The Instigators tackle Chekhov's classic in an imaginative production featuring a new adaptation of the text and a live soundscape that blends actor-created sound effects with original music. More…
'The Seagull' is about a family of theater artists and the month-long sojourn in the country that transforms their lives forever. Konstantin, a young and idealistic playwright, dreams of creating new art forms, but a visit from his famous actress-mother and her famous writer-boyfriend overwhelms and demoralizes him. He feels more and more suffocated as his love for the star-struck neighbor girl grows increasingly unrequited. With humor and keen insight, 'The Seagull' exposes the absurdity of the human condition, and the poignancy of the need to live an extraordinary life.
"Lillian Meredith keeps the pace brisk, and she elicits acting from this fine troupe that is compelling...Each of these actors creates a character who is true to the spirit of Chekhov - passionate, troubled, and disconnected in some way from others, from the world, and from themselves...This is a production filled with passion and pathos...This adaptation invites us to revisit this familiar work with fresh eyes." Full Review
"The Instigators hit the mark in some aspects of this charming production, but there are some inconsistencies in the interpretation of subtext and the direction of the piece...While Meredith has used the full space to her advantage, Chekhov’s subtext is heavily misinterpreted...The majority of the actors fluctuate between natural and over-the-top...Despite its flaws, this production is an engaging adaptation of Chekhov’s famous play. The themes and overall sensation of the play are just right." Full Review
"The Instigators’ adaptation uses immersive elements to enhance and punctuate both large and small moments...The small, informal space of the Access Theater gives the feeling of sitting in someone’s living room, but it doesn’t lend itself to a real immersive experience...Still, there are nice moments...The Instigators’ immersive experience is subtler and gentler than Artaud’s or Punchdrunk’s. Perhaps that’s OK for Chekhov, though, who is a subtle and gentle playwright." Full Review
"The production that promised an immersive experience essentially delivered a traditional staging of the show with an audience sitting in the round...There is nothing particularly wrong about the production, in fact it’s not half bad (Kristen Vaughan’s Arkadina is quite delicious) but it’s not in any way immersive, and as such to give it a positive notice would be unfair. Perhaps the young theatre company will provide what they promise in the future." Full Review
"Billed as an immersive production, but without a hint of immersion, this production needs stronger direction, and nuance where there is currently none. Though there are moments and performances worth praising, the ensemble is, for the most part, emotionally monotonous at a level of excessive intensity. This makes for a long two-plus hours spent with characters for whom one ultimately has little sympathy." Full Review
See it if you're interested in low-budget theatre that doesn't compromise heart or passion. This is art for art's sake--theatre in its purest form.
Don't see it if you don't care for Chekhov or heavy themes, or you're close-minded to shows that don't contain special effects and glitzy production values.
See it if you haven't seen The Seagull, or other Chekhov plays before. You like small, intimate downtown theatre and a bit innovative staging.
Don't see it if You want to see full staging or well balanced acting.
See it if You want to see a great ensemble perform a family drama that talks about ambition, acceptance, failures, and heartaches.
Don't see it if You prefer a more polished production staging.
See it if You enjoy Chekov. You want to see a show where the acting stars, not a set or special effects. You enjoy small intimate theater.
Don't see it if Classic plays are not your thing. You need the special effects, fancy staging.
See it if you like a glimpse into how the characters from two families in a small countryside in Russia deal with life's twists and turns
Don't see it if you want something light with a happy ending. As in life, not everything has a happy ending or a close and this ends on a dark note.
See it if You love Chekov and like to see many different types of productions, and are interested in supporting low-budget theatre.
Don't see it if You only like well-polished productions & highly skilled actors, and aren't willing to give a theatre company a chance to spread its wings.
See it if you enjoy Chekhov; an entertaining production in a small box theater; some uneven performances
Don't see it if a dated play; some difficult staging choices; hard folding chairs for 2 1/2 hour play;
See it if You want to see a new translation of a classic play in an immersive setting. You want to support a young theatre company.
Don't see it if You want a company that's more equally trained in classical theatre -a few good ones, & a few in a more developmental stage.
See it if you like theater and alternative productions. classic play, great adaptation, solid acting. overall a poignant, clear storytelling.
Don't see it if expect everything to be technically well-polished. it's also two hours plus an intermission..
See it if You like intimate works with excellent acting and directing at a really affordable price.
Don't see it if You don't like being too close or if you don't like Chekhov. Although this production is not too morbid!
See it if you enjoy Chekov plays in a tiny theater that provides an intimate view of excellent acting at an excellent price point
Don't see it if you expect a big budget theatrical show with elaborate staging
See it if You like Chekov and theatre artists with the sense to take it slow, great directing highlights the humor without undercutting the tragedy
Don't see it if No one sucked, but some actors were in-and-out of the world - though I have full faith this will be rectified over the run.
See it if not familiar with The Seagull, want a warm, intimate, well intentioned, well spoken staging of a classic
Don't see it if walking 6 flights up, intimacy, Chekov, small productions, minimal staging are problems to your appreciation of a classic
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