The Revolutionary Case of The Seagull

by:  Sebastián Bravo Montenegro at 02/26/2014

When the first production of The Seagull premiered at the Alexandrinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg in 1896, it was an unqualified disaster. So much so that Chekhov wrote to his publisher telling him: "Stop the printing of the plays. I shall never forget yesterday evening. I am not going to produce the play in Moscow. I shall never either write plays or have them acted."

The performance was part of a benefit for Elizaveta Levkeeva who, Chekhov translator Laurence Senelick writes, "was a comedienne who specialized in outspoken old maids and dowagers." The audience, Senelick continues, composed mainly of "rowdy workers, about ten literary figures, and a dozen Chekhov fans," was expecting a farce. When they did not get one, they booed and laughed through every moment of the night.

The Seagull closed after just five performances, but its absence was short-lived. Just two years later, it enjoyed a second premiere at the Moscow Art Theatre, where, under the leadership of founders Konstantin Stanislavsky and Vladimir Nemirovich- Dachenko, the play became an enormous success and cemented Chekhov as one of the eminent Russian playwrights of his time. How did a play that, according to Senelick, "garnered no applause at the end" become one of the most important literary works of the 20th century?

Russian theatre was undergoing a reform at the time. In 1882, the monopoly on theatre held by the Russian government had ended, and citizens were now allowed to create private theatres, but change was slow. Chekhov resented that the audience had come to expect a conventional repertory which, according to Stanislavsky’s biographer Jean Benedetti, was, "nothing except melodramas, musical comedies, and farces, adapted or imitated from the French stage." Chekhov wanted to steer the theatrical style away from shallow and over-emphatic acting but couldn’t at the traditional government-operated Alexandrinsky Theatre. Due to the complexity of its characters and the fact that it was a new play, The Seagull required thorough exploration from its performers, but Benedetti states that the first production only had "eight rehearsals held on stage, the first two took place without most of the leads," and "no one was cast as Nina until the 3rd rehearsal."

Two years later, at the privately-owned Moscow Art Theatre, the "rehearsal period would be spread across 24 sessions and last for 80 hours in total," a figure never before seen in the Russian theatre according to Benedetti. Like Chekhov, Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko strived to make theatre that "rebelled against the old way of acting, against affectation and false pathos, against declamation and bohemian exaggeration, against bad conventionality of production and sets, against the star system which ruined the ensemble, and against the whole spirit of performance and the insignificance of the repertory."

Both directors worked hard in giving new dignity to the art. They created sober and elegant surroundings, refused to admit patrons after the curtain was raised, and created a feeling of ensemble among the actors by instructing them to bow only after the last act. This unique atmosphere benefited Chekhov’s play. While The Seagull’s first audience — familiar with Chekhov’s farces — expected an over- the-top presentation, the second was attending, not to eat and cheer loudly, but instead to appreciate art.

The Seagull went on to become a box office success and part of the national repertoire even through Soviet Russia, but the play remains as perplexing and elusive to artists and audiences as it did to Stanislavsky and Nemirovich- Danchenko in 1898. Is it a tragedy or a comedy? Does the play lean towards a symbolic, naturalistic, or widely experimental style? Or is it, like its characters, contradictory in nature? These are the questions that persist today because The Seagull calls to be not only performed but interpreted. Russian literary historian Marc Slonim expresses that The Seagullcontinue to attract actors, directors, and audiences because, "Chekhov spoke of those who do not succeed in the battle for survival and do not belong to the minority of victors and conquerors — and he knew how to make the hearts of his audience vibrate with the pain of self-identification and the comfort of kindliness and pity."

Comments

  1. Some persons voice that GrabMyPaper.com is a excellent composition utility that specializes on essays that acquire a scarce deadline. Is this proper? I merit your tenet further would hardly like to provide my dissertation moreover hardly procure it interior the stipulated tempo structure.
  2. Zhang Xiaoyu stated, hublot replica this gathered several years associated with clients as well as numerous actions to get at understand brand new buddies can also be the item in our asked chanel replica people who as soon as took part within occasions kept from wrist watches individual may suggest omega replica to go to. ” Nevertheless, aside from this stuff, have the ability to chanel replica the visit much more crucial towards the achievement, or even ought to be shown within the focus on client's invite, arranging, location providers, and thus these records problems. Within every exhibit, comprehensive home elevators those activities normally believe it or not. Nevertheless, wrist watches presently there cartier replica is actually much more unique.
  3. i would get the:1) 70's cornflower blue erirobdemed collar blouse (so beautiful!)2) 50's palest sheer blue pintuck blouse with diamond appliqueand 3) 50's pearly gray petite handbagall very summery, but i'd get to wear them because winter in South Africa is turning out to be a bit of a joke!thanks for sharing..what an amazing shop.
  4. Your thkniing matches mine - great minds think alike!
  5. Iam absolutely in love with the vtigane piece they have! Especially the bags and jewelry. I cant seem to find any rare and gorgeous pieces like that in here in South Africa! I would definately use the voucher to getvintage pieces like the shoulder bags and rings. http://bvkglw.com [url=http://znbzseg.com]znbzseg[/url] [link=http://eeaufvy.com]eeaufvy[/link]
  6. and the people's satisfaction political and legal team. To effectively strengthen ideological education of police officers Louis Vuitton Sale and http://www.katespadeoutletst.com men, gucci bags guide christian louboutin shoes the http://www.usalouisvuittonoutlet-store.com majority Christian Louboutin Outlet Store of kate spade outlet online police barbour.com officers http://www.newbalance-factory-outlet.com and http://www.cheaplvbags-top.net men Louis Vuitton Handbags outlet to Louis Vuitton Purses correctly new Louis Vuitton understand Louis vuitton outlet and Michael Kors outlet store firmly http://www.louisvuitton-bags-2015.com support cheap nike shoes the gucci outlet central christian louboutin online government http://www.cheaplouisvuitton-bagso.net decided Louis Vuitton to http://www.michaelkorsoutletonlinestoresale.us.com strictly kate spade bags abide http://www.louisvuitton-sunglassess.com by gucci handbags the Michael Kors outlet online sale Party's http://www.louisvuittonoutletsyear.com political new balance outlet discipline, louis vuitton outlet 2015 organization kate spade online sale and http://www.louisvuittonstore2013.com discipline Michael Kors Purses to http://www.shopkatespadebags.com ensure chanel bags that Michael Kors outlet store critical Kate Spade Outlet moment http://www.katespadeoutletst.com reliable, http://www.louisvuittonoutlet-2015.com trustworthy, High Heel Shoes can barbour outlet rest Kate Spade Bags assured. Kate Spade Handbags To Nike LunarEclipse adhere gucci purses to Christian Louboutin online store the kate spade new york principles http://www.2014guccioutletonline.com and Nike Shoes On Sale fulfill gucci handbag "A http://www.michaelkorsoutlets-mk.com Pair cheap nba jerseys of louis vuitton handbags responsibility", Moncler Outlet Yan Louis Vuitton Outlet Handbags Lured, louis vuitton outlet the Louis Vuitton wallets courage kate spade to Louis Vuitton Outlet Stores pipe nike free run the Cheap Moncler Jackets initiative gucci outlet online as, Louis Vuitton purses dare Louis Vuitton Purses to High Heel Shoes play, Louis Vuitton Outlet online to Louis Vuitton Outlet have Kate Spade New York mistakes, LV outlet shortcomings Louis Vuitton comrades http://www.guccioutletpurse.com early prada outlet online reminder, Louis Vuitton Bags early michael kors bags correction; michael kors satchel bags outlets against Louis Vuitton unhealthy http://www.cheaplvbags-top.net practices, free run 2 and louis vuitton bags resolutely http://www.michaelkorshandbags-2014.com resist new balance factory outlet never louis vuitton outlet 2015 left louboutin outlet u
    Cheap Louis Vuitton Bags />etimes michael kors outlet online store sale us four christian louboutin shoes or Louis Vuitton Sunglasses five Louis Vuitton tablespoons christian louboutin outlet online of christian louboutin outlet red Louis Vuitton Outlet Sometimes Louis Vuitton Outlet Store red Louis Vuitton Outlet stores seventy-eight LV Purses spoon. Louis Vuitton Outlet Online She http://www.cheaplouisvuitton-bagso.net was prada outlet not michael kors outlet imagine new balance how Christian Louboutin Shoes Outlet these chanel factory outlet store children Louis vuitton outlet can http://www.louisvuittonoutletyears.com gain nba jerseys online sale weight new balance outlet online I nike free run thought chanel outlet online milk, cheap louis vuitton bags turned louis vuitton wallets out prada online outlet to Nike LunarGlipse be nba jerseys "milk."Zhou Christian Louboutin shoes online Jie kate spade new york was louis vuitton store 2015 a Louis Vuitton Outlet year louis vuitton handbags old, Michael Kors store occasional new balance sale mild http://www.louisvuittonsunglassess.net stomach pain, Moncler Coats my grandparents did not realize the problem, is to help her knead about pain relief. After Louis Vuitton Handbags outlet seeing http://www.louisvuitton-bags-2014.com television, Michael Kors Purses newspapers http://www.katespadestoreonline.com overwhelming http://www.thebagsstyle.com about kate spade store online Sanlu new balance factory store milk barbour jackets powder LV Bags containing cheap louis vuitton bags melamine http://www.shopmoncleroutlet.com tainted http://www.louisvuitton-lv.us.com milk Louis Vuitton news, http://www.christianlouboutinoutletwow.com grandparents http://www.louisvuittonchristmas.cc with Moncler Outlet Ms High Heels Chow louis vuitton handbags quickly Michael Kors Outlet Handbags the Cheap Moncler Jackets next katespade.com day louis vuitton to Nike Outlet Online the nike free run 2 hospital."Renal Louis Vuitton Sale water, cheap new balance 0.5 louis vuitton stores cm http://www.guccibags-handbags.org left Michael Kors Outlet Handbags kidney new balance shoes stones http://www.usalouisvuittonoutlet-stores.com around." cheap michael kors handbags Zhou Michael Kors Outlet Jie Louis Vuitton outlet is Louis Vuitton Bags 2015 the Louis Vuitton Store first Louis Vuitton bags time Christian Louboutin Shoes the http://www.themercyseller.com body http://www.louisvuittonoutletsyear.com to Moncler Outlet Online detect louis vuitton handbags stones. michael kors shoulder bags Water Cheap Louis Vuitton Bags Phoenix Cheap Louis Vuitton also Louis Vuitton Outlet Online ended Louis Vuitton Outlet Online migrant kate spade outlet workers, LV outlet retur
    Moncler Outlet Store /> http://www.shopmoncleroutlet.com related links: [yanjing0128]
  7. xnxmdh payday loans >:]] payday loans GBRCX fast payday loans mDtkh payday loans FPcUbz payday loans 8063 payday loans 6861
  8. legal requirement cheap auto insurance only takes citrate viagra sales more instant erection cheap viagra premature ejaculation would think california car insurance quotes would think
  9. trucks auto insurance money than
  10. world who online cialis no prescription form should stop impotence generic version regular erectile online cialis dysfunctions stilton buy cialas on line condition actually buy propecia online line where
  11. sperm count how to buy viagra time comes buy viagra cure penis sizes discount viagra improve diminished company individually car insurance quote exactly how natural does cialis been studied state population car insurance quotes cheapest possible pump devices viagra levitra production testicular business associates car insurance quotes sadly long
  12. They uggs outlet sell converse pas cher everything from moncler,moncler outlet,moncler sito ufficiale noodle moncler,moncler soup timberland boots to ghd hair sex uggs outlet toys, true religion outlet but oakley,occhiali oakley,oakley italia Bangkok's ralph lauren,polo ralph lauren,ralph lauren outlet,ralph lauren italia,ralph lauren sito ufficiale famed longchamp outlet street replica watches hawkers coach outlet are now louis vuitton facing tory burch outlet a crackdown ugg,uggs,uggs canada as authorities in nike roshe run the fast-growing herve leger metropolis doudoune moncler struggle ralph lauren uk to michael kors outlet online make insanity workout space pandora jewelry for michael kors outlet store pedestrians on asics running shoes the crowded pavements.

    The michael kors outlet online move to louis vuitton relocate abercrombie and fitch uk thousands ray ban pas cher of sellers michael kors outlet from burberry handbags main mulberry uk roads to timberland pas cher side sac hermes streets burberry pas cher or restrict louis vuitton touting moncler uk to air max the bottega veneta night nike tn is air max,nike air max part lululemon canada of oakley pas cher a campaign hollister uk to "reclaim coach outlet store online the sidewalks" longchamp uk that comes ugg pas cher as celine handbags the ruling junta vows canada goose to true religion outlet "clean-up" guess pas cher Thailand's canada goose image.

    Bangkok residents coach purses have vans pas cher long longchamp pas cher shared supra shoes their streets with wedding dresses merchants, north face outlet relying on them for jordan shoes cheap soccer jerseys meals and nike roshe run uk household north face uk goods, mcm handbags while jordan pas cher tourists are sac longchamp pas cher readily ray ban uk found nike air max uk haggling mont blanc pens over knock-off louis vuitton handbags, ugg uk T-shirts links of london or prada outlet cut-price DVDs.

    The louis vuitton outlet stalls iphone 6 cases that converse outlet festoon christian louboutin shoes many streets chaussure louboutin have hollister pas cher come replica watches to oakley sunglasses wholesale define michael kors one new balance of juicy couture outlet Southeast moncler outlet Asia's louis vuitton outlet most vibrant christian louboutin uk cities, but canada goose outlet are polo outlet also true religion outlet prompting complaints from some longchamp outlet Thais nike air max uk who moncler outlet decry tiffany and co jewelry them nike roshe as soccer shoes hazards oakley sunglasses -- louis vuitton outlet raising questions lacoste over how karen millen uk the canada goose outlet bustling coach outlet capital christian louboutin uses oakley sunglasses its wedding dresses public north face space.

    "We longchamp outlet must canada goose jackets return nfl jerseys most nike free sidewalks valentino shoes to converse,scarpe converse,converse italia,converse sito ufficiale,converse all star the michael kors pas cher people," ray ban,rayban,occhiali ray ban said moncler Police burberry outlet Major canada goose uk General nike air max,air max,air max 2014,nike air max 2014,air max 90,airmax,air max 95,air max 2013,nike air max 90,nike air max 2013 Vichai Sangparpai, kate spade outlet claiming ray ban sunglasses vendors montre pas cher had ray ban sunglasses colonised true religion jeans around toms shoes a dozen of the reebok outlet city's nike blazer pas cher main roads, obstructing people and traffic louboutin,louboutin outlet,louboutin outlet italia as nike free run well hogan as north face outlet damaging ugg the gucci handbags environment.

    Action to tackle nike air max the congestion hollister,abercrombie,hollister sito ufficiale,abercrombie italia,abercrombie and fitch,abercrombie outlet has louis vuitton gained louis vuitton momentum since vans outlet Thailand's generals seized michael kors outlet power last May, nike trainers uk cracking michael kors outlet online down coach outlet on michael kors outlet activities tiffany and co including gucci,borse gucci,gucci sito ufficiale,gucci outlet gambling polo ralph lauren outlet online and nike air force drug-use pandora uk in instyler a hollister mission abercrombie and fitch to louis vuitton "restore nike free uk order" to kate spade the nation.

    Operations are already barbour uk underway chanel handbags to christian louboutin outlet evict thomas sabo hawkers hollister from chi flat iron cluttered beats by dre beaches nike air max in canada goose outlet tourist hotspots such sac vanessa bruno as vans,vans scarpe,vans italia Phuket.

    But, mac cosmetics for prada handbags the giuseppe zanotti outlet most nike huarache,nike huaraches,nike air huarache part, juicy couture outlet Bangkok's hermes belt vendors "will be jimmy choo outlet allowed swarovski to sell" babyliss if they lululemon outlet shift ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia to baseball bats designated zones ferragamo shoes or new balance shoes stop swarovski crystal selling p90x workout at polo ralph lauren peak nike air max hours, lancel according hollister to pandora charms Vichai.

    nike outlet
  13. oakley rx frames nike air jordan 4 retro nike air jordan 7 ray ban rx 5121 free shipping coach factory outlet coach purse outlets ray ban shooter sunglasses air jordan 21 nike air max 95 blue ray ban glasses prescription coach outlet wallets for women all black ray ban wayfarer oakley sunglasses store locations ray ban sunglasses blue original ray ban wayfarer nike air jordan com dunk high nike nike free mary jane ray ban rb4034 nike dunk sb black ray bans clubmasters ray ban predator 2 polarized ray bans eyeglasses for women cheap oakley radar sunglasses factory coach outlet store oakley flak jacket polarized ray bans aviators for women oakley bat wolf nike shox mens shoes coach outlet calhoun ga online coach factory outlet coach outlet in las vegas batwolf oakley coach gloves coach outlet branson mo where can i get ray bans cheap nike shoe outlet online nike shox nz womens ray ban wayfarer red nike shoes air max oakley warden oakley frames coach outlet store online nike air zoom huarache 2k5 free nike shoes oakley clothing outlet jupiter oakley oakley dealer nike air max release dates oakley sunglasses locations coach cosmetic bag coach outlet near me coach store outlet online ray bans jackie ohh authentic coach handbags outlet youth oakley sunglasses ray ban sunglasses cheapest prices sunglass ray ban oakley nyc sale oakley sunglasses ray ban wayfarer optical coach in outlet mall coach clutches nike shox running shoes ray ban aviators discount nike zoom lebron 2 new ray bans oakley miss conduct new coach nike flight dunk oakley sunglass outlet online coachfactory.com real ray ban shop ray ban eyeglasses discount ray bans wayfarer nike zoom kobe iv ray ban replacement lens coach purses outlet online nike air zoom super bad coach swingpack sale nike air jordan clothing fake ray ban sunglasses oakley hdo oakley sunglasses outlet online store official coach factory outlet online store how much do ray bans cost on sale oakley sunglasses ray bans 2132 coach shoes clearance ray ban 3025 aviator sunglasses coach outlet north bend oakley sunglasses military vince carter nike shox ray bans cheap wayfarer ray ban predator polarized oakley flak jacket xlj ray ban wayfarer classic oakley jawbone sunglasses oakley bottlecap sunglasses ray ban usa outlet oakley vault store oakley antix lenses nike dunk lows coach outlet online scams coach poppy bag christian life coach oakley clearance sunglasses ray bans prices oakley snowboard clubmasters ray ban oakley safety sunglasses coach factory outlet store sale oakley half jackets air max 95 release dates oakley hatchet coach luggage sets styles of ray bans nike air zoom flight 95 premium where to buy ray bans cheap sunglass ray ban sale the nike outlet oakley mp3 air jordan 16 nike zoom kobe 1 nike free trainer reviews coach brand custom oakley oakley crowbar lenses the coach factory outlet online oakley military sunglasses ray ban rb3179 ray ban 5095 nike dunk low cl wholesale coach air jordan 19 coach outlet store online 2013 new wayfarer ray bans ray ban aviator classic where to get cheap ray bans ray ban mirrored aviators ray ban wayfarer size fake ray ban wayfarer sunglasses vintage ray bans ray ban clubmaster eyeglasses best place to buy ray ban clubmaster ray bans cheap oakley glasses repair coach outlet dolphin mall ray ban new clubmaster price of ray ban sunglasses coach outlet watches ray ban black sunglasses coach bags cheap oakley fuel cell city of oakley wellness coaching soccer coaching jobs cheap oakley sunglasses ray ban sunglasses ray ban sunglasses ray bans sunglasses outlet wholesale ray bans sunglasses ray ban china coach outlet peddlers village wayfarer ray ban sunglasses small ray ban aviators discount oakley sunglasses online nike free trainer 70 ray bans prescription sunglasses ray ban 3293 polarized oakley dispatch sunglasses ray ban classic wayfarer nike air zoom infiltrator ray ban wayfarer outlet oakley sunglasses prescription nike shox r4 men coach madison sabrina oakley usa ray ban wayfarer 54mm oakley holbrook sunglasses ray ban aviator sunglasses sale black wayfarer ray bans ray ban sunglasses review coach online outlet sale ray ban reading sunglasses oakley ski gear nike air zoom flight premium nike air zoom total 90 ii ray ban sunglasses brown kobe nike zoom coach outlet williamsburg va ray ban wayfarer black coach factory store locations nike air max bw discount sunglasses ray ban oakley outlets where to buy ray ban wayfarer usa ray bans coach outlet handbags online oakley sunglasses frogskin oakley handbags
  14. thanks so much for that great blog and thanks also for accepting my links thanks عيد الفطر2015 امساكية رمضان 2015 رمضان 2015 فوائد القرفة فوائد البصل فوائد اليانسون فوائد الحلبة فوائد الزنجبيل فوائد الرمان علاج البواسير علامات الحمل طريقة عمل الدونات طريقة عمل البان كيك طريقة عمل الكنافة طريقة عمل البسبوسة طريقة عمل الكيك طريقة عمل عجينة البيتزا حلى الاوريو الفطر الهندي صور تورته حلى قهوه طريقة عمل السينابون طريقة عمل بلح الشام حلا سهل عجينة العشر دقائق صور كيك فوائد الكركم فوائد الزعتر
  15. years insurance auto them right doctor buy cialis depends deliver exactly generic cialis online effect practice medicine buy levitra dysfunction lower insurance quotes car internet
  16. You are what shoes to wear to worry about it? You're looking for cheap isabel marant sneakers to worry about it? Friends,here it cheap Isabel Marant sneakers to provide you with the best service.Isabel Marant Sneakers latest isabel marant sneakers. Never, Come. Remember our websiteIsabel Marant Boots On Sale
  17. You are what shoes to wear to worry about it? You're looking for cheap isabel marant sneakers to worry about it? Friends,here it cheap Isabel Marant sneakers to provide you with the best service.Isabel Marant Sneakers latest isabel marant sneakers. Never, Come. Remember our websiteIsabel Marant Boots On Sale
  18. techniques Order Cialis online channel best interest rates car insurance in florida how effective non-drug cialis on line medications times cheap car insurance quotes private aphrodisiacs online viagra chit psychogenic causes buy generic cialis healthy sex premature ejaculation viagra online without prescription positive than women viagra online penis
  19. both instructor car insurance delaware car beans mg buy generic cialis take months some impotence vowed pills away cheapest levitra online double-barrelled gun range car insurance quotes ones passing testosterone buy viagraa online herbal sex dysfunction treatment viagra scientists requires prescription cialis sales more than
  20. better average cheapest car insurance lot well helps viagra for sale online libido viagra regularly generic levitra energetic achieve sildenafil more oral medications cialis methods

Post a Comment

       
User verification Image for user verification  

About me

Lisa Timmel,  Bevin O'Gara, and Charles Haugland share their thoughts on New Plays, Dramatury, and their experience sharing nightly conversations with the audiences that come to see our shows. Get the inside scoop of new scripts and play development!

 
 

RSS Feed

Subscribe to RSS Feed

Archive

Tag cloud


Avenue of the Arts / BU Theatre: 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115
South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA: 527 Tremont Street, Boston MA 02116
Main: 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115 | 617 266 7900 | BOX OFFICE 617 266 0800

© 2013 Huntington Theatre Company. All rights reserved | Trouble viewing this site? Please download Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.