Raquel Barreto’s costumes for our August production of Uncle Vanya will be “not stiff or dull,” said the costume designer during her Meet & Greet presentation last week. They’ll be a mix of 21st-century modern and turn-of-the-21st century Eastern Europe, with period fabrics and color combinations reworked to make the characters approachable–“so we’re interested in whatever they’re going through.” There will be some Russian folk costume influence, but we’ll definitely be seeing a bit more skin than would be period-appropriate.
These are two of her three outfits, and all of them include the same utilitarian denim skirt.
Here’s the brooding country doctor Astrov (Andy Murray), who wears the same suit every day (including a summer weight jacket) but somehow manages to be totally, well, crushworthy–most likely due to his job as the ecologically aware Chekhov’s stand-in.
Contrast Astrov with the dashing retired Professor Serebryakov (James Carpenter), whose visit (with new wife Yelena) turns the country life of all of the above on its ear, therefore setting in motion the play. he arrives in Act 1 wearing a long, white coat, not really prepared for farm work, per se, but certainly protected from harm, dirt, and the sun by his cane, boots, and hat.
In his Act 2 lounging gear, the professor certainly stands in sharp contrast to the plain white pyjamas of his former brother-in-law, Vanya.
And here is Yelena (Sarah Grace Wilson), the professor’s beautiful young wife, also not exactly dressed for the country (so different from her grown stepdaughter, Sonya). She enters the play in an almost ethereal way, done up in soft lace.
Her later outfits are in deeper shades, but no less feminine. Raquel and director Timothy Near did some research on how lace was used in the upper class women’s fashion of Chekhov’s time, and this will certainly come into play with Yelena.
And finally, here’s my favorite–Marya, widow of a Senator and mother of the professor’s first wife (and therefore Sonya’s grandmother). She’s being played by Joan Mankin. I think I missed the part of the Meet & Greet where they talked about Marya’s costuming. But would ya check out that suit??!!