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Professors Turn Performers In Cheeky Fairfield University Production

Fairfield University Vice Provost Don Gibson stars in "Life Sucks," an Academy Players production.
Fairfield University Vice Provost Don Gibson stars in "Life Sucks," an Academy Players production. Photo Credit: Contributed

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — A group of Fairfield University professors and administrators will take to the stage once again for their annual theatrical production, this time with a touch of Chekhov.

The Academy Players of Fairfield University will present Aaron Posner’s “Life Sucks,” a modern adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s classic “Uncle Vanya,” in four performances Sept. 20 through 23.

Each performance takes place at 8 p.m. in the campus’ Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts and will be followed by a faculty-led discussion highlighting some of the themes of the play.

In this cheeky reworking of Chekhov, a group of old friends, ex-lovers and estranged family members gather over a weekend to grapple with life’s thorniest questions and each other.

“What Posner has done, I think, is rewrite ‘Uncle Vanya’ as though it were being improvised by our contemporaries,” said Fairfield resident Alistair Highet, the play’s director and senior director for the university’s external communications and public relations. “Do we still have the same longings, the same frustrations, the same hopes and dreams that were so familiar to Chekhov? I think the play suggests that we do, but it also asks, ‘Can we speak as openly, and with such heartfelt sincerity today as we once did?’”

As with the Academy Players’ previous performances, the company is comprised of Fairfield University faculty and staff who volunteer their time to create a production that brings many schools, departments, faculty and courses together to examine a dimension of their studies through the performing arts.

Joining Highet this year are: co-producer and philosophy professor Dennis Keenan of Shelton; Fairfield residents Jerelyn Johnson, co-director and professor of modern languages and literatures, and business ethics professor and cast member David Schmidt; Milford resident and cast member Pam Kelly, assistant dean of the Graduate School of Education & Allied Professions; Stratford cast members Sonya Huber, English professor, and Mark Ligas, interim dean of the business school; Trumbull cast member Don Gibson, vice provost; and Stamford cast member Andrea Martinez, assistant dean of the College of Arts & Sciences.

Tickets are $20. For tickets, contact the box office at 203-254-4010 or quickcenter.com .

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