Venue Details

97 Star Starred
Raven Theatre East Stage
6157 North Clark St. Chicago, IL 60660
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3.6 / 5 Rated by 45 members
Review from Scott Cowan
Red Velvet 54 events 32 reviews

Another solid, well-staged, well-acted offering from the talented Raven Theater Company!

reviewed May 19 2007 report as inappropriate
Review from Stephanie Leopold
25 events 13 reviews

I thought this play had a lot of room to improve. There was a lot going on and in the end, there was so much to tie up. Not only that, but also I felt like in the 2nd act, they were spending a great deal of time on the details that didn't...continued

reviewed May 19 2007 report as inappropriate
Review from Peripleko
10 events 5 reviews

The play was amazing. I can say, it was the best play I have seen in quite some time. Melissa Nedell who plays Masha was amazing. Both my friend and I thought that she got into her role very well. Melissa's facial expressions are so realistic...continued

reviewed Mar 21 2007 report as inappropriate
View All 6 Reviews
More Information


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.  

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