from the Stage Manager’s Report:
Performance #: 1
Act I Time: 0:42:41
Act II Time: 0:28:37
Act III Time: 0:24:43
Act IV Time: 0:38:41
Total Running Time: 2:14:42
And this from our friend, director Nick Olcott:
Congratulations again on a splendid production. I thought more about it during the discussion and on the way home, and I think Treplev’s attempt to achieve an art that is authentic is very convincing. As I told Ari, I often find Treplev an annoying character, gassing on about “real” art with “substance”, while his own play appears to be garbled nonsense. An authentic spiritual experience in art through exploring Jewish themes is something tangible and believable for him to be pursuing. In the end I found it quiet moving. I thought the “Sabbath Bride” theme of his play was really quite beautiful… I think you’ve undertaken something really exciting and rich. I hope it’s a wonderful success for you.
Nick shares some questions about “the other characters Jewishness and/or attitudes toward this Jewish content. Arkadina’s attitude is clear, but it remained muddy for me where everyone else stood.” And so am working on some rewrites this morning, exploring how we might better clarify, for example, Medvedenko’s identity as a “Subbotnik,” a Christian who, observes the Jewish Sabbath. And of Masha and her family, of whom we learn in her first scene with Medvedenko: “Only your father’s Jewish; was Jewish; half Jewish; and that was the half he hated. He married your mother and was baptized in her faith and became a part of the nobility through the military.” So no one in Masha’s family, including Masha, is Jewish. But that didn’t play clearly enough to more than a few last night. And so that’s this morning’s work. Some positive take-aways. But this selective confusion is a concern.