The contrast in titles by yourself ought to convey to you something.

On the one hand, there’s The Seagull, Anton Chekhov’s late 19th-century engage in, a tale of art and romance, striving and stress, ripe with unexpressed thought and experience.

And on the other, there is the response: a stripped-down, soul-baring, fourth-wall-breaking 2013 perform by Aaron Posner: Stupid F**king Hen.

Tim Dugan, assistant professor of theater, very first saw the latter a handful of several years back in a creation directed by Posner, at Philadelphia’s Arden Theatre (which the playwright also co-started).

(Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Director Tim Dugan, assistant professor of theater, prepares for the play’s March 4 costume rehearsal in Schaeffer Theatre. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates School)

“I was promptly blown away,” states Dugan. “I was like, ‘I seriously want to direct this someday.’” And sometime is now, as Dugan is directing the play’s Bates premiere, which operates by means of Monday.

Chook, Dugan says, “is very amusing. The wit, the irreverence, the human folly — sort of like Chekhov — make it amusing. Audiences are inclined to laugh a good deal at these characters who are striving for a thing that is unattainable, for the reason that I feel we see ourselves in that.”

How will this play converse to your students?

Four of the seven figures are young, in their early 20s, and so it is correctly aged for our learners. Also, the stakes and urgency of the scenes for these young individuals in the participate in are great. It’s genuinely a thing you can sink your enamel into as an actor. It is a terrific challenge.

Posner wrote some thing in his script acknowledgments that I was drawn to. He hails “all the fierce, fervent young artists who appear to be connecting with the passions, fears, frustrations, desires, hopes, and longings of the youthful artists of this perform. Chekhov was actually on to something! Retain striving. Maintain exploring. Make far better factors! Make matters greater!”

(Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Sukanya Shukla ‘20 portrays Nina. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates University)

That, to me, is massive. For our pupils, I feel like this is an inspired contact, and I want them to embrace this, because we all know, proper now, the entire world is a tough place.

This, to me, breathes lifestyle into hope and into that notion of producing points far better. He’s talking to young artists who will influence adjust, and that is a great entry point and link to pupils now.

Why did The Seagull have to have a contemporary adaptation? Or did it?

I feel it did. There’s a obstacle in performing Chekhov nowadays — it does experience a small musty at occasions. From what I’ve examine about Posner, he beloved Chekhov’s perform. It was really inspirational to him, a enjoy about a younger playwright striving to find a voice and footing in this resourceful entire world. I signify, it is seriously hard to uncover accomplishment as an artist.

(Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

David Garcia ‘20, taking part in the character Dev, performs a duet with Becca Kraft ‘20 as Mash. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates Faculty)

So, I feel there was a portion of Posner that often felt captivated to that play, but then he was also frustrated and upset by monotonous productions or selected interpretations of it. What he has completed is to convey The Seagull into the 21st century. It has breathed new daily life into people’s consciousness of Chekhov.

Do we require to know The Seagull to enjoy Posner’s play?

If you haven’t read through The Seagull, you will absolutely stick to this participate in. If you have read The Seagull, there are a good deal of pleasant nods to Chekhov, and you’ll just get pleasure from it all the more.

This is a raw, gutsy play, and that’s what Posner’s recognized for. And he’s taken Uncle Vanya and A few Sisters by Chekhov and completed similar plays.

(Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

The forged gathers for a 60th birthday celebration. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates Higher education)

Posner commenced out adapting novels for theater, very reverentially, and that was his thing. And then he located, as a result of Chekhov in particular, this sort of adaptation which is a lot more irreverent — he talks about even subverting or perverting the plays.

So a little something that I have been hanging my hat on as a director is this concept that this participate in is not an adaptation. It is developed on the bones of Chekhov’s Seagull, but it genuinely is Posner’s have play.

Success vs. failure as an artist is a significant concept in both equally these plays.

Hen is about an aspiring theater artist named Con. He is rampaging in opposition to the status quo and striving for new types.

His mother, Emma, is a renowned actress who represents standard theater and motion pictures, and Con thinks all that is a whole lot of crap. It’s definitely his unresolved challenges with his mother that gas that.

It just so happens that his mom is with each other with a incredibly celebrated author named Trigorin, who is a rock star of the literary and screenwriting worlds. So they are a electricity-celeb couple, and which is just another poke at Con for his lack of ability to measure up.

Stine Carroll ’20 portrays Emma Arkadina and Matthew Engles ’20 is Doyle Trigorin. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates Higher education)

But at the heart of it, this is a play about enjoy and unrequited really like. There’s a quartet of unrequited lovers happening through the engage in, and which is extremely considerably motivated by The Seagull.

So Posner is performing comparable themes as Chekhov, but he moved the action into our time, and streamlined the solid and the plot, and additional tunes. What else has he adjusted?

In both of those plays there is a big meta-theatrical stage — these are plays about a theater artist and actors and actresses. But what Posner does, proper from the initial line, is to split the fourth wall. Each and every character has a moment the place they get to accept and interact with the audience.

(Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Sukanya Shukla ‘20, as Nina, “breaks the fourth wall” and addresses the viewers. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

The characters know they’re in a engage in. And they’re asking for the audience’s aid in their unique circumstances, so they are inquiring issues of the audience.

So each individual functionality could be a very little unique, simply because we really don’t know what the audience is going to say, which is interesting.

Appears like Posner is basically wielding the kind of breakthrough that Con and Konstantin, in The Seagull, aspire to.

There is an picture of Chekhov on the wall at a person point, and Con says, “Thank you and f**k you” — he reveres and tears down at the same time, and that’s the character of this participate in.

And that’s why it’s terrific for an actor. It’s a terrific challenge, but you are out there airing all of the subtexts you have about how you come to feel. So significant emotions, massive stakes, significant energy.

(Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Max More youthful ‘22 performs Conrad as a portrait of Anton Chekhov is projected in the background. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates Faculty)

While what Chekhov launched and what produced him so critical in theatrical heritage was that he was the very first playwright to genuinely make a great deal of interior existence into his figures.

Two years back, for your directing debut at Bates, you did Angels in The usa. Just one of your actors was Kirk Go through, professor of French and francophone experiments, who performed the notorious Roy Cohn. And now he’s again for Hen.
(Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Professor of French and Francophone Experiments Kirk Study as Dr. Eugene Sorn. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College or university)

Which is terrific. He’s taking part in Sorn, the older brother who is a medical professional, turning 60, and he has lived existence on the sideline. He’s seriously fascinated by these younger people who are sensation all of these big emotions. He has some wonderful immediate-tackle monologues with the audience. It’s been pleasant having him onboard again.