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April 1, 2020

A Note about The Seagull from Director Daniel Brooks

I love the plays of Chekhov. 

I love Chekhov for his recognition that we live our lives enslaved in our selves. No one in Chekhov’s plays is free of the delusion of the permanence of their own person.

I love Chekhov because of his great and impossible aspiration to escape the bonds of this incarcerating self.  He yearns for freedom, freedom from the constraints of self centred confusion and turmoil, from the craving for a fixed identity, from identification with preconceived opinions, from the anguish that originates in such attachments.  I love Chekhov because his characters never escape.

I love that Chekhov characters often declaim their fate – I will tear love out of my heart, I will become an actress, I will shoot myself, I will go to Moscow – but fate sometimes goes unfulfilled.  Fate does not speak through the human tongue, if it speaks at all.

I love him because he finds no solution in grand ideas, in the creation of meaning. Chekhov is inclined to uncover meaning that already exists in our human interdependence. Chekhov’s people are bound to each other (as you the audience will be bound to the actor for this evening). Meaning exists in this bond.  Those who declare “the world is meaningless” are not awakening to the dreadful situation of our lives, but escaping from the ethical claims that others have on us, claims that would make our lives meaningful but also more difficult. 

I love Chekhov because these plays he invented are symphonies, working in dimensions of time and space, in the body and in language. The characters remain unknown to themselves in the flux of words and time. Time is a tyrannical pressure, a shimmering mirage, a dream. 

I love his cheekiness and wit.  And his tenderness, especially for those who yearn.

Love is yearned for.  Characters yearn, as the actor yearns for your love.

I love him because he blames no one. 

Through his art he imbues the confusion of time, the infinitesimal travails of human experience as well as the infinite dance of eons, he imbues it all with perplexity and love. 

Daniel Brooks, Director

TOP (R-L): Paolo Santalucia, Oliver Dennis, Lorenzo Savoini, Robert Harding, Alex McCooeye, Sugith Varughese, Stuart Hughes, Alysse Szatkowski, Thomas Ryder Payne, Erika Morey, Kevin Lamotte.
BOTTOM (R-L): Ghazal Azarbad, Raquel Duffy, Hailey Gillis, Michelle Monteith, Daren A. Herbert, Daniel Brooks, Frank Cox-O’Connell, Dan Mousseau. Photo: Daniel Malavasi