THE SEAGULL TAKES FLIGHT IN 2008

Kanata Theatre kicks off the New Year with The Seagull by Anton Chekhov.

Why perform a play by a dead Russian who breathed his last more than a century ago?

In his short 44 years of life (1860 to 1904) Chekhov became one of the most important figures in world literature. The grandson of a serf, the son of a failed grocer, the young Chekhov worked his way through medical school and supported his siblings and parents from the profit of his pen.

Although he practiced medicine throughout his life, his main income came always from the torrent of short stories and plays he wrote right up until his death. Chekhov was notoriously poor at the business side of his medical practice. He needed the revenue from his writing to subsidize many services performed without fee for the less fortunate. The short stories have remained the standard for short story writers ever since. They and the plays have given us an invaluable picture of the life of ordinary Russians in the dying years of the Tsarist regime.

Anton Chekhov gave the world more than 600 short stories, ten one act farces, and seven full length plays of which the last four rank with the world’s greatest works for stage. The Seagull, the first of these four, changed forever the way we look at theatre. Tennessee Williams once referred to The Seagull as “the greatest modern play.” Chekhov broke from the melodramatic conventions of the 19th century to give us plays of mood and feeling, without heroes or villains, some would say without plot, although plot is never far from the surface.

The Seagull is concerned with the meaning of love and the meaning of art. In the play’s chain of “hopeless” attachments Chekhov shows us something quite different from romantic love. And in the characters at the centre of the play he shows us how serious actors and writers can differ in their approach to their art.

Chekhov saw The Seagull as a “comedy”, a characterization some have found difficult to accept, possibly because his deft touch has often been buried beneath ponderous translations. Kanata Theatre will be performing a new translation of The Seagull by Tom Stoppard. As well as being one of the foremost English playwrights, Stoppard is a skilled adapter of the plays of central and eastern Europe. His text, consciously designed for the actor, has a natural feel that allows Chekhov’s genius to shine through.

Chekhov the physician was unable to cure the tuberculosis that claimed his life at the age of 44 just as his skill as a playwright came to full flower.

Kanata Theatre’s production of The Seagull is its first of a Chekhov play. The company is sparing no effort. Dozens of people have been working for months on all aspects of the show. Ian Carlisle designed and supervised the construction of the sets. Eufron Williams and Mary Holmes are in charge of costumes. Paul Gardner is the lighting designer and Martin Weeden designed the sound. The production managers are Julie Clayton and Tatiana Naumov , and Anne Marie Smith is stage manager. Each of these “department heads” is assisted by teams of individuals too numerous to mention.

The Seagull directed by Jim Holmes, runs in the Ron Maslin Playhouse, 1 Ron Maslin Way, Kanata, Tuesday to Saturday February 5 to 16. There are no performances Sundays and Mondays. The Playhouse is fully accessible and there is ample free parking. Curtain is at 8 pm sharp. Tickets are $15. The box office number is 831 4435. You may obtain more information at www.kanatatheatre.com
 

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Kanata Theatre Presents The Seagull

Written by Clare Flockton

Kanata Theatre has decided to ring in the new year with an interesting play where the themes of jealousy, ambition, greed and hopelessness are intertwined within its rich text. The play is none other than Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull translated by Tom Stoppard and directed by Kanata Theatre’s Jim Holmes.

The play is set in the beautiful Russian countryside towards the end of the 19th century; on the estate of a former councillor named Peter Sorin, played by Barry Caiger. Within this lovely countryside, heart ache and unrequited love run amok. We have dowdy Masha (played by Andrea Massoud) in love with the struggling artist Konstantin (played by Keenan Viau), who actually is in love with the fame seeking Nina (played by Katie Ryerson), who in turn is in love with the handsome novelist Trigorin (played by Dean Adema), who himself is in love with the self absorbed credited actress Arkadina (played by Bev Brooks) who really is unable of loving anyone but herself. It is a messy net of infatuation and rejected love. Once a sea gull is shot everything starts to unravel and chaos commences.

This is a play about a very common human propensity to want love from someone who is unable to give it. These flawed characters are caught in a catastrophic net of love that arouses both humour and sadness from the audience. There is the wish that time will heal the hurt these characters feel but ultimately time just robs them of their hope and their beauty.

This play is considered to be a tragic comedy because it so successfully shows both sides of the human condition.

Don’t miss your chance to see this emotionally charged play. The Seagull runs from February 5th until February 16th with black out days on Sunday and Monday. Tickets will be $15.00 and curtain is at 8pm sharp. Box office opens Jan 22nd at the Ron Maslin Playhouse, 1 Ron Maslin Way just off Terry Fox Drive. Box-office hours are 5pm-7pm Monday till Friday, 10am – noon on Saturdays. For more information call the box office at 831-4435 or visit our web site at www.kanatatheatre.com
 

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Chaos ensues with Shooting of Seagull

by Clare Flockton

The themes of jealousy, ambition, greed and hopelessness will come to a head in Kanata Theatre's newest production based on Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull translated by Tom Stoppard and directed by Kanata Theatre’s Jim Holmes.

The play is set in the beautiful Russian countryside, towards the end of the 19th century; on the estate of a former councillor named Peter Sorin, played by Barry Caiger. Within this lovely countryside, heart ache and unrequited love run amok.

We have dowdy Masha (played by Andrea Massoud) in love with the struggling artist Konstantin (Keenan Viau), who actually is in love with the fame seeking Nina (Katie Ryerson), who in turn is in love with the handsome novelist Trigorin (Dean Adema), who himself is in love with the self absorbed actress Arkadina (Bev Brooks) who really is incapable of loving anyone but herself.

It is a messy net of infatuation and rejected love. Once a seagull is shot everything starts to unravel and chaos ensues.

This is a play about a very common human propensity to want love from someone who is unable to give it. These flawed characters are caught in a catastrophic net of love that arouses both humour and sadness from the audience. There is the wish that time will heal the hurt these characters feel but ultimately time just robs them of their hope and their beauty.

This play is considered to be a tragic comedy because it so successfully shows both sides of the human condition.

The Seagull runs from February 5th until February 16th with black out days on Sunday and Monday.

Tickets will be $15.00 and curtain is at 8pm sharp. The box office at the Ron Maslin Playhouse opens Jan 22nd and runs Monday to Friday , 5pm-7pm and Saturday, 10am to noon.

For more information call the box office at 831-4435 or visit  www.kanatatheatre.com
 

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