THE STORY: On his Uncle Sorin’s lakeside estate, Constantine’s new play premieres to disdainful reactions from the family and friends who have gathered: Masha; her future husband Medvedenko; Dorn, a lecherous doctor; Shamrayev, manager of the estate; and his wife Polina. Constantine’s mother, the famous actress Madame Arkadina (and prima donna), is not one to suppress her true feelings on her son’s contribution to the theatre: She abhors it. Humiliated, Constantine sulks over his life, his art, and dotes on the play’s star, the woman he loves, Nina, who is infatuated with Madame Arkadina’s companion, the established writer Boris Trigorin. Since Trigorin is the object of affection for Nina, as well as Madame Arkadina, he becomes the object of scorn and jealousy for Constantine. In an attempt to explain his brooding, morbid nature, Constantine presents Nina with a dead seagull, which he has just shot—a sacrificial symbol of events to come. Before the evening is over the characters’ dreams, infidelities, and self-deceptions will be revealed: Nina’s reluctance to love Constantine; Trigorin’s lust for Nina; Masha’s love for Constantine and boredom with her new husband; Dorn’s insecurities on his aging appearance and his affair with Polina; and Sorin’s constant pleadings with his sister Arkadina to accept and encourage his nephew, her son. Two summers later finds Constantine the successful writer; Masha, a drunk, lamenting her love for Constantine; Madame Arkadina, haggard and struggling to hold onto Trigorin; and Nina, returning to the lake after her failed acting career and rueful involvement with Trigorin, seeking sympathy and understanding from the disturbed Constantine, who still loves her enough to take his own life.
Tennessee Williams’ fresh adaptation of the Chekhov classic brings to life the story of Constantine, the sensitive young writer, whose quest for love, art and acceptance is larger than life itself.