Theater Info for the Washington DC region

The Seagull at Vpstart Crow

By • Oct 13th, 2006 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of the Vpstart Crow production of The Seagull [MP3 5:14 1.5MB].

Laura: This past weekend we saw the Vpstart Crow production of The Seagull by Anton Chekov, in Manassas, Virginia.

Mike: The Seagull was written in 1890 by Anton Chekov. It is a drama, a full length play. It centers on four different characters, but there are also a handful of other characters doing different things in the play. This play was one of the earliest examples of how to do a play focusing on people with lots of subtext. A lot of the action that happens in the play happens off stage. At the time that was a revolutionary thought. So a lot of the things that are very important to the forwarding of the plot of the play actually happen between the different scenes.

Laura: This was a really well acted show. There wasn’t a whole lot of action because as is talked about in the description, it takes place off stage and then the actors come on and talk about it, which does make it move a little bit slowly, but the acting was really good so that made it an enjoyable performance.

Mike: The acting was really well done. It was a simple set at Vpstart Crow. It’s very ambitious again. These, deep I guess is the right word, these deep plays go really deep into the human condition. Some of these characters were really quite miserable, but they didn’t know it. And us looking in on them was kind of freaky and kind of a little bit sad. I didn’t know who to root for because they were all kind of messed up in different ways. So it was an interesting play.

Laura: Irina Arkadina was played by Pamela Berthold. Irina was an actress who has actually seen her heyday and isn’t ready to give it up yet. So she’s still very flamboyant and somewhat over dramatic, but she played it very well. It didn’t look like she was over doing it. It was part of her character. So I enjoyed her performance very much.

Mike: Irina’s son was Constantin, played by Roger S. Graham, Jr. Constantin was a very interesting character. He was trying to be a playwright working on new kinds of drama. He actually wrote the play that was in the larger play. And got very frustrated when the audience thought it was a joke. That was a really well done scene. So he was a temperamental artist. Suffering for his work. And then later in the show, he was working around all these crazy people in his life.

Laura: And then the role of Trigorin was played by William Cook. He did a really good job. Trigorin is kind of a slime ball. He’s a two timer. He’s not only fooling around with the mother, but also with the actress who is up and coming as well. He played that very well. Was very smooth. I didn’t like him, but that was good. That meant he played his part well.

Mike: And then the new actress on the scene was Nina, played by Allison Plourde. She did a really good job. She was performing in the play that Constantin wrote. And is also trying to be the dutiful daughter and respecting her father’s wishes. She had one of the biggest changes in the play. Because by the end of the play she had been out on her own and had some disasters in her life when she had moved to Moscow. And then she had a new career and she just looked like she had been hit by a truck at the end. Her willingness to do that to herself really spoke well for her. She did a really good job with the part.

Laura: The costuming was also really well done. The costumer was Jamie Bartosavage Erdman. The costumes were very nice. They weren’t flashy or flamboyant. They fit the period, but I thought they were really well done.

Mike: The set was simple. The first half of the show was basically just a few chairs and different benches so they could watch the play within the play. Then there were some very small props that came in. After the intermission there was a more substantial set with chairs and tables and a bed, things like that. All in all it worked really well. The actors did really well with keeping focused on what they were doing. When they did move a table in for various games that happened really smoothly.

Also on Sunday afternoon the cast and crew of The Seagull had a talk back session where members of the audience could ask the cast and crew questions abut how the show came together and what the actors were thinking and why they choose the parts they had done. It was really quite an interesting discussion. We will have that up on the website in the next day or so.

Laura: The Seagull is playing through October 22nd at the Cramer Center in Manassas, Virginia.

Mike: We encourage you to go see this show that isn’t very commonly performed. It’s Anton Chekov’s the Seagull.

Laura: And now, on with the show.

Masha & Trigorin Konstantin, Medvedenko, Sorin and Irina
Masha & Trigorin
Konstantin, Medvedenko, Sorin and Irina
Shamraev Konstantin & Nina
Konstantin & Nina
Trigorin, Irina, Shamraev and Polina Nina
Trigorin, Irina, Shamraev and Polina
Nina & Trigorin Trigorin & Irina
Nina & Trigorin
Trigorin & Irina
Konstantin Dorn

Photos provided by Vpstart Crow.

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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

One Response »

  1. Thanks Mike and Laura for taking the time to review the show and record our talkback with the audience this past Sunday. I look forward to hearing the talkback once it’s posted. We really appreciate your continuing coverage of Vpstart Crow! 🙂

    Jay Tilley
    Director of Communications
    Vpstart Crow Productions, Inc.