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Old 11-09-2007, 05:05 PM   #1
Mrs. Funk
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Default Chekhov's "The Seagull"

Funk got free tickets for us to go see the play "The Seagull" by Chekhov but I know almost nothing about it. I'm pretty sure I read one of this plays in my undergraduate work called "The Dumbwaiter," an absurdist play with random toilet flushing sounds in the background and each character's dialogue seemingly unrelated to the other characters.

Anyway, does anybody know anything about it? Have I just signed myself up for an evening of absurdity?
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Old 11-09-2007, 05:13 PM   #2
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Here's some stuff, it's about the shooting of a Seagull was all I remembered, but here goes:

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Chekhov wrote four major plays, Ivanov,The Seagull,Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard. He wrote The Seagull in 1895. It was first performed in 1896 in Petersburg. The first performance was viewed as a failure since it generated the disappointment of the audience who had come to see the play as it was falsely advertised, as a benefit performance for a well-known actress who was only in a sketch after the play. After that performance, The Seagull was well-received and immediately toured the Russian provinces. On May 25th, 1901, Chekhov married an actress, Olga Knipper who starred in his plays at the Moscow Art Theatre. He became known for his collaborations and differences with Konstantin Stanislavski, the famous Russian director and acting teacher. His plays marked a new movement in the theatre with their use of subtext, intimacy, colloquialisms and realism. His comedy-tragedies were unlike any plays that audiences had seen before because they made drama out of everyday circumstances, such as love and longing, instead of portraying the grand gestures of heroes and heroines of earlier plays.
Three years later, Chekhov's health faded rapidly, but he managed to complete his last play, The Cherry Orchard, before he died. It was performed for the first time on his birthday in 1904. On July two that year, Chekhov died in a German spa that was unequipped to care for his illness. He and Olga had traveled there because it was recommended for his health. According to his wife, Chekhov, (a doctor himself), diagnosed his own condition and told the doctor he was dying. The doctor sent for champagne, and then Chekov said, "I haven't drunk champagne in a long time," drank some sips of champagne, turned over on his side and died. His body was returned back to Russia in a train car labeled, "Fresh Oysters," a comic detail Chekhov probably would've enjoyed in the somber context of his death.
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Old 11-09-2007, 05:17 PM   #3
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I love the story The Lady with the Pet Dog. Just re-read it the other day.
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Old 11-09-2007, 05:24 PM   #4
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Well, at least Chekhov got to die drinking, right?
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Old 11-09-2007, 05:40 PM   #5
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I have not seen the Seagull. I have seen the Chery Orchard a couple of times and love it. I recall seeing it for the first time when I was about 12 at what was then (and may still be) the Pioneer Memorial Theater at the U of U. I was very moved by the production. Go with an open mind and I am confident that you will like it.
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Old 11-09-2007, 10:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creekster View Post
I have not seen the Seagull. I have seen the Chery Orchard a couple of times and love it. I recall seeing it for the first time when I was about 12 at what was then (and may still be) the Pioneer Memorial Theater at the U of U. I was very moved by the production. Go with an open mind and I am confident that you will like it.
Thanks for the heads up. I'm excited to go. Chekhov's a little out there, but undeniably fascinating stuff. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old 11-10-2007, 05:46 AM   #7
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Default The play was brilliant

I loved it. Of course, nobody was happy and somebody had to die, but it's theatre! There were obvious Hamlet comparisons throughout. The guy who commits suicide is broody and melancholic and wants to produce fabulous, "new forms" writing... There's even a play within the play, like in Hamlet. Oh, and a ridiculous mother having an affair of sorts. Yet the whole thing was settled in the turn-of-the-century setting, with a wannabe Bohemian. Fascinating, fascinating play.
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