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Play brings back work of Anton Chekhov

A play by Anton Chekhov has not been performed at UW-Eau Claire in 10 to 12 years, but is being performed this year.

Terry Allen, professor of music and theatre arts, is the director of “The Seagull,” which opened Thursday.

There are other reasons why Allen picked this play.

“I submitted it because of it being a play by one of the giants in theater,” he said.

In this play it is important not to focus on the individual characters but to work toward getting everybody to act in the same style, he said.


The Seagull
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Date: Tuesday to Saturday
Place: Kjer Theatre
Cost: $5

Now that the play has opened, Allen said he isn’t involved with it anymore.

“I’m through with it at this point,” he said. “My mind is on the next project.

“I felt that we did a lot of good work and was very happy with it,” Allen said of the opening performance.

Freshman Jonathan Story, who plays lead character Konstantin, said from this point on his goal is to keep presenting his character in a consistent manner.

“I’m pretty proud of the work I’ve put into it, ” he said, “so I’d like to be able to keep that up.”

Senior Elizabeth Hoffert’s role in the play is one of her first real roles in any main stage show, she said.

Hoffert said her character, Paulina, is lonely and does not have a lot going for her, so she reflected on experiences that mirrored those feelings.

Story said he also used that technique when trying to portray his character the way he thought he should be portrayed.

Konstantin, Story said, is a very passionate and romantic person who takes everything to extremes.

In the play, there is a love triangle among three characters, Irina, Konstantin and Trigorin, Story said.

He said he used the characters’ relationships and related them to his own life.

“Unfortunately, I’d say we have some common background with relationships,” he said. “I was able to pull some stuff out of my own life and use that.”

Hoffert and Story said they were looking to get any part when they auditioned for the play. Hoffert had a small role in “The Miracle Worker” and wanted to be in “The Seagull” to get more involved with theater before she graduates.

Both said they heard good things about working with Allen.

Story performed in “The Skin of our Teeth” this semester and also did theater in high school. As far as working with Allen, Story said he learned more doing this play than he did in his beginning acting class.

At this point, Hoffert has one goal for the remainder of the production.

“I’d like to be focused but make sure I’m still having fun with it,” Hoffert said.

Story said it is important to do the show for the people and to keep trying to get people to see it.

“It’s just something that helps you as a person understand yourself,” he said, “and helps other people watching understand themselves.”

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