The Art Theater of Davis will present its next show, “The Seagull,” outdoors at the Davis Cemetery under a full moon.
Performances are planned for 7 p.m.,
Saturday through Tuesday, May 6-9, at the cemetery, 820 Pole Line Road in Davis. The show is free. Seating is outdoors, first-come, first-served.
The May 7 performance will be preceded by a short talk with actors and artists from the production team, emceed by Andy Jones, poet laureate of Davis, beginning at 7 p.m. and lasting approximately 20 minutes. The show will immediately follow. Davis Media Access will record the performance on May 9.
The unusual performance schedule, spaced a month apart, is designed around the expected full moon that will be visible in the sky during the performances.
Timothy Nutter, artistic director of Art Theater of Davis, is co-producing this show with Kristi Dvorak, community outreach director at the Davis Cemetery.
“We think the cemetery can be a great venue for outdoor theater, and we’re hoping this event can help more people in Davis see the cemetery and its arboretum as a destination generally,” Nutter said.
“We’re also arranging to set up the seating risers and theater chairs (as at Third Space) out on the lawn behind the gallery so that people will have a comfortable place from which to watch the play.”
Thanks to a grant from the Davis Civic Arts Program, the Art Theater of Davis is able to pay the 12 actors and other staff small stipends for their work on this show.
This classic Russian play from 1896 mixes comedy and drama, bringing to life a dozen contrasting characters on a country estate at the turn of the century.
In “The Seagull,” Anton Chekhov dramatizes the conflict of generations by setting two successful and conservative artists — Irina Nikolayevna Arkadina and Boris Trigorin — against two young, idealistic, aspiring artists — Konstantin Gavrilovich and Nina Zarechnaya.
“We are lucky to have many fine actors working with us on this show,” Nutter said.
ATD stalwarts will recognize Lisa Halko, in the role of Arkadina, who was most recently seen with ATD as Aline in “The Master Builder.” Shane Osterhoudt, Moliére in “Impromptu,” will play Konstantin, Arkadina’s son. Joaquin Murrieta and Veronica Jarboe, both new to ATD, will play Trigorin and Nina.
“In typical Chekhovian fashion, these characters are complemented by a net of family, friends and servants, whose interlocking relationships deflect, interrupt and complicate the central plot line,” Nutter said.
Completing the ensemble will be Jennifer McSpadden as Polina, Phillip Stommel as Dr. Dorn, Kevin Toole as Sorin, Megan McMullan as Masha, Nathaniel Sternbergh as Medvedenko, Geoffrey Albrecht as Shamraev, Pietro Bolla as Yakov and Scarlet O’Connor as the Maid.
This show will feature original music composed by Jonathan Favero. Costumes will be designed by Joanna Johnson and Tim Kerbavaz will serve as technical director.
As in past productions, the show will use an original translation/adaptation of Chekhov’s script, which Nutter wrote with the assistance of Marina Shatskikh, a student of Russian literature at UC Davis.