Linden Tea Musings


I’m Cynthia, a junior from Chicago, and I’m really excited to explore the role of Sonya with Faye as my theatre-lab partner. Tuesday’s read-through revealed that differences in interpretations of a character between acting-pairs were already starting to emerge. I’m curious to see how these differences will continue to develop (or maybe converge?).

After reading Vanya and watching Vanya on 42nd Street there was one theme that struck me as being completely and utterly relevant to Duke students: the overwhelming feeling of tiredness throughout the play that plagues almost every character.

Although the characters have many reasons to be tired: age, depression, boredom, gout etc. Vanya and Sonya seem to be tired mainly from burning that midnight oil working for the professor and managing the estate. The idea of working so incredibly hard without entirely knowing why is something that I think every Duke student can relate to- particularly those involved in research. (If your researching under a grouchy, glorified, egotistic professor, then Vanya is even more relatable). As students, we might study all night, read pointless articles, run PCR over and over in lab, or spend days locked in the library for a term paper but is it really worth it and what is it all for? Many students probably aren’t even sure of their post-grad plans for most of college. Yet I see many sleep-deprived-zombie-students (sometimes myself included) walking frantically about the quad, anxious, overworked and in need of a nap. Perhaps Duke students can look at the lives of the characters at the estate and connect it to their own robotic studying and day-to-day tiredness. Maybe seeing a reflection of their own exhaustion will also convey its absurdity.