Sunday, June 04, 2017

The Instigators Present "The Seagull" by Anton Chekhov - At Access Theater Through June 18th

I love Chekhov, and I particularly enjoy his classic tragedy, "The Seagull." So I was more than happy to make the trek up to the 4th floor to the Access Theater at Broadway at White Street in TriBeCa to see this new showcase production by The Instigators. This production is directed by Lillian Meredith. She keeps the pace brisk, and she elicits acting from this fine troupe that is compelling. This version of the play has been adapted by Fergus Scully and Taylor Petracek, with original music by Sylvana Joyce. Set Design is by Chika Shimizu, Costumes by Lisa Renee Jordan, and Lighting by Caitlin Smith Rapaport.

While "The Seagull" is a true ensemble piece, the success of this play often falls on the shoulders of the actors who portray four main characters:
  • Irina Arkadina (Kristen Vaughan), a fading actress who returns for a brief visit to a country estate with her young lover, Trigorin, in tow. 
  • Her troubled playwright son, Konstantin (Taylor Petracek)
  • Her young lover, the writer Trigorin (Fergus Scully)
  • Nina (Jeanette Dilone), the ingenue who is loved by Konstantin and by Trigorin
Kristen Vaughan as Arkadina
Taylor Petracek as Konstantin
"The Seagull" by Anton Chekhov
Presented by The Instigators
In Association with Access Theater
Through June 18th
Photo by Lisa Renee Jordan

Each of these actors creates a character who is true to the spirit of Chekhov - passionate, troubled, and disconnected in some way from others, from the world, and from themselves. They are well supported by the rest of the ensemble of Emmanuel Elpenord as Medvedenko, Siena D'Addario as Masha, Kazuhiro Imafuku as Yakov, Roger Rathburn as Sorin, Todd Licea as Dorn, Deborah Unger as Paulina, and Peter Feliz as Shamrayev.

The Instigators are an organization that embraces ". . . the belief that cathartic storytelling cleanses the soul and stirs our humanity, helping us to recognize ourselves in others and make a little more sense of the world around us." In this production of Chekhov's first masterpiece, they succeed in providing such catharsis. This is a production filled with passion and pathos. At one point, Mr. Petracek, as a distraught Konstantin, throws open the window and screams out into the night, his cries of despair winging their way downward like a wounded seagull to the intersection of Broadway and White Streets below. This moment is emblematic of the ethos of this young company.

Chekhov's insights into the human condition remain timeless and relevant to 21st century human beings. This adaptation invites us to revisit this familiar work with fresh eyes. The  play will run through June 18th, and is worth a trip down to TriBECa.

Eventbrite Link for Tickets



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