The Arlington Players The SeagullBy Mark Lee Adams • Feb 2nd, 2011 • Category: Reviews
The Arlington Players
Thomas Jefferson Theater, Arlington, VA
Through February 12th
$15/$12 Seniors and Students
Reviewed January 28th, 2011
With a translation by Christopher Hampton published in 2007 director Blake Brophy takes on this classic masterpiece. It is important to know that Chekhov’s plays are full of inner development of the characters. The physical action on stage is, at most times, very minimal but the internal dramatic action is flowing. “His dramatic effects are most varied and often unconsciously employed,” writes Stanislavsky. “At times he is an impressionist, at times a symbolist; he is a ‘realist’ where it is necessary, and occasionally a ‘naturalist.'” Chekov’s representation of human relationships is sympathetic, and each play contains a character or more who gives a glimmer of hope for the future. So varied and deep are the depths in which these characters inwardly travel, I wonder why many of the actors on stage in this production were outwardly full and grandiose yet void of any inward depth.
The set for Blake Brophy’s play was and is superb. The set was wonderfully designed by Amanda Acker with the set dressing magnificently designed by Lindsey Hays. This play was costumed by McKenna Gervase Kelly with a skilled and trained eye to her craft. These costumes were very well done indeed. Nice touches were evident in the design of Hair and Makeup by Sue Pinkman. The lighting of the show was fantastically designed by AnnMarie Castrigno. The seeming reflective tones of the sun reflecting off the lake were in tune with the climate of the show. Her use of back lighting the outside scenes were so real and natural. The Sound Design was expertly created by Alan Wray. We have reached a point were one can almost guess the sound was an Alan Wray design.
It is very important for each of the actors to know the internal struggles of their characters. Mark Jennings, playing the role of Konstantin Gavrilovich Treplev portrayed his character with an in-depth awareness of his troubled soul. Mark’s ‘Treplev’ was sure of his intents with his attempts at approval from his mother and the acceptance of the love of a girl, even if he missed some chances to show more strength at times with Treplev’s decisions to move on and stay the course only to fail again and again. In the role of Nina Mikhailovna Zarechnaya is Christina Paschyn. Christina’s portrayal falls a little short of all the inner trials and tribulations of a young woman. Her character’s dreams and desires coupled love for one while being loved by another intrinsically has an inward turmoil which will make her character pause with confusion of her own sanity. Playing Treplev’s mother, an actress is Kelly Cronenberg. Kelly’s Irina was strong of character and shallow of heart and soul. Nothing of the internal action was seen in Kelly’s portrayal, but the outward action was abounding to be sure. Gerald Kamens played Irina’s brother Pyotr Nikolayevich Sorin expertly. His movements outwardly and his inner struggles were in complete concert. Excellent work Gerald. Bill Fleming plays Ilya Afanasyevich Shamrayev, manager of the Sorin’s estate. Bill’s outward struggles with his work were also expertly in tune with his characters position, but he was most adept in showing his inner soul. (Notice how many times I’ve written about the inner souls of these characters?) Diana Shield plays Polina Andreyenvna, the wife of Bill Fleming’s Shamrayev. Diana’s character had a number of wonderful moments of inward feelings and she performed these nuances to her character with such skill, it was a pleasure to see them develop as the play unfolded. Rebecca Hausman plays Masha, Ilya’s and Polina’s daughter with a coldness that I asked myself what the teacher, Semyon Semyonovich Medvedondo played sensitively by Cody Gabbard, ever saw in her? I was impressed by Cody’s focus within the play. Always ‘In The Moment’ with his character. Well done Cody. Jimmy Garza plays Yakov, a workman. Yakov provides some of the humor in this play and Jimmy doesn’t let us down with taking his moments.
Now we come to the strength of this cast in Tom Flatt with his portrayal of Yevgeny Sergeyevich Dorn, a doctor and Hans Dettmar playing Boris Alexeyevich Trigorin. Tom Flatt is truly an excellent actor. His attention to every moment, outwardly and inwardly is a pleasure to watch and enjoy. He understands that an actor who tries to ‘act’ in a Chekov play is making a mistake. An actor must become part of his plays and immerse him/herself into the emotions of the play and become the lifeblood of them. Excellent work Tom. Hans Dettmar, as well, shares in his understanding of Trigorin.
All in all, I must say this production should be seen. Not often does community theatre take on an undertaking like this. I tip my hat to The Arlington Players for offering this classic work for all of us in the community to see. TAP has always provided us with the classics and I am happy for it. I might add that Chekov is always worth seeing as his works always show us the hope of a brighter future during troubled times.
Photos provided by the Arlington Players.
- Irina Nikolayevna Arkadina, an actress: Kelly Cronenberg
- Konstantin Gavrilovich Treplev, her son, a young man: Mark Jennings
- Pyotr Nikolayevich Sorin, her brother: Gerald Kamens
- Nina Mikhailovna Zarechnaya, a young girl: Christina Paschyn
- Ilya Afanasyevich Shamrayev, manager of Sorin’s estate: Bill Fleming
- Polina Andreyevna, his wife: Diana Shield
- Masha, his daughter: Rebecca Hausman
- Boris Alexeyevich Trigorin, a writer: Hans Dettmar
- Yevgeny Sergeyevich Dorn, a doctor: Tom Flatt
- Semyon Semyonovich Medvedendo, a teacher: Cody Gabbard
- Yakov, a workman: Jimmy Garza
- Producer: Karina Cologne
- Director: Blakeman Brophy
- Assistant Director: James Villarrubia
- Stage Manager: Joan A.S. Lada
- Assistant Stage Manager: Ashley Johnson
- Assistant Stage Manager: Meghann Peterlin
- Set Design: Amanda Acker
- Scenic Artist: Kate Roehr
- Set Dressing: Lindsey Hayes
- Costume Design: Lory Levitt, McKenna Kelly
- Make Up and Hair Design: Sue Pinkman
- Lighting Design: AnnMarie Castrigno
- Sound Design: Alan Wray
- Properties Coordinator: Avery Burns
- Set Construction: Arthur Pleasents, Bill Wisnewski, Scott Drew, Erica Lee, Mike DeBlois, Rick Albani, Peter Finkel, Bob Timmerman, William Kolodrubetz, Damon Hill, Phil Railsback, Taylor Wulf, Richard Garey
- Paint Staff: Katie Lewis, Karinn Cologne, Scott Drew, Barbara Esquibel, Elisabeth Grant, Erica Lee, Taylor Wulf, Judy Lewis, Denis Harrootunian, Karen Toth, Nikki Hoffpauir
- Stag Crew: Nolan Hughes, Scott Drew, Andrew Elliot, Earl Peterlin, Damon Hill, Erica Lee, Taylor Wulf
- Auditions: Meghann Peterlin, Ashley Johnson, Stefanie Wallace, Avery Burns
- Photography: Michael DeBlois, James Villarrubia
- Lobby Display: Scott Drew
- Program: James Villarrubia
- Logo Design: Lauren Sinsheimer
- Box Office: Barbara Esquibel
Disclaimer: The Arlington Players provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/6152.
Mark Lee Adams has been involved in theatre for over 40 years in the local Washington DC Metro area as well as NYC and London England. Mark has performed at the Dramatist Guild Theatre on Broadway, at The Dorothy Strelsin Theatre Off-Broadway. His credits include work in many local theatres as well: The Folger Theatre Group, Arena Stage, New Playwrights Theatre, 7th Street Players, The Keegan Theatre, The American Century Theatre, The Journeyman Theatre, ASTA Theatre, The Hayloft Dinner Theatre (Associate Producer), The Lazy Susan Theatre, Discovery Channels, "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" (Frankenstein) with Donald Sutherland. London, England credits include work at: The Duke of York Theatre, Roundhouse Theatre, The Questors Theatre, The British Embassy Players. Mark is a graduate of The Drama Studio, London, England. Mark is also a narrator of audio books for Gildan Audio: “True North”, by Bill George; “Never Give Up”, by Tedy Bruschi and “Five Minds for the Future”, by Howard Gardner among them. Mark currently teaches Advanced Acting at The Little Theatre of Alexandria and still performs locally in many theatres.