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La Jolla Playhouse Presents NEVA

Special Engagement


June 26 - 30

Written and Directed by Guillermo Calderón

English translation by Andrea Thome

A Co-production with Center Theatre Group and South Coast Repertory

Neva tells the story of Anton Chekhov's widow, the actress Olga Knipper, who arrives in a dimly lit rehearsal room in St. Petersburg in the winter of 1905. As Olga and two other actors await the rest of the cast, they huddle together, act out scenes from their lives and muse on their art form and love – while unseen striking workers are being gunned down in the streets by the Tsarist regime. Guillermo Calderón savagely examines the relationship between theater and historical context in this tightly crafted piece that allows a palpable terror to creep through the theatre walls.

Learn More About The Play

Famed Russian playwright Anton Chekov and leading actress of Constantin Stanislavski's legendary Moscow Art Theater Olga Knipper met in 1898 during rehearsals for his play, The Seagull. Initially collaborators, their relationship grew to encompass friendship, love and eventually marriage. Over the course of numerous lengthy separations that spanned five years, from 1899 until Chekov’s death in 1904, they kept their connection alive by writing letters to each other almost every day. Their devoted correspondence has been documented in the book, Dear Writer, Dear Actress: The Love Letters of Anton Chekov and Olga Knipper.

> Learn More

Chilean-born Guillermo Calderón came of age under the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, fueling his belief that theatre serves as more than just a window to political turmoil. Initially a television and stage actor, Calderón has found success as a director, screenwriter and playwright, winning prizes, critical acclaim, commissions and residencies since bringing NEVA to life in locations such as Colombia, France, Los Angeles and even the Chekov Festival in Moscow.

> Learn more about his life

Reviews for Guillermo Calderón's Neva

"...Culminates in a cascading monologue of revolutionary fervor that is, in its critique of bourgeoisie stage pretension, unlike anything I’ve experienced in the theatre."

– Los Angeles Times

"Best theatre experience of 2011"

– L.A. Weekly

"Life and art boundaries blur in fluid Neva"

> Read more from LA Times

Theodore and Adele Shank Theatre

Performance Times





General Admission

Theodore and Adele Shank Theatre A 99-seat theatre adjacent to the Mandell Weiss Forum.

There are no events associated with this special engagment

Meet the Playwright

Guillermo Calderón is a playwright and director based in Santiago, Chile. He graduated with a degree in Arts specializing in Acting from the Universidad de Chile and studied abroad at the Della'Arte School of Physical Theater in California and La Scuola Internazionale dell'Attore Comico in Italy. He also holds a Master of Liberal Arts with a specialization in Film from the City University of New York. His first play, Neva, won multiple awards, including Best Play of the Year in 2006 by the Art Critics Circle of Chile, three Altazor Awards in 2007, including Best Director and Best Playwright, and the 2008 Jose Nuez Martin Award given by the Facultad de Letras Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile. In 2008, he debuted his play Clase, which also won Best Play of the Year from the Art Critics Circle of Chile and was nominated as Best Playwright for the Atazor Awards. In 2008 he wrote December, which won the 2010 Bank of Scotland Angel Award (Edinburgh Fringe Festival). His latest works include the duo of Villa and Speech, which premiered at Chile's international "Santiago A Mil" festival and went on to run at the Memory Museum in Santiago and has been touring all over Europe. He premiered Beben (Quake) at the Schauspiel Düsseldorf/Germany in April and is currently working on a commission from the Royal Court. He also recently worked on the screenplay for Violeta (se fue a los cielos), Chile's 2012 entry for the Academy Awards in the Foreign Film category.