The play centers around the famous actress Irina Arkadina, who has come home to the country lake home with her new young boyfriend Boris Trigorin in tow. There we meet her ailing sister Petra (changed from a brother in the original), the caretakers and their daughter Masha, and various other friends and neighbors. Irina's son Konstantin also lives there, an author and playwright who is desperate to impress his mother and earn her love (their relationship is complicated). Konstantin is in love with a neighbor named Nina, an aspiring actress, who becomes enamored of Trigorin and follows him back to Moscow to become a star. It doesn't go well for her, or for the people they left behind, as we find out when we check in on them two years later. There is much discussion of art and beauty and life, as these flawed humans try to make their way in the world.
|photo by Aaron Thuen
|Amy Eckberg as Nina (photo by Anya Magnuson)
This is the second Chekhov(ish) play I've seen this season, after Girl Friday Productions and Open Eye Theatre's Life Sucks, a loose retelling of Uncle Vanya. I can only hope the trend continues with #TCTheater productions of The Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard. In the meantime, don't miss this lovely new production of a theater classic, that feels modern and relevant with its themes of difficult family relationships, unrequited love, mental health challenges, and artistic aspirations.