(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – As the culmination of a technical residency at MASS MoCA, the unique contemporary theater company Half Straddle presents Seagull (Thinking of you), a new, experimental interpretation of Anton Chekhov’s classic play, The Seagull, in the Hunter Center on Saturday, December 15, at 7:30 pm.
At MASS MoCA, Half Straddle partners with Performance Space 122, the famed elementary-school-turned-performing-arts-space in the East Village, to present director Tina Satter’s theatrical rethinking of Chekhov’s The Seagull.
Satter draws from varying Seagull translations, Chekhov’s letters, quasi-biographical facts from early productions of the play in Russia, and a new Russian folk-metal score composed by Chris Giarmo to tell the classic story of a two female and two male ensemble of conflicted characters.
Seagull (Thinking of you) features an all-female and gender-queer ensemble of performance artists and highlights Chekhov’s perverse sense of comedy to invite audiences to consider anew what makes the human heart beat and why people ever try to say anything aloud.
Anton Chekhov wrote The Seagull in 1895 and it was first produced a year later. It tells the romantic and artistic conflicts between four characters: the ingénue Nina, the fading actress Irina Arkadina, her son the symbolist playwright Konstantin Tréplev, and the famous middlebrow story writer Trigorin. As is the case with Chekhov’s other full-length plays, The Seagull relies upon an ensemble cast of diverse, fully developed characters who speak in ways that skirt around issues rather than addressing them directly. Their lines are full of subtext, text that is not spoken aloud.
Despite its youth, the New York City-based Half Straddle Company has earned critical acclaim for its fresh, articulate voice. Director Tina Satter leads the collaborative company which writes and directs plays, performances, videos, and music. The company’s shows feature original text, music, and frameworks that slyly deconstruct the preconceived.
The New York Times raves, “If you think deconstructionist, experimental theater must be dry and dreary, then Half Straddle has a surprise for you.”
Tickets for Seagull (Thinking of you) are $14. MASS MoCA members receive a 10% discount. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office, located off Marshall Street in North Adams, from 11 AM until 5 PM (closed Tuesdays). Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or purchased online at MASS MoCA.