LIVE “The Seagull” @ Main Street Stage (GailSez)

May 9th, 2011, 12:30 pm by Sara
 Leandra Sharron as Nina in "The Seagull" (photo: Lisa Remillard)

Leandra Sharron as Nina in "The Seagull" (photo: Lisa Remillard)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I am a Chekhov kinda girl. I get him. He makes me laugh. And he is one of those writers who you either get or you don’t get. If you are not a Chekhov kinda girl or guy, then just stay home. But if you are, you will want to see The Seagull at Main Street Stage.

This is not your grandparents’ Seagull. Director Frank LaFrazia has chosen a very modern translation by Paul Schmidt, and not only has he added regional references to make it clear that the action takes place in Berkshire County, but I suspect he has tweaked the language to make it even more up to the minute. And it works. This is a tale of heavy-hitting artistic types “slumming it” in the boondocks for the summer. I could just see them basking on the shores of the Stockbridge Bowl, contemplating a spa day at Kripalu, and reminiscing about this production or that at “the Theatre Festival.” It helps that either Schmidt or LaFrazia has anglicized the character names so that Pjotr Nikolayevich Sorin becomes Peter Nicholson, and Nina and Konstantine lose their patronymics and last names altogether.

Click here to read the rest of this story at GailSez


LIVE: Solid Production of Chekhov’s “The Seagull” Proves Main Street Stage can Soar (Berkshire on Stage)

May 9th, 2011, 11:06 am by Sara
Leandra Sharron as Nina and Jed Krivisky as Konstantine in The Seagull at Main Street Stage

Leandra Sharron as Nina and Jed Krivisky as Konstantine in The Seagull at Main Street Stage

In the Berkshire’s northern reaches, you are as likely to hear the locals talk about Main Street Stage (MSS) in North Adams as any of the four larger companies. For one thing, it is truly a year-round operation, unlike the nearby Williamstown Theatre Festival (WTF) which is world renowned, but – for the most part – a limited summertime treat. The Berkshires would be the poorer without either of them, yet they are as different as night and day.

The better known WTF is a fully professional company, while Main Street Stage is a community theatre. Their actors and technicians go to regular jobs, local schools and live among us every day. You bump into them at The Hub Restaurant next door, or at Jack’s Hot Dogs, Yet the work they did on stage in Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull was as clear and sharp as a ticket buyer could ask for. One can quibble and kvetch about some of the characterizations chosen by individual actors, but overall there was a cohesion and fluidity to the four act play that was remarkable. Best of all was their choice of the Paul Schmidt translation, which gave director Frank LaFrazia and the company the freedom to change its location from Czarist Russia to the alternately balmy and foggy Berkshires.

When this play had its first production in 1896, it was not well received. The audience booed it, and this put the writer in despair. Of course Chekhov had only himself to blame, he had discarded many of the traditional theatrical conventions of the time in order to write a play that was more psychological than melodramatic, and more subplot than plot. He was one of the first to develop characters who said one thing, while thinking another. The Seagull could almost be performed with subtitles explaining what was really going on.

Click here to read the rest of this story at Berkshire on Stage

Be Here Now: Chekhov’s ‘The Seagull’ @ Main Street Stage, 5/5-22/11 (Berkshire On Stage)

May 4th, 2011, 11:00 am by Sara

The Seagull @ Main Street Stage

The final (for now) production slated for the current Main Street Stage space is a classic work with a modern, local twist: Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull. It is based on the adaptation by Paul Schmidt and will be set in the present day Berkshires.

One also hopes it will not be the final act of Main Street Stage which has been forced to vacate its space in downtown North Adams due to the shop next door expanding. A search for a new space is underway.

There will be ten performances, and they will run the first three weekends of May at 57 Main Street in North Adams. Tickets are $15 and $10 for students and seniors. Preview tickets are only $10. They can be ordered online at Previews Thursday and Friday May 5 and 6 at 8pm, with Opening Night Saturday May 7 at 8pm and then Performances Continue: Thursday and Friday May 12 & 13 at 8pm, Sunday May 15 at 7pm, Thursday, Friday, Saturday May 19, 20 & 21 at 8pm and closing Sunday May 22 at 3pm. There is a community “Pay What You Can” performance on May 12.

Under the direction of long-time Main Street Stage member and Director of Barrington Stage’s Playwright Mentoring Project, Frank LaFrazia, a cast of area actors will adapt the setting from the Russian summer getaway to the ever-so-familiar Berkshires summer art scene, bringing immediacy and accessibility to The Seagull. Set designer Juliana Haubrich, and costume designer Vanessa Phelon from On The Verge will be joined by half of Barrington Stage’s”power couple” Jeff Roudabush as the lighting designer and Michael Trainor as the sound designer. The assistant director is Barrington Stage’s wunderkind David Sernick who is also creating video for some multi-media effects.

Click here to read the rest of this story at Berkshire On Stage.

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