Butler Theatre presents an adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s classic play The Seagull, directed by 2016 Christel DeHaan Visiting International Theatre Artist Marina Brusnikina from the famed Moscow Art Theatre, November 9-13 at the Schrott Center for the Arts.
Show times are 7:00 PM Wednesday through Saturday, November 9-12, and 2:00 PM Sunday, November 13. Tickets are $19 for adults, $13 for seniors, $8 for students. They are available in person at the Clowes Memorial Hall box office, by phone at 800-982-2787, or online here.
For more information, visit butlerartscenter.org.
Though Chekhov’s play is set in the Russian countryside at the end of the 19th century, Brusnikina said this “is not your grandparents’ Seagull.” Instead, it’s a contemporized version where the actors make observations about the text and how they relate to these characters.
“It’s more like working on The Seagull, analyzing The Seagull,” she said. “It’s almost all of Chekhov’s text. It’s almost the whole play, but it’s also our analysis of the play. The students talk about theatre, about The Seagull, their opinion, their ideas, and their vision. And we put this onstage. We have some spots in the play where we can allow ourselves to do this.”
Brusnikina has performed in productions of The Seagull during her illustrious career, which includes earning the title of “Honorary Artist of Russia” (the highest Russian honor any artist may achieve) and Laureate of the State Premium (the highest monetary award the Russian government bestows on its citizens).
This will be her first time directing the play. She said she wanted to present a production with students “because they may be more fresh and have a different way of understanding and thinking about” the play’s issues of love and success than adult actors would.
“This is not some classical performance,” she said. “This is about this generation. It’s about us. This is very alive material. It reflects their worries and questions about life.”
Student, (Character), Hometown
Emma Shafer, (Irina Nikolayevna Arkadina), Des Moines, Iowa
Julie Hren, (Masha), Lake Villa, Illinois
Jeffrey Bird, (Pyotr Nikolayevich), Muncie, Indiana
Nich Gehrich, (Boris Alexeyevich Trigorin), Greensburg, Indiana
Sonia Goldberg, (Paulina Andreyevna), Chicago
Lexi Weixel, (Nina Mikhailovna Zarechnaya), Columbus, Ohio
Alexander Borrello, (Kostantin Gavrilovich Trepley), Novi, Michigan
Lila Filer, (Masha & Nina Mikhailovna Zarechnaya), Nederland, Colorado
Elly Blevins, (Nina Mikhailovna Zarechnaya), Glen Ellyn, Illinois
Alex Ray, (Kostantin Gavrilovich Trepley), Carmel, Indiana
Peter Jones, (Kostantin Gavrilovich Trepley & Semyon Semyonovich Medvedenko), Lakewood, Ohio
Reilly Crouse, (Yevgeny Sergeyevich Dorn), Greenwood, Indiana
Zane Franklin, (Semyon Semyonovich Medvedenko), Morgantown, Indiana
Jacob Herr, (Ilya Afansyevich Shamrayev), Saint John, Indiana