Brind School Presents Chekhov Classic 'The Seagull'

First Mainstage production of 2010-2011 season examines issues of love and art

October 5, 2010

The Ira Brind School of Theater Arts at the University of the Arts will present Anton Chekhov's classic drama "The Seagull" in a new English version by Tom Stoppard, October 8-10 and 14-16 at the Philadelphia Arts Bank Theater.

In a letter to a colleague, Chekhov describes "The Seagull" as a comedy with "a view of a lake, very little action, lots of talk of literature, and tons of love." A famous actress, Madame Arkadina, and her entourage have gathered at her brother's country estate. The guests include her son, Konstantin, an aspiring playwright, and a neighbor girl, Nina, who yearns for a life on the stage. During the course of the play, which spans several years, we witness the desperate extremes to which these two young artists are willing to go in pursuit of love and art. "It is a tale that will resonate powerfully with the young artists at the University of the Arts," observes Charles Gilbert, Director of the Brind School.

Rosey Hay, Adjunct Associate Professor in the Brind School, will direct. Hay's most recent directorial endeavors include "The Witch of Edmonton" for REV Theater Company and "Realm of the Unreal," a musical by Brind School alum Jamison Foreman produced by Parallax Theater Company as part of the 2009 Philadelphia Fringe Festival. For the Brind School, her previous directing credits include Lanford Wilson's "The Hot L Baltimore" and Tony Kushner's "A Bright Room Called Day."

The design team for "The Seagull" includes two seniors in the Brind School's Theater Design and Technology program: Evan Leigh (scenery) and Erin Kacmarcik (costumes). Design-Tech alum Mike Kilduff has designed the sound, and Brind School staff member Janet Embree is responsible for the lighting design. The production stage manager is Anne Halliday, a senior in the Brind School's Directing, Playwriting and Production program.

Musical Theater senior Meggie Siegrist plays the role of Madame Arkadina, while her son Konstantin is played by Acting senior Andrew Tardif. Nina, the young actress to whom Konstantin loses his heart, is played by senior Acting major Sarah Van Auken, and Musical Theater senior Lukas Poost plays Trigorin, the famous author with whom Nina begins an ill-fated romance. The cast also includes Nick Fragale, Ashlyn Stoner, Eric Wunsch, Amanda Kearns, Adam Hostler and Stefan Iseldyke, all upperclassmen in the Brind School's programs in Acting and Musical Theater.

"The Seagull" will be performed Friday, October 8 through Saturday, October 16, with performances at 8pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 2pm on Saturday and Sunday. The Philadelphia Arts Bank is located at 601 S. Broad Street (Broad and South Streets) on the Avenue of the Arts. General admission tickets are $5; tickets are free to members of the UArts community. Tickets can be purchased online at uarts.ticketleap.com

More information about the Brind School and its 2010-2011 season of productions can be found on the Now On Stage! page or on the Brind School Buzz blog.

Photo by Andrew Beal.

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