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Tag Archives: failure

This last week, Wheaton College’s Arena Theater did a wonderful job performing The Seagull. I went to the closing show and loved it. As promised by the director’s notes in the program, it was a strange combination of a comedy and a tragedy. Though I did genuinely laugh a few times, I felt that for the most part I wanted it to be a comedy just so I wouldn’t have to take it seriously and could pass it’s message off as a punchline.¬†Alright, enough of that. This isn’t a review. I’d love to talk about the theatrical aspects of the play, the stage settings, the costumes and makeup, that gorgeous moon that filled half a wall and turned blood red at the end, but I won’t. I need to talk about the actual story and it’s implications.

The story is shockingly simple. Four acts that take place at exponentially increasing intervals follow 8 main characters. In the first act, we are introduced to a character who longs to enjoy fame but can’t even decide if she wants to pursue it; a character who is bathed in fame but feels he doesn’t deserve it and wishes he was a better writer as to receive a different, more complete kind of fame; a character who hates the modern permutation of his craft and wants to change it completely, only he’s no good at it and is jealous of those who are; a character who has lived a full, rich life but wasn’t satisfied with it; a character who lived an empty life and is satisfied with it but would rather have had another; a character who just wants to trade her money for happiness; a character who adores the previous one (unrequited of course) but wants to trade his happiness for money (and therefore more happiness) and finally a character who is outwardly completely satisfied but internally jealous, controlling and miserable. Read More »