Chekhov's The Sea Gull: A Dark Comedic Masterpiece
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The last date listed for The Sea Gull was Sunday May 27, 2007 / 3:00pm.
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Set in rural Ireland, John M. Synge's The Playboy of the Western World follows a young man who swaggers into a small pub, telling grand tales and boasting of dark deeds. Instead of condemning him, the local men and ladies admire him. Not all is as it seems, however, and when the young stranger meets his match in a feisty, beautiful barmaid, there's an unexpected twist in the tale that threatens his moment in the spotlight. This dark, comedic masterpiece still packs the same punch as when it was originally produced at Dublin's Abbey Theatre in 1907. Learn More
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Raven Theatre presents The Sea Gull by Anton Chekhov in a translation by Jean-Claude van Itallie, directed by Michael Menendian.
Menendian says he chose Jean-Claude van Itallie’s translation because he finds it “easily accessible to modern audiences, while remaining true to the spirit of Chekhov’s intentions.”
Van Itallie began writing plays off-Broadway in the sixties; his translations of Chekhov’s four major plays were published in the seventies. One of the original ‘LaMama playwrights,’ he has taught playwriting and performance at Princeton, NYU, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and many other colleges. Tony Kushner has referred to van Itallie as his “only” playwriting teacher.
Director and Co-Set Designer Michael Menendian is a co-founding member of Raven Theatre, where he has simultaneously directed and set designed many productions, earning several Joseph Jefferson and After Dark awards. His productions include American Buffalo, A Few Good Men, Dancing at Lughnasa, Golden Boy, Marvin’s Room, A Streetcar Named Desire, A View from the Bridge, You Can’t Take It with You, Glengarry Glen Ross, and many others.
The cast includes many Raven regulars, some who have been with the company for years: JoAnn Montemurro (Arkadina), a founding member, current ensemble member, director, costume designer and frequent actor at Raven; Tom Bateman (Treplyev) in his Raven debut, best known for his role as Franz Kafka in the acclaimed Amerikafka at Trap Door; Tom Porter (Sorin), a founding member and frequent performer at Raven; After Dark Award winner Cora Vander Broek (Nina), recently cited as one of “five new names… worth watching” by Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune; Bill Mages (Shamrayev), who has been performing with Raven for eleven years, Millicent Hurley-Spencer (Paulina), who won Jeff and After Dark Awards for her performance in Dancing at Lughnasa at Raven, and who also has appeared with Next, Timeline, About Face, and others; Melissa Nedell (Masha), seen in three prior Raven shows, as well as with Collaboraction and Steppenwolf; Paul Dunckel (Trigorin), a resident ensemble member at Piven who recently appeared in Raven’s A Few Good Men; ensemble member Chuck Spencer (Dorn), who has appeared in over a dozen Raven shows and co-authored two of their children’s plays; Greg Caldwell (Medvedyenko), who has appeared in eight Raven productions; Carmen Aiello (Yakov), who has worked with Raven, The Hypocrites, Strawdog, Next, and many others; and Esther McCormick (Cook/Maid), an ensemble member in her twenty-first year with Raven.
In addition to Menendian, the design team includes: Jessica Benardello (Lights), who has worked with Stage Left, Dog & Pony, Piven, and A Reasonable Facsimile Theatre Co.; Liz M. Schroeder (Costumes), who has worked with The Artistic Home and Congo Square, and was the Lead Costumer for Gay Games VII at Soldier Field; Leif Olson (Original Score and Co-Set Design), a Raven ensemble member who has acted, design sets, and composed for the company, receiving two Jeff Nominations and an After Dark award for his music; and Peter Storms (Sound), who has worked with Circle, Emerald City, TimeLine, Bailiwick, and many others.