Butler Theater’s fall production: “The Seagull”

Photo Courtesy of m.butler.edu

Sorell Grow | Staff Reporter | svgrow@butler.edu

Classical Russian theater will come to life tonight, Wednesday November 9, as Butler Theater opens their first night of the play, “The Seagull.”

The show is an adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s original drama. The cast consists of Butler students, most of whom are theater majors or minors.

The plot follows a 19th century story about four characters who are dissatisfied with their lives. A series of romantic and dramatic conflicts occur on their search for satisfaction.

Emma Shafer, a junior who plays one of the leads, Nina Arkadina, described the plot as a story of people “trying to find happiness, but they’re looking in the wrong places.”

Marina Brusnikina, Butler’s 2016 Christel DeHaan and Visiting International Theatre Artist, directs the play. Marina Brusnikina is also an artistic director at Moscow Art Theatre.

Every other year, Butler brings in an artist, such as Brusnikina, from another country to direct and work with students in a show.

Brusnikina does not speak English, so she communicated through professor Elaina Artemiev. A Russian-speaking Butler alum sat in on a number of rehearsals to help translate as well. Shafer spoke on working through the language barrier with the director.

“You realize how important communication is,” Shafer said. “We’ve worked through it as an ensemble and it’s been fine.”

Sophomore Peter Jones, who plays one of the leads, Konstantin Treplev, said having Brusnikina direct the show has made rehearsals interesting.

“It sort of goes to show how art is the one universal language that goes beyond grammar and words,” Jones said.

The cast began rehearsals at the end of September. They had over twenty hours of rehearsal this past weekend alone.

“I wish everyone could have come and sat in on our rehearsals, so they could see how much heart we’ve put into this thing,” Jones said.

Showings begin tonight at 7 p.m. in the Schrott Center for the Arts. Sunday’s show begins at 2 p.m. Tickets are still available online, by phone at 800-982-2787 or at the Clowes Box Office.

“I hope a lot of people turn out to see us put on this show,” Jones said. “It’s unlike anything you’ve seen before.”

For a full list of dates and times, check out the Butler Arts Center website.

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