News & Information

Chekhov masterwork at Sac State

10-19-2011




Life, love, betrayal – Anton Chekhov tackles them all in The Seagull, the first of his four masterworks, at Sacramento State’s Playwrights’ Theatre.

Performances will be at 8 p.m. Nov. 9, 10, 12, 18 and 19; 2 p.m. Nov. 13 and 20; and 6:30 p.m. Nov. 16 and 17.

The Seagull
The cast of "The Seagull."
The play, set in the 1890s, is directed by Professor Michelle Felten and centers on a young writer, Konstantin Gavrilovich Treplev, who desires love and respect from his egocentric actress mother and her self-absorbed novelist lover. Konstantin is also jilted by his own lover, who wishes to follow the whims of the novelist.

While the play is serious in tone, Chekhov considered it a comedy, says Felten. “Chekhov blends argument with romance, philosophy with jokiness and laughter with tears, opening our eyes and ears to our own human ambiguity in the face of love,” she says.

Sac State senior John Young plays the novelist, Boris Alexeyevich Trigorin. “He’s educated, and he seems very intelligent, but he’s also a little quirky and a little selfish, but it’s not something he recognizes,” Young says of his character.

The actors have gone through considerable preparation for their roles, not only developing pasts for them but also researching the time period for its manners, politics and culture.

“I’ll be preparing for this character up until opening night,” Young says. “And I’ll probably think of some things after closing I could have used because a character is immensely complicated.”

“Chekhov’s works remain relevant today because they represent a style of theater that serves as the foundation of naturalistic acting,” Felten says. “Although the characters’ personal victories are few and far between, they never stop reaching for their goals, and this is their glory.”

Costs for the 6:30 p.m. performances are $8 general, and $5 for children under 12. All other performances are $12 general, $10 for students and seniors, and $8 for children.

For more information, visit www.csus.edu/dram or call (916) 278-6368. For media assistance, call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.

– Craig Koscho
ckoscho@csus.edu