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The Seagull Sep 13, 1989

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 Frederic Wood Theatre
THE
SEAGULL Let your
imagination
take flight
We have books to nourish your wisdom.
Computers to manifest your intelligence.
Gifts to express your kindest thought.
Pens and paper enough to fill volumes.
Visit the UBC Bookstore and
give your mind the room to move.
WO BOOKSTORE
6200 University Boulevard • 228-4741
Hours: Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri. 8:30 am-5:00 pm
Wed. 8:30 am-8:30 pm  Sat. 9:30 am-5:00 pm
Computer Shop: Mon.-Fri. 8:30 am-5:00 pm
University of British Columbia
Frederic Wood Theatre
presents
The Seagull
By
Anton Chekhov
Directed By
Charles Siegel
September 13-23
1989 17 January
1860
Chekhov's life
Anton Chekhov is born in Taganrog in southern
Russia, the son of a grocer and the grandson of a
former serf.
1869-79      Attends Taganrog High School.
1879-92      Lives in Moscow, obtaining his medical degree at
the University in 1884. After publishing many
humorous short stories to support His family, he
gradually turns to more serious writing while
practising occasionally as a doctor. By 1888 he is
contributing stories to the literary monthlies: a
sign that he is now accepted as a major author.
1890      Visits the penal settlement on the island of
Sakhalin, beyond eastern Siberia. Returns by sea
via Hong Kong and Ceylon.
1892      Buys an estate near the village of Melikhovo, south
of Moscow, and lives there until 1898: his greatest
period of creativity as a short story writer.
Chekhov's plays
1880-1
Platonov
1887-9
Ivanov
889-90
The Wood-Demon
1896
The Seagull
1897
Uncle Vanya
1900-1
Three Sisters
1903-4
The Cherry Orchard
1898      Chekhov moves to the Crimean resort of Yalta for
health reasons, having suffered from tuberculosis
for some years.
1901      Chekhov marries the actress Olga Knipper.
1904      Chekhov dies (aged 44) on a visit to the
German spa Badenweiler.
Chekhov also wrote ten short plays, of which
The Bear (1888), The Proposal (1888-9) and
The Wedding (1889-90) are the best known. A Note
on
THE SEAGULL
Anton Chekhov was jovial as he announced his new play, promising an unusual opening and a subdued ending which would enclose "tons of love": a curious description for a subtle, lyrical play
involved with such issues as talent and mediocrity, an obsession
with art, and exhibiting an abiding concern with the intimate relations of its characters.
The incongruity that gives birth to comedy can be used as a
foundation to explain Chekhov's puzzling concept of comedy. In
The Seagull: A Comedy in Four Acts such incongruity is caused by
change that has condemned the old forms of life but failed to introduce the new ones. The resulting lack of harmony has comical as
well as tragic potential. Chekhov's own view tended towards the
comical interpretation, even though we may view his works best as
tragicomic. Consequently, it is the hapless Treplev who calls for
"new forms": "We've got to have new forms. And if there aren't
any, then we'd be better off to have nothing at all." With this
statement Treplev unwittingly condemns himself as well, becoming
swallowed by nothingness, after failing to produce the new forms
in his own writings.
Much of the puzzling quality of Chekhov's approach to theatre is
due to his conscious subversion of those conventions of Russian
drama that he found so intolerable: the predictable plotting and
moralizing, the condescending attitude. That some hundred years
later so many find his plays of great interest and expressing timeless insights may not only be a testimonial to his greatness, but also
an alarming sign of the mediocrity of our own culture.
The Seagull does introduce the newness, the very "new forms"
that Treplev hankered after into world drama. Some critics speak
of his "democratic theatre", others about his "indirect action",
and there is a general agreement on the peculiar Chekhovian
"mood", a quality responsible for the abiding interest and love for
his plays, irrespective of time and country. Nowhere are these
characteristics in as much evidence as in The Seagull, the first of
his four great plays, giving us the essence of Chekhov the playwright.
Peter Petro
Peter Petro is an Associate Professor in the Department of Slavonic Studies
at UBC. THE SEAGULL
by
Anton Chekhov
Directed by Charles Siegel
Set Design by Catherine King
Costume Design By Pearl Bellesen
Lighting Design by Robert Gardiner
Sound Design by Darryll Patterson
CAST
IRINA Nikoleyevna Arkadina,
an actress  Lois Anderson
KONSTANTIN Treplev (Kostya),
her son  David Mackay
Peter Nikolayevitch SORIN,
her brother  John Wright*
NINA Zaryechnaia, a young girl,
daughter of a wealthy land-owner Kathleen Duborg
Ilya SHAMRAYEV, a retired army
lieutenant, manager of Sorin's estate Michael O'Donnell
POLINA, his wife  Eliza Green-Moncur
MASHA, his daughter Lisa Beley
Boris Alekseyevich TRIGORIN,
a writer Rod Menzies
Yevgeny DORN, a doctor  Roger Haskett
Semyon MEDVEDENKO Bill Melathopolous
PRODUCTION
Technical Director  Ian Pratt
Stage Manager  Lisa Roy
Properties  Sherry Milne
Lighting Assistant  Corin Gutteridge
Head Scenic Artist  Catherine King
Lighting Operator   Lorraine West
Stage Crew   Students of Th 150
Costume Supervisor   Rosemary Moore
Set Construction   Don Griffiths
John Henrickson
Robert Moser
Costume Cutter   J. Driscoll-Bell
Sewer  Heather Smith
Production Manager   Robert Eberle
$$$$$
The action takes place on Sorin's country estate. Between Act III and
Act IV two years pass.
There will be one 15 minute intermission.
* Appearing by permission of the Canadian Actors' Equity Association
Acknowledgements
Heather Kent
Robert Gardiner
Cissors
Tabikoff CHEKHOV
on
The Art of Writing
In real life people do not spend every minute shooting each other, hanging themselves or declaring their love for each other. They don't devote all
their time trying to say witty things. Rather they are engaged in eating,
drinking, flirting and talking about trivialities-and this is what should be
happening on stage. One ought to write a play in which people come and
go, eat, talk about the weather and play cards. Life should be exactly as it
is, and people exactly as they are. On stage everything should be just as
complicated and just as simple as in real life.
***
Too many playwrights fill their plays with angels, villains, and buffoons. I wanted to be original; I have not introduced a single villain, nor a
single angel, although I could not refuse myself buffoons. I accuse nobody, justify nobody.
You are right to demand that an author take a conscious stock of what
he is doing, but you are confusing two concepts: answering the questions
and formulating them correctly. Only the latter is required of an author. It
is the duty of the court to formulate the questions correctly, but it is up to
each member of the jury to answer them according to his own preference.
***
MAXIM GORKY
on
Remembering Chekhov
He had the art of revealing and driving away banality, an art which is
possible only to a man who demands much from life. Banality always
found in him a discerning and merciless judge.
***
Reading Chekhov, one feels oneself in a melancholy day of late autumn, when the air is transparent and the outline of naked trees, narrow
houses, grayish people, is sharp. Everything is strange, lonely, motionless, helpless. The horizon, blue and empty, melts into the pale sky and
its breath is terribly cold upon the earth which is covered with frozen
mud. The author's mind, like the autumn sun, shows up in hard outline
the monotonous roads, the crooked streets, the large estates in which
these miserable people are stifled by boredom and laziness, filling the
rooms with an unintelligible, drowsy bustle.
No one understood as clearly and finely as Anton Chekhov the
tragedy of life's trivialities, no one before him showed men with such
merciless truth the terrible and shameful picture of their life in the dim
chaos of everyday existence.
**#
Maxim Gorky (1868-1936), friend and colleague of Chekhov, was to become the Soviet
Union s leading writer after 1917. !>3
so'
a v-
Costume Design for Arkadina (Act III)
by
Pearl Bellesen Frederic Wood Theatre
Coming Attractions
BLOODY
POETRY
by HOWARD BRENTON
October 18-28
Directed by Gerald Vanderwoude
SHE STOOPS
TO CONQUER
by OLIVER GOLDSMITH
November 15-25
Directed by Kevin Orr
SWEENEY
TODD
Music and Lyrics by
STEPHEN SONDHEIM
Book by HUGH WHEELER
January 17 - February 3
Directed by French Tickner
HERR PUNTILA
AND HIS
SERVANT MATTI
by BERTOLT BRECHT
March 7-17
Directed by Arne Zaslove
BOX OFFICE
228-2678
Department of Theatre
The University of British Columbia
Vancouver, B.C.. V6T 1W5

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