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Rockford.edu / News

Chekhov’s serio-comedy monologue “The Evils of Tobacco” special performance at Rockford University

04/16/2019 11:37 am

image of Bern Sundstedt at podium Bern Sundstedt, senior project specialist at Rockford University and former resident actor at New American Theater (NAT) in Rockford from 1977-1978 and 1990-1994, will perform the The Evils of Tobacco, a monologue serio-comedy written by Anton Chekhov as translated by Michael Frayn.

The performance and short discussion following is part of the University’s Brown Bag Series, a semester-long slate of presentations offered by University faculty and staff that feature topics of special interest to the presenters in order to spark the imagination of others and drive conversation and curiosity. This performance and talk-back will be presented on Monday, April 29 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center, Rockford University, 5050 East State St., Rockford, Ill. 61108 and is open to the public. Admission is free. The Clark Arts Center is accessible.

Sundstedt graduated from Rockford University in 1977. He completed his training at Yale School of Drama, receiving his MFA in 1981. He went on to appear on Broadway, Off-Off Broadway and in Regional Theatre. Returning to the Rockford region in 1990, he took up residence at New American Theatre, while serving as an adjunct instructor of theatre at Rock Valley College and as the technical director for Starlight Theatre.

Sundstedt first performed The Evils of Tobacco in 1991. While he has performed the play three other times by invitation and has attained a reputation as a Musical Lampoonist, this will be his first public performance of any substance since 1994 when he portrayed Michael Evans in NAT’s, Dancing at Lughnasa.

The Evils of Tobacco, written in 1886 as a high farce for Russian Vaudeville and Street Theatre, was one of Chekhov’s first pieces written specifically for performance. Over the subsequent 17 years, during which Chekhov wrote his major masterpieces, he re-wrote Evils of Tobacco five times. Each time the play’s tenor and content changed, reflecting the playwright’s evolving maturity, during which he became one of the world’s premier writers of realistic dramas.

The Evils of Tobacco, is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC. Mr. Sundstedt appears through the courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers.