The Seagull PosterThe Seagull

Growing up is already hard enough, but try having a mother who is a self-absorbed actress and is dating an effortlessly successful writer, who then charms your own girlfriend into falling in love with him. This is the unfortunate reality of Konstantin, a young artist struggling to find his place in a world where everyone is living big lives, filled with big emotions, and big dreams.

In The Seagull, characters speak of love and art the way people today speak about climate change. Passionately. On the razor’s edge. And it is all very funny. Chekhov insisted the play is a comedy and director, Matt White, is focusing on pushing these little dramas, mining them for as much comic gold as the company can find.

The play has been given a Canadian contemporary re-contextualization filled with references to Uber, Atwood, and vaping. While these details are updated with observations of idiosyncrasies we might not be proud of, such the obsessions that distract us from making actual connections with one another, they feel just as true and accurate today as it did over 100 years ago. Chekhov explores the desperate measures people will go to for love, for acceptance, and for survival, while also demonstrating the unrealistic expectations people place on each other to give them meaning. In The Seagull, there are no pills to take to make life worth living. You simply keep going. Or you don’t.