Anton’s Chekhov’s The Seagull





Anton’s Chekhov’s The Seagull

The play, The Seagull, is among the most notable theatrical compositions created by Russian playwright, Anton Chekhov. Written and produced in 1895 and 1896 respectively, the play has undergone numerous adaptations in English due to the nature of the initial language. However, the performance, despite its many adaptations, has proved to be interesting and captivating among different audiences. The manner in which the characters exhibit diversity and focus slightly on imperative social themes such as self-evaluation, the meaning of life and an artist’s responsibility in life and love, appeals most to any person witnessing the play. In this case, the analysis will focus on the play’s version in Boston’s Avenue of the Arts. The performance, which started on March 6, 2014, starred Kate Burton and other members of the Huntington Theatre performing group. With respect to this performance, the evaluation will discuss key aspects such as its technical aspects, acting and its direction.

Accomplishing the atmosphere of the performance was very important in order to influence exceptional acting from Chekhov’s characters. The setting attempts to establish a surrounding that illustrates the social life of Russia in the late 19th century. The lighting, in this respect, was one of the resonant facets of the play. Coupled with a realistic set, the lighting effects worked to the advantage of the play and the cast respectively based on presentation. Additionally, the play had two sets. The transition during the performance took place during intermission. During the play’s first half, the set was practical and thorough. On stage, it was possible to view plentiful quantities of wonderful, large and elegant birch trees. There was also a diminutive, wooden stage, which was full with an aerial beam and bare curtain on the site’s center. Furthermore, rows of stilted benches were placed in front at the time of Konstantin’s performance.

Still on the first set, shapes of branches outlined the performance area’s top, which also highlighted a hanged glowing moon behind the stage of the mentioned character. Adding on, the glowing moon slowly ascended during the act. The lighting also differentiated between day and night by changing from red during the show’s beginning to blue during the night after transition. There was also evidence of light streaks downstage. The purpose of this was to portray sunlight between the props of trees during daytime. While representing the night, the beams altered in order to represent moonlight after the transition. The changes in lighting took place via different cues. The second set showed a stage placed within a massive room with historic and detailed furnishings. Lighting was also important in this set, especially in highlighting some of the room’s captivating features. For instance, a seagull based on the room’s top comprised one of the viable lighting fixtures within the set. Furthermore, the high walls seemed to be flaking and faded at the top in order to emphasize on a 1890s setting.

The actors were very convincing in the way that they adopted the play’s specific roles. Kate Burton, as Irina Nikolayevna Arkadina, provides a competent depiction of a domineering yet susceptible woman. Auden Thornton, who plays Nina Mikhailovna Zarechnaya appeals to the audience emotionally based on the way she exhibits her emotions and innocence. Meredith, who portrays Masha, amuses the spectators based on the way she adapts to her role effectively irrespective of her hard-heartedness. However, Konstantin’s representative, Morgan Ritchie underplayed the role. His level of acting failed to meet the standards of the other actors, especially Kate Burton who performed her role exceptionally in her portrayal of Irina. With respect to Morgan Ritchie, the audience found it difficult to believe due to his vocal strain and limited movement. Assuming Konstantin’s character, Ritchie expressed minimal vocal emotions. Moreover, his genetic relationship with Kate Burton further restricted him from taking the role fully. Furthermore, the cooperation amidst the actors worked beneficially due to the way they followed the directions of the performance.

Accordingly, the stage had an adequate equilibrium. Based on the swift transition between day and night, the actors had equal time in portraying their roles perfectly without hindrance. Furthermore, the separation of the performance into two sets balanced the performance area efficiently. In relation to the entire adaptation, this respective performance lived up to the expectations of the former play. Apart from slight modifications such as emphasis on the room, the production ensured that each actor, regardless of their role, guaranteed success in adapting the initial performance. Consequently, the director concept regarding the play was true. Indeed, the performance focused on highlighting the notion of unrequited love, which was rather evident especially among main characters such as Nina and Trigorin.  Due to its dependence on the original play, none of the production elements was confusing.

In conclusion, the performance at Avenue of Arts in Boston was successful. The cast was marvelous with respect to the way it assumed the character roles considerably. In addition, the setting, costumes (which depicted early 19th century Europe) and props played an important role in balancing the performance by focusing on all ten characters. Nonetheless, while the audience’s initial reaction was resentful towards increased tonal and mood variations within the play, I found the whole performance to be enchanting, witty and interesting. 

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