Meet the cast of Flashback Theater Co.’s Uncle Vanya

Flashback Theater Co. (FbTC) presents Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya running February 15-25, adapted and directed by Steve Cleberg at his home stage, Stoner Little Theater on SCC Campus. Cleberg’s productions are known to sell out, so those interested in purchasing tickets should reserve their seats soon!Tickets can be purchased online by clicking this link or by calling the box office at (888) 394-3282, ext. 1. The Flashback Box office is located at 400 E. Mount Vernon Street, and box office hours are Tuesday through Friday, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Uncle Vanya is the masterpiece of legendary Russian playwright Anton Chekhov. Set on the backdrop of Russia’s tumultuous culture shift during the turn of the twentieth century, Uncle Vanya is the story of a family lamenting the loss of a life they never actually got to live. Love triangles, revealed secrets, and gunshots abound in Steve Cleberg’s new theatrical adaptation of this cultural landmark.

Steve Cleberg (Adaptor and Director) After thirty-four years in the position, Steve Cleberg retired as the Director of Theatre Arts at Somerset Community College in 2020. He has directed and acted in over one hundred plays. At SCC, his directing credits include Fiddler on the Roof, The Glass Menagerie,
Children of a Lesser God, The Tempest, The Fantasticks, Crimes of the Heart, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. For Flashback Theater, Cleberg appeared in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, The Lady’s Not for Burning and The Book of Will.

Two of his plays, Radio Suspense Theatre and Radio Suspense Theatre: The First Episode, are published by Playscripts Inc. Cleberg has also written and produced several adaptations of classical works by such playwrights as William Shakespeare, Anton Chekhov and Moliere. His first musical, Tin Pan Alley Tavern, was produced in the fall of 2014. His play, The American Parade, received its premiere production with Flashback Theater in 2022.

The titular Uncle Vanya (played by Chris Harris) is the sardonic groundsman of a rural estate that funds the lavish metropolitan lifestyle of his deceased sister’s husband: the retired Professor Alexander Serebrakoff (played by Dr. David Eads). When said professor returns home to the estate with his new, much younger wife Helena (played by Jenny Denney), the not-so-welcome visitors cause strife. Among those inconvenienced are eccentric rural locals including: Doctor Astrov, an introspective physician whose true passion lies in conservation (played by Seth Hart); the Professor’s earnest-but-homely daughter Sonya (played by Martha Pratt); Vanya’s social-change obsessed mother, Madame Voitskaya (played by Johnna Atkinson-Bigelow); and the family’s devoutly religious nurse, Marina (played by Michele Hinton). Confronted with the realities of the Professor’s lifestyle, everyone is forced to confront their own
unfulfilled desires and boredom with their own existences, leading to late night ramblings, forbidden love triangles, revealed secrets, and even gunshots. To make matters worse…the Professor is about to announce that he’s selling off the estate.

Chris Harris (Vanya) is a writer, community journalist, cat dad, person of faith, mild obsessive-compulsive, and all around small-town bon vivant. He’s been seen in a steady number of local theatrical productions since 2013, including several with Flashback Theater Co: The Importance of Being Earnest, Around the World in 80 Days, Pirates of Penzance and Miracle on 34th Street. He’s also been in several Steve Cleberg originals at Somerset Community College, like Radio Suspense Theater and Tin Pan Alley Tavern. And oh yeah, he’s written a few short plays for the local stage as well (including one for the upcoming 10-Minute Play Festival at SCC).

David Eads (Professor) returns for another FbTC production, having previously performed in FbTC’s Miracle on 34th Street and As You Like It. David’s additional acting credits include the characters: Pam’s husband, Sarah and John’s Dad, and Cooper and Ainsley’s Papa. David is a board member of Flashback Theater Company and an Optometrist for the Veterans Administration Healthcare System.
Jenny Denney (Helena) is the director of choir and theater at Southwestern High School. She made her FbTC debut in the spring of 2022, playing Clopas in Mary: Her Story. Most recently, she performed as Johanna in Flashback’s musical production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Hilda in the Flashback Fringe production The Thin Place, and as the women in The 39 Steps.

Seth Hart (Doctor Astrov) is honored to return to Flashback. Previous Acting credits with Flashback include The Mousetrap (Giles Ralston) and The Book of Will (John Hemmings) His past experiences also include a wide range of plays at Good Neighbors Theatre in Byrdstown, TN, including Arsenic and Old Lace, The Diviners, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Blithe Spirit, Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol and more. Full time, he is a Fine Arts instructor, coordinator and assistant for the Wayne County Cooperative Extension Service in addition to being an independent artist, potter and sculptor on the side.

Martha Pratt (Sonya) has been with Flashback since 2018. Her credits include Miss Bennett: Christmas at Pemberly, Pirates of Penzance, The Dollmaker, Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some), The Mousetrap, and The Book of Will, among others. She’s also appeared in plays at Somerset Community College and Good Neighbors Theatre.

Johnna Atkinson-Bigelow (Madame) is excited to return to the FbTC stage after performing in The Thin Place, Sweeney Todd, The Book of Will, and Mary: Her Story with Flashback as well as Steel Magnolias at Somerset Community College. After receiving her Theater degree from Georgetown College and Communications degree from University of Kentucky, she has been teaching at SCC for 30 years. She wants to thank her kids, Braden and Brynlee and husband/biggest fan, Brad for all the love, laughter, and lessons.

Michele Hinton (Marina) is a self-published, multi-genre author of several novels, children’s books, poetry, and short stories. She recently performed in Somerset Community College’s production of Almost, Maine and Flashback Theater’s somerstage production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It. She also had a cameo appearance on America’s Got Talent, Season 13.

It is quite fitting that for a show about a professor returning home, Steve Cleberg shall be returning to his home stage at Stoner Little Theater on SCC Campus. Over the years, Cleberg has staged countless productions in this space; he even built the stage himself. Since he knows the ins and outs of the space like no one else, the staging and production aspects of the production, including Set Design, Lighting, and Sound Design by Cleberg, Costumes by Traci Bray, and a set constructed by C.J. Bloomer, will be second to none. Guiding the production team is Josh West, now in his third turn as Stage Manager of a Flashback Production. He is joined by two Assistant Stage Managers, Shelby Holmes and Gabe Nicholson. Joining Cleberg behind the director’s table as Assistant Director is Flashback’s resident Improv Captain and recent star of The 39 Steps, Brian Herrmann.

Traci Bray (Costume Designer) is a first responder and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; she enjoys being able to experience life from all different angles. She began her costuming journey with Flashback last spring with The Book of Will. She enjoys helping tell stories through the textures and colors of fabric in the theater

C.J. Bloomer (Set Construction) fancies himself an ‘Art Mercenary’ and is involved in a plethora of creative endeavors including, but not limited to, Illustration, Graphic Design, Fiber Arts, Sculpture, Traditional Crafts, and most recent Set Design. The Book of Will utilizes a large swathe of his skills and talents, and he is very excited to share them with a live audience.

Josh West (Stage Manager) Uncle Vanya Marks Joshua West’s 3rd production with Flashback Theater. He has learned so much this past year and looks forward to continuing to grow with Flashback. He loves singing, songwriting, and being all around creative.

Shelby Holmes (Assistant Stage Manager) is a senior at Southwestern High School. She participates in choir, theater, and is interested in singing, piano, and art. She has been in several plays with Flashback including (her favorite), The Book of Will playing 3 characters, Miracle on 34th Street as an elf with a puppet, and her 2 Jr. cast plays; As You Like It, and American Parade. This is her first time doing any stage management and is excited to learn knew things about theater!

Gabriel Nicholson (Assistant Stage Manager) is 18 years old, a senior in high school, and a returning assistant stage manager here at Flashback. They stage managed the Junior production of Flashback’s The American Parade and were an ASM on The Thin Place. Now, they get to stage manage their favorite play: Uncle Vanya. Gabriel hopes to be a mainstay backstage and in Somerset’s art community.

Brian Herrmann (Assistant Director) is normally an actor, but this time he’s taken a step back from the stage to peek behind the curtain and get a better understanding of the art of theater! Previous Flashback credits include: The American Parade, As You Like It, and The 39 Steps.

Production Information
Uncle Vanya February 15-25, 2024
By Anton Chekhov
Adapted by Steve Cleberg – Stoner Theater
Directed by Steve Cleberg

When a retired professor brings his (much) younger wife home to the rural estate cared for by Uncle Vanya, he inadvertently sets off a series of bizarre love triangles that threaten the sanity of
every man involved. Deemed “the fi rst modernist play” for its unique form of ambiguity, Chekhov’s masterpiece explores the tragic and absurd humor of the wasted lives of the Russian
middle class.

Performance Dates and Times
Thursday, February 15, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, February 16, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 18, 2:30 p.m.
Friday, February 23, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 24, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 25, 2:30 p.m.

Ticket Information
Tickets can be purchased online at: or by calling the box office at (888) 394-3282, ext. 1.

Box office hours are Tuesday through Friday, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Season ticket holders will be contacted in the first week of ticket sales for each show to confirm the desired date of attendance. Seating will be assigned at the time of each show’s reservation.
Tickets for each production will be sent via email. Season tickets are $85 and include a seat at each of the season’s five productions.

Single ticket pricing for the 10th Season of Flashback productions will be:
Adults – $23 Advance, $25 Door
Students – $12 Advance, $15 Door
Seniors – $20 Advance and Door

Season Sponsors & Supporters
Flashback Theater is grateful to our 2023-24 Spotlight Sponsors: Applied Behavioral Advancements, M&W Printing, The Shubert Foundation, The City of Somerset, David Daring Rentals, and Fenix Digital; as well as our Footlight Sponsors: Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital & Lake Cumberland Residency Programs, First & Farmer’s National Bank, The Weigel Family, United Cumberland Bank, T. Ronald Kidd Trust, Kinetic by Windstream, Somerset Community
College, Toyotetsu America, Inc. (TTAI), Brad Bigelow of Century 21 Advantage Realty, and Buffalo Wings & Rings.

Uncle Vanya is presented with support from the show’s Title sponsor: Citizens National Bank. Additional support is provided by Walmart of Somerset, EHA CPAs, Alton Blakely Family of Dealerships, Kingsford Manufacturing, and By George Properties, as well as Design Sponsors
South Kentucky RECC, The Law Office of Martin L. Hatfield, and Protea