Part One: Meet The Seagull Project!
I’d like to do two very special things today, and I’m really excited you’re here to… watch me do them…? We’ll work on the phrasing- suffice it to say that I want to introduce you to Copious Love Productions’ new friends The Seagull Project!
First thing is first, remember Kiki Penoyer , the ever brilliant and unyieldingly fun-to-be-around playwright of Taphouse? Well, ask her enough of the right questions and she’ll be quick to tell you that her play is a direct response to or revision (or faithful adaptation) of Anton Chekhov’s The Three Sisters.
What makes Chekhov such an appealing author? Such a compelling storyteller whose works are still vibrantly produced and elaborated on?
“Our favorite little mantra about Chekhov is that he offered his characters total compassion and zero mercy. He gives them real life, but spares them none of the trouble of living.” says Brandon J. Simmons, the half-smiling co-founder of The Seagull Project, pictured here.
The Seagull Project is a company based in Seattle whose main focus over the last two years has been a brilliant presentation of Chekhov’s The Seagull in 2013 and trip to Uzbekistan to tell more stories and now, again embedded in ACT, they’re endeavoring to tell the story of The Three Sisters.
So- in celebration of our new found friendship steeped in Chekhovian such-and-such, I looked to Mr. Simmons and asked… who are The Seagull Project?
“The heart and soul of the company is the ensemble… we’re more of a process than a product… The Project started, initially, as a one-off production of Chekhov’s Seagull. Julie Briskman, Alexandra Tavares, Gavin Reub and myself were involved with this very successful production of The Threepenny Opera at Seattle Shakespeare Company, and were drinking whiskey at a cast party and suddenly realized that we were each kind of obsessed with the play, and in the heat of the moment we chose to produce the play. It was a total leap of faith.”
And then they kept us waiting nearly two years to produce The Three Sisters, which opens on January 20th! [Tickets and details below]
“The Seagull was a big success. Lots of people saw it, the press was great, and we were all lit up and inspired by what we’d accomplished. So naturally we looked at doing another production, and it was a no-brainer that we’d just do all four of Chekhov’s major plays with this ensemble… sometimes we lead by our gut, or by blind ambition, or the work… we initially wanted to go in chronological order, so Uncle Vanya would have been next, but there are also fewer roles in Vanya, and we didn’t want to exclude anyone so quickly after Seagull so we chose his biggest cast, The Three Sisters, to keep the full ensemble together.”
We’re going to see The Three Sisters, at ACT, (this is where details and tickets are hiding) this coming and the following week and highly recommend you do so as well- and that you visit back here very soon because there is still so much to talk about.
<<< PART TWO will feature an in-depth look at the value of The Three Sisters to storytellers today and the process by which Taphouse seeks to tell this story in a brand new way. .>>>