourney Weaver).
Woodworth joined the faculty in 2013. She holds a Ph.D. in theatre from Bowling Green State University, an M.A. from Indiana University, and a B.A. from St. Lawrence University. She has directed such productions as “In the Blood,” which portrays a family sunk in poverty, and “Radium Girls,” a gripping historical fiction drawn from a stunning chapter in U.S. labor history.