Mercyhurst's Taylor Little Theatre Offers Up Chekhov's The Seagull
Play captures the purgatory of the creative
PREMIERING THURSDAY, JAN. 25
Opening night for Anton Chekhov's The Seagull was a disaster; one of the lead actresses was so threatened by the antagonistic tenor of the crowd that she lost her voice, and Chekhov left the audience and sat behind the stage for the latter two acts, so convinced that he had produced "a collapse such as [he] had never dreamed of!"
Yet the play would go on to become a triumph, one of the most popular plays ever performed (and adapted for the screen) and considered one of his very best works.
So it is with great pleasure that the Mercyhurst Theater Program brings The Seagull to its Taylor Little Theatre stage, with a new translation by Jean-Claude van Itallie, under the direction of Dr. Brett D. Johnson (who is also the director of the theater program).
Set in the country estate of Pyotr Nikolayevich Sorin — artists, creatives, and others tied to the estate spend the summer months interacting, falling in love, hoping for the future, and learning disappointment. Dr. Johnson reflects, "Like the seagull, which belongs neither to land nor sea, the characters in Chekhov's play are trapped in a sort of purgatory; they're holding onto — and haunted by — the lives they didn't live, the choices they didn't make."
"The young writer, Treplyev," Johnson continues, "attempts to shake them into life in order to heal their broken hearts and consequently, his own."
The cast for this classic play includes Tori St. John-Gilbert, Braden Rosciszewski, Ben Vacca, Abby Craig, Eric Page, Nicole French, Ali Forsythe, John Carroll, Mason Reynolds, Michael Harper, and Maya Post, while the creative team includes scenic designer Tucker Topel, lighting designer Madeleine Steineck, production stage manager Bridget Gedeon, and assistant stage managers Kate Bentley and Maya Dildine.
Thursday, Jan. 25 through Saturday, Jan. 27 at 7:30 p.m. // Sunday, Jan. 28 at 2 p.m. // Taylor Little Theatre, 501 E. 38th St. // $5-$15 // Tickets and info: miac.mercyhurst.edu