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September 2010

Release Date: Sept. 24, 2010ASU Logo

Arts at ASU to Present ‘The Sea Gull’

An updated version of Anton Chekhov’s “The Sea Gull,” adapted by Jean-Claude van Itallie, will come to the Angelo State University Modular Theatre stage beginning Sept. 30, for the Arts at ASU’s first show of the fall season.

Performances will be at 8 p.m. Sept 30-Oct. 2 and Oct. 7-9, in the ASU Modular Theatre, with a matinee at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 3. Tickets are $8 for the general public, $4 for non-ASU students and $3 for ASU students. Admission is free for Arts at ASU subscribers and ASU activity card holders. The Modular Theatre is located in the Carr Education-Fine Arts Building, 2602 Dena Drive.

The title belies the subject matter, real life, real people and the human experience. Family and friends are spending the lazy days of summer at the estate of the wealthy Sorin. Besides Sorin, the other key characters are his sister, Madame Arkadina, a famous actress, her sensitive would-be writer son, Treplyev, and the charming, successful actor, Trigorin.

Their lives interweave with others bringing the romance, intrigue, hopes and disappointments that life paths tend to cross. The absorbing and compelling tale offers a deeply moving and revealing look at the human experience.

Chekhov’s classic play of the modern theatre received its 1994 treatment from van Itallie, and is one of four Chekhov plays the veteran dramatist has adapted.

“'The Sea Gull’ was the play that put Anton Chekhov on the map,” said James Worley, assistant director of the ASU Theatre. “In an age where melodrama was the chief performance style, this play wasn’t successful until Constantine Stanislavski produced it in a more realistic style at the Moscow Art Theatre. That production established this country doctor-turned-playwright into an overnight sensation.”

ASU students Lance Turner, Jamie Westfall, Jacob Scott and Marshall Van Pelt will portray the main characters Sorin, Madame Arkadina, Treplyev and Trigorin, respectively. Other ASU actors and their roles include Nicole McDonald as Nina, Berardino “Chito” Hernandez as Shamraev, Amanda Mitchell as Paulina, Maria Phillips as Marsha, Michael “Pugs” Loftis as Dorn, Brian Nicholas Carter as Medvedyenko, Tyler Tennell as Yakov, Heather Walker as the cook, Angelique Aragon as the maid and Matthew Posey as the workman.

“The challenge in producing this play is helping the cast understand where the humor lies,” Worley said. “Chekhov’s plays don’t contain setups and punch lines like we are used to in modern situation comedies. On the contrary, the characters are so overly serious about their situations that they begin to behave in foolish and comical ways. It’s quite a different style of comedy that these young performers are used to.”

Production crew members include ASU students Karherine Hearney, stage manager; Janna Pinson, assistant stage manager; Ian Stanton, box office manager; Tazzia Briels, house manager; Josh Samsel, master carpenter; Martin Rodriguez, master electrician; Jason Worthington, sound technician; Molly Schwencke, properties manager; and Amber Horton, wardrobe manager.

ASU Theatre technical director and set designer is Matt Smith, and Eldra Sanford is the costumer and costume designer.

The play is also ASU Theatre’s entry into the next Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

Tickets are on sale now in the ASU box office, open 2-6 p.m. weekdays in the Carr Education-Fine Arts Building. Call 942-2000 for reservations.

For more information on the production and cast, contact the ASU drama program at 942-2146.