The Department of Communication Arts produces a series of performances each year created by faculty, students, and visiting artists. Performances are open to the public. Please join us!

For media information, contact Janelle Rainville

The Seagull  |  UpStart 20 

The Seagull

poster graphic of white seagull on yellow background

Written by: Anton Chekhov

Translated by: Tom Stoppard

Directed by: Matt White

Associate Director: Joanna Cleary

Performances: November 13 - 16, 2019

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Matinees: November 13 & 14 at 12 p.m.

Venue: Theatre of the Arts, Modern Languages Building

Tickets: $15 General  / $10 Students & Seniors / $5 eyeGO

Box Office: 519-888-4908 or purchase at the door 

Anton Chekhov’s classic play, The Seagull, is often described as a tragic play about eternally unhappy people. The play centres on Konstantin, an aspiring theatre creator – whose relationship with the love of his life, Nina, his mother Arkadina, and her lover, the famous writer, Trigorin, echoes that of Shakespeare’s tragic Hamlet. While Konstantin doesn’t have a kingdom or a murder to uncover, he has enough ennui to fill several John Hughes films. Tom Stoppard’s translation remains true to Chekhov’s original: Konstantin rails against Arkadina’s generation of theatre-making while Nina eventually leaves him for the famous writer (and Arkadina’s lover) Trigorin. New theatre forms are explored, a bird is shot, and Nina endures.

Chekhov insisted the play is a comedy and Director Matt White wants to bring out the comedic, almost absurdist, elements of the script by amplifying the absurdity of a world where the grown-ups act largely like children and the next generation grows up having to find their own way. The emotional grounding of our production is found in Nina. As she explains in her final speech, “she is the seagull” – as in the bird Konstantin shot and gave to her as a present years before.

While this speech can often reveal a tragic character falling apart, Matt hopes this will be a fortifying speech enabling Nina to show audiences and Konstantin that she is going to be fine. That while her life did not end up how she envisioned, she will survive and not end up as Hamlet’s love, Ophelia, did -  drowned by an unfair world.  This is resiliency.

UpStart 20

poster graphic for UpStart performances

The Upstart Festival is a juried student performance festival produced by the Theatre and Performance program in the Theatre of the Arts.  We welcome applications from students in any program as well as from Alumni. Performance projects must be original and may take any form including but not limited to theatre, performance art, film, installations, and augmented reality experiences.  Time-based projects are limited to 40 minutes in length. 

Successful student applicants will earn one (1) or two (2) DRAMA course credits (0.5 or 1.0 course units) for their participation in the festival. 

Successful Alumni applicants will give their script over to the program to produce.  Ongoing involvement is not required.  If you wish to continue with the script as writer, that must be negotiated with the program.

Please note that the Jury will give current students proposals priority above Alumni submissions.

Application Process

Students are invited to apply as individuals or in groups.  Group applications should clearly indicate the role of each member in the project.

Applications are due Friday, September 27 before 5 p.m.  to Janelle Rainville:

The results of the application process will be announced on October 25.

Download Submission information

Download Application form

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Tel 519 888-4908
Hours: Monday - Friday, Noon - 5pm

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