The Seagull  

by Anton Chekhov  


©T. Charles Erickson

Yale School of Drama

CAST: Josiah Bania, William Cobbs, Winston Duke, Christopher Henry, Sheria Irving, Charles Margossian, Brenda Meaney, Seamus Mucalhy, Jennifer Mulgrew, Alexander Roll, Jillian Taylor, Carmen Ziles

CREATIVE TEAM:  SET - Kristen Robinson COSTUMES - Maria Hooper  LIGHTS - Masha Tsimering  

SOUND and MUSIC - Keri Klik  PROJECTIONS - Paul Lieber STAGE MANAGER - Alyssa Howard  

DRAMATURG - Elliot B. Quick

As we are self-consciously in a theatrical space throughout, one could say the play takes place in a sort of Chekhov set of the mind, asking us to wonder what it is exactly that realist drama symbolizes.  And if that’s the sort of question that young, earnest and possibly deluded Kostya would ask, so be it. Which is another way of saying that the play feels like it’s very much in the mind of Kostya, that, as a would-be playwright wrestling with the need for “new forms,” he stands-in both as Chekhov’s and his director’s double.  […]When Nina reprises, at the end of the play, the grandiose speech from Kostya’s play that she delivers early in Part One, she suddenly renders the absurd lines with a passion that the intervening two years of hardship makes both poignant and transcendent.  And then we get the moment I can’t get out of my head, the moment of pure theater: Kostya’s long walk up that central aisle, followed by the rush of a descending curtain. Bam!
— Donald Brown, New Haven Advocate
What we need is new forms of theater!,” Konstantin says early on the play. Later, there’s talk of “a chaos of images and dreams” […] These things are actually achieved in Alexandru Mihail’s production of The Seagull, and it soars above the problematic staging of Chekhov’s Three Sisters at the Yale Rep just a few months ago. Faced with some of the same desires to let the script play out clearly and naturally yet allow for modern-day theatrical technology, Three Sisters kept the audience at a distance. The Seagull draws the crowd in and dazzles. [...] This is a balanced, centered and clearly spoken production, which are the easy stuff to take care of when doing Chekhov. Mihail does the tough stuff too, though. He makes things lively—when people fall ill or fall in love, they smack together. Walking sticks rattle on the ground. Chairs tumble over. The stage is messy, as befits such a scattered group of jealous and love-starved malcontents. […] Most stridently, the embittered Konstantin remains onstage for the entire performance, reacting to scenes he is not on and overhearing confidences he is not, in the script as written, privy to. This bold concept, works surprisingly well. […] Oh, and that overused idea of using the stage as the auditorium? Best use of that format I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen DOZENS of shows while seated on the UT stage.
— Christopher Arnott, New Haven Theatre Jerk