The University of Southern Mississippi’s Theatre Department will present “The Seagull” by Anton Chekhov on April 21-23 and April 28-30. All shows are set for 7:30 p.m., and a special performance will be given on May 1 at 2 p.m.
“A story of a small community of people who are searching for dreams that they fear they cannot have,” director Adam Sullivan said. “These are people who desperately need something, and while it feels like something very small, when you get in real life, the small things are the things that mean the most.”
The play will connect themes of modern life including art, romance and love, while giving the audience a relative look into their own lives from those onstage.
“I would hope that people when they see this that they would see parts of themselves in the characters,” Sullivan said. “There is some funny stuff in the show, then there is some tragic, dramatic stuff that happens between the characters.”
Two main characters in the play, Konstantin Treplev, portrayed by Will Lovorn, and Nina, played by Annalee Richards, are both presumed lovers. Although the love that Konstantin gives Nina is unwavering and pure, Nina finds love in another character — Boris Alexeyevich Trigorin.
Besides the love triangle that her character dabbles in throughout the play, Nina has a longing for a stage career. For Richards, this parallel helps her relate to her character.
“It’s been amazing how much my life has actually been incorporated into the character’s life,” Richards said. “I’ve found a lot in myself in her.”
Lovorn’s character is left to fight not only for his lover, but also for his struggling stage writing career. He said he can relate to not being in the spotlight, despite all of the hard work that he has put forth to be
noticed. In the state of Mississippi, Lovorn feels that he has to put in extra effort for his work in the theater to be appreciated.
“Being a theatre major, especially in this state, people always ask you what are you going to do with it,” Lovorn said. “Sometimes, you can feel a bit underappreciated and misunderstood, or feel like your works are nothing. That’s been a major way it helps me connect.”
The cast, especially Richards, wants to not only give the audience a spectacle on the stage but also a reflection of their own problems and issues that they may face.
“What I want this play to be is to open people up to emotions,” Richards said. “It is a very realistic play in the sense that these people are real people. I want people to come to the show and have an emotional experience and have a better understanding of themselves going through the story with us.”
“The Seagull” will start its production this Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Tatum Theatre.