Theater-goers will get a peek behind the curtain in the Department of Theatre and Dance’s upcoming production of “The Seagull: Rehearsed.”
Based off famous playwright Anton Chekhov’s work, “The Seagull” is an original adaptation by Tyler Marchant, associate professor of acting and directing at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. The audience is watching a company of actors rehearse Chekov’s play, which Marchant adapted under the premise that it is performed the third week of rehearsal.
“The idea behind it is that it’s a chance for people that haven’t necessarily been in a rehearsal room or seen how a play or production is created. It gives them a behind-the-scenes look into that process,” said Marchant, director of the production.
The rehearsal part of the show means the play will be different every night. Even the actors will not be able to anticipate how each performance will go, giving them the opportunity to experiment with improvisation on stage, Marchant said.
“I think when you start an artistic venture, you can never anticipate the final product. There is something really invigorating about getting a group of people together and collaborating with them to create the best art that you’re capable of in that moment. I find the students’ enthusiasm towards that really invigorating and inspiring,” Marchant said.
Throughout the performance, the play lines bounce back and forth between sections of scripted dialogue and improvised dialogue. This will be a challenge and new experience for most students in the show, he said.
Brandon Bogenschutz, senior acting major, plays the lead protagonist, Konstantin, who is the son of a well-established actress in 19th century Russia. Bogenschutz said this show is difficult from a technical standpoint.
“This is definitely my biggest role, and I’d say it’s just so hard because it’s a rehearsal. So, in between there are these rehearsal moments and you break out of character, but you’re also still in the play. It has to be very real in those rehearsal moments,” Bogenschutz said.
Maddie Schultz, junior design and technology major, designed the set for show. This is her first time being lead scenic designer for a UWSP show, and she is excited to see the audience’s reaction to the production.
“I think we do a really great job of pulling variety into the shows. We aren’t a jack-of-one-trade. We do shows that bring out real issues in the world and that’s the beauty of theater. We could very easily just bypass the hard stuff because it’s a university, because it’s controversial and maybe the audience or students don’t want to see that, but we don’t. We tackle it. I enjoy that about our program,” Schultz said.
“The Seagull: Rehearsed” will be performed Oct. 16 and 17, as well as Oct. 21 to 24 at 7:30 p.m. There will also be a performance on Oct. 18 at 2 p.m. All shows will be in the Studio Theatre inside the Noel Fine Arts Center.
Tickets can be purchased at the UWSP Ticket Office located in the Dreyfus University Center or by visiting the UWSP Box Office website.