The Three Seagulls, or MASHAMASHAMASHA!
Written by Jaclyn Backhaus
After Anton Chekhov
Conceived and directed by John Kurzynowski
March 1st - 10th, 2012 at HERE Arts Center
Subtext and samovars run Russianly rampant in this Chekhovian mash-up of The Seagull and Three Sisters. Twenty-four actors are crammed onto a tiny stage and forced to enact both works simultaneously, their plots aligning and diverging over the course of seventy-five heightened minutes. With only one actor taking on the dual roles of Masha and Masha – and thus transforming into the one singular character of Masha – a love triangle emerges that sheds light on the more melodramatic elements of Chekhov's plays. Characters emote, often through exaggerated humor or dramatic bouts of despair, but seem helplessly trapped in this cramped wooden box. In the end, the sisters never get to Moscow and the seagulls are all shot down. Comedy begets comedy begets comedy begets tragedy.
The Three Seagulls, or MASHAMASHAMASHA! was presented March 1st - 10th, 2012 at HERE Arts Center. Created and produced by Theater Reconstruction Ensemble. Written by Jaclyn Backhaus. After Anton Chekhov. Conceived and directed by John Kurzynowski. Performed by Celeste Arias, Jaclyn Backhaus, Michael Barringer, Robbie Baum, Caitlin Bebb, Scarlett Bermingham, Andrew Butler, Matt Carr, Matt Connolly, Nick Fesette, Leigh Jones, Nathaniel Kent, Alexander Kveton, Whit Leyenberger, Emily Marro, Christopher Norwood, Josh Odsess-Rubin, Anastasia Olowin, Jon Riddleberger, Kelly Rogers, Eugene Michael Santiago, Patrick Scorese, Lauren Swan-Potras, Merlin Whitehawk, and Brian Williams. Designed by Jonathan Cottle, Marika Kent, and Kate Marvin. Photos by Suzi Sadler.
"The Three Seagulls is a thoughtful, astute, and invigorating performance by a sensational, energetic cast that never stops. The staging, seamless design, and flawless ensemble work reveal this show as a directorial tour-de-force by John Kurzynowski. This script and its execution represent the kind of premium quality production that comes from a fruitful and synergetic collaboration between writer and director. The Three Seagulls is a must see for any Chekhov lover or follower of indie theatre."
Theatre Is Easy Response
"The Three Seagulls, or MASHAMASHAMASHA! is GREAT! It is so refreshing to see Chekhov presented in a vibrant, fun manner and Theater Reconstruction Ensemble’s production does a beautiful job of capturing the essence and intention, rather than the heaviness and nostalgia, of Chekhov. This is how Chekhov should be!"