WHAT Here's your chance to get right on stage with Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya." And you don't even have to memorize any lines. Directed by Steve Hamilton, Bay Street Theatre co-founder emeritus who teaches acting in Stony Brook Southampton's masters program, "Uncle Vanya" is considered the first modernist play. Among the themes that make "Vanya" (Russian, circa 1897) so current, Hamilton says, is "sustainability." Dr. Astrov, who Hamilton portrays in this East Hampton production, "is always going on about deforestation. But besides the environment, the way the characters deal with their frustrations and desires is very now." Hamilton says his idea of putting the audience onstage with the actors and set at Guild Hall's John Drew Theater is inspired by the film "Vanya at 42nd Street," starring Wallace Shawn. In an interview, Shawn complained about stage actors forced to shout their lines in the most intimate scenes. "By staging it this way," Hamilton says, "we don't have to project beyond the proscenium. We're only concerned with emotional authenticity." In 2006, Hamilton presented "Art" with an onstage audience at the Drew.
WHEN | WHERE Thursday-Saturday nights at 8, Sunday at 7 p.m. through May 20 at Guild Hall's John Drew Theater, 158 Main St., East Hampton
INFO 631-324-4050, guildhall.org
OPERA: 'La Traviata' at Tilles
WHAT Manhattan's Dicapo Opera Theatre -- the little company with the big voices -- presents Verdi's immortal love tragedy "La Traviata" at Tilles Center. The traditionally staged production -- including full orchestra -- is sung in Italian with English supertitles. The company, which presented Puccini's "Tosca" earlier this season, was co-founded by Michael Capasso, a Great Neck native and a lifelong opera lover. "La Traviata" features soprano Anna Noggle in the role of Violetta.
WHEN | WHERE Saturday night at 8, Tilles Center, LIU Post, Brookville
INFO 516-299-3100, tillescenter.org
PLUS: LI Flute Club spring recital
The Long Island Flute Club presents its annual spring recital featuring Judith Mendenhall, principal flutist for the American Ballet Theatre Orchestra, in the elegant Red Ballroom at Old Westbury Gardens, 2 p.m. Sunday; 516-333-0048, oldwestburygardens.org; free with gardens admission ($5-10).
ART: 'The Hand-Made Photograph'
WHAT Christopher James, writer, artist, photographer and teacher, juried the "The Hand-Made Photograph" exhibit opening Saturday at Mills Pond House Gallery. James, whose works have been shown at MoMA, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the George Eastman House in Rochester, selected images reflecting an artistic process that makes each photo a one-of-a-kind print.
WHEN | WHERE Opening reception: 2-4 p.m. Saturday. Gallery hours: noon-4 p.m. weekends, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays, through June 1 at Mills Pond House, 660 Rte. 25A, St. James
INFO 631-862-6575, stacarts.org