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Auckland Theatre Company presents online version of The Seagull

Auckland Theatre Company presents online version of The Seagull

Those in need of their theatre fix will be pleased to hear the Auckland Theatre Company has a new online offering.

Auckland Theatre Company presents online version of The Seagull

Starting from Friday 8 May and for the next four weeks, the ATC will be streaming performances of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull.

The play will be delivered in 30 minute instalments over the four weeks. The actors will have just one week per episode to read the script, learn their lines, rehearse and record, ready to broadcast on Friday of that week.

The Seagull a new online version will be available to stream via Facebook and YouTube. One act will be performed each Friday at 7pm (8, 15, 22, 29 May). The first episode will screen for free via Facebook Premiere and YouTube Premiere.

The play has been adapted by Eleanor Bishop and Eli Kent, directed by Eleanor Bishop, and features an impressive cast including New Zealander of the Year Jennifer Ward-Lealand.

Bishop says, “What are most people in New Zealand doing right now? Having conversations and drinking wine online. The only difference from a Chekhov play to now is that the action isn’t taking place at a Russian country estate but on Zoom: Families are gathering. The young are thinking about their dreams and whether they are possible. Older people are reflecting on their lives and their disappointments (or just trying to figure out how to make their computer video and sound work). 

“We want to preserve this classic work but present it in a new way, to see how Chekhov’s mastery of subtext plays out in the intimacy of a close-up camera, and to draw out the romantic and artistic conflicts in a digital setting.”

Like all providers of performance experiences across New Zealand and the globe, ATC has been presented with the challenge of how to present its art without the physical presence of the actors and audience.

“It’s a question we’d never thought we’d be asking ourselves – how do you deliver theatre without an audience? Almost more strangely than that; how do we present theatre without actors in a room together?” says ATC artistic director Colin McColl.

“But, like almost every business across every sector, we’ve had to adapt in order to continue to deliver what people want and expect from us – and for us that means we keep going, even if the audiences are at home and our actors are working independently from each other.”

Chekhov’s The Seagull a new online version kicks off ATC’s new online brand, ATC On Stage / On Screen. Under this brand ATC will deliver bespoke projects created especially for online platforms.


Chekhov’s The Seagull – a new online version
By Eleanor Bishop and Eli Kent
Directed by Eleanor Bishop
Fridays at 7pm – 8, 15, 22 and 29 May 2020
**Free event** 

YouTube: YouTube/AucklandTheatreCo 

Jennifer Ward-Lealand: Arkadina
Arlo Green: Konstantin
Bruce Phillips: Sorin
Nathalie Morris: Nina
Mustaq Missouri: Shamraev
Bronwyn Ensor: Masha
Shadon Meredith: Trigorin
Stephen Lovatt: Dorn
Fasitua Amosa: Medviedenko
Goretti Chadwick: Polina 

Creative team:
Director and Co-Adaptor: Eleanor Bishop
Co-Adaptor: Eli Kent
Video Designer/Director of Photography: Owen McCarthy
Sound Designer: Jason Smith
Design Consultant: Dan Williams 

While Chekhov’s The Seagull – a new online version is a free event, donations are welcome to help ATC keep the magic of theatre alive.

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