freely based upon The Seagull
by Anton Chekhov
(Arkadina), Gabriele Falsetta
and Andrea Luini
(Konstantin), Riccardo Bini
(Sorin), Clio Cipolletta
(Nina), Marco Grossi
(Šamraev), Pilar Perez Aspa
(Polina), Francesca Ciocchetti
(Maša), Paolo Pierobon
(Trigorin), Luca Ronconi
(Dorn), Stefano Moretti
Laboratory directed by Luca Ronconi
JUJI servizi for the show
Claudia Di Giacomo (PAV),
and Maria Zinno
Santacristina Centro Teatrale
in collaboration with
Spoleto52 Festival dei 2Mondi
Teatro Stabile dell’Umbria,
Teatro Comunale di Ferrara
Piccolo Teatro di Milano
Saturday 27 June - Acts I/II
Sunday 28 June - Acts III/IV
Monday 29 June - Acts I/IV
* The ticket holders of the June 27 or 28 performances can buy the ticket for the remaining part of the show at the Central Box Office in Piazza della Libertà,10 (Spoleto), at the special price of 10,00€, presenting the ticket in its entirety. The promotion is subject to availability
The 2009 Spoleto Festival continues the collaboration begun in 2008 with Luca Ronconi and the Centro Teatrale di Santacristina. In agreement with the Festival’s organizing committee, every year the Centro Teatrale di Santacristina will present some of work at the Spoleto Festival.
In 2009 Luca Ronconi will continue to work with a group of actors with whom he has shared years of study and training. Last year Ronconi focused on five plays by Ibsen, and this year he has decided to work on another famous play: Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull.
The collaboration with Spoleto emerged following many years of work with the Centro Teatrale Santacristina in Umbria, established in 2002. Among its main objectives, this Center is directed at making a concrete and active contribution to the theater through professional courses for its actors.
With this objective, the first master class course for actors was set up in 2004. Twenty-five actors were selected from approximately 600 applications. In 2005 the course was run in collaboration with the Repertory Theater of Turin, and in 2006, with Perugia’s Università per Stranieri. The Scuola di Santacristina, under the direction of Luca Ronconi and Roberta Carlotto, has no academic program, but is based on direct transmission of artistic experience and immediate confrontation between generations. Many of the young actors who began studying in recent years under the guidance of Luca Ronconi have already made decided progress in their careers: the Santacristina Association is particularly proud of these results which confirm the need to give young actors a concrete opportunity to enter the world of professional theater.
And it is exactly within the context of continuity between the theater school and the professional stage that Ronconi produced Andreini’s work, Amor nello specchio in 2002 as the Center’s first venture, with student actors and Mariangela Melato. In 2007, a combined endeavor between the Centro Teatrale Santacristina and the Teatro Comunale of Ferrara led to an undertaking based on the Odyssey and the character of Ulysses. This produced two plays, Itaca by Botho Strauss and L’antro delle Ninfe from a treatment by Emanuele Trevi, which served as a confrontation between actors of different schools and generations.
In 2008, the school presented an experimental work at the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto with open lectures on plays by Ibsen. Its activities continue with the production of Nel bosco degli spiriti based on a project by Luca Ronconi, Cesare Mazzonis, and Ludovico Einaudi, commissioned by the Teatro Cucinelli of Solomeo.
Among the plays I have produced, I have directed only one work by Chekhov, Three Sisters, which was staged in rather an unusual way. So why have I chosen to return to this author? The first reason is what I would term “structural”: when we refer to Elizabethan texts or a play by Goldoni, for example, it is immediately apparent that theatrical convention is present to such an extent that we do not even consider the problem of trying to attempt realism or authenticity. On the other hand, when we approach nineteenth-century dramaturgy such as works by Ibsen and Chekhov, for example, or much of contemporary theater, at this point the categories of credibility and realism seem unavoidable. However, in my opinion, as part of an audience, it would seem that as the years have passed since the creation of these works, these characters and that form of credibility have been transformed into a false convention, losing all that was original. Today, when confronted by a Chekhov play, I have a great deal of trouble believing in the efforts that are made to make it seem “real” and authentic: it seems totally illusory to try and retrace believable human beings who actually resemble “true life.”
Here in Spoleto I will be working with the actors on pieces drawn from The Seagull without taking into consideration the performance of this text and without approaching it in the order in which each text was written, but grouping them according to their theme. For example, by placing in succession all the scenes in which Masha appears without trying to give the impression that we are “actually” on Sorin’s estate on that summer’s day.… Sorin no longer possesses his estate, and that world and that society no longer exist. So what is there in this Seagull that I want to emphasize and that makes it “another” Seagull compared to the traditional version? It is the fact that all the characters are completely spoiled by theater or literature.
Therefore, I would like to emphasize that in the fragments that we will be presenting in Spoleto, we will be highlighting the absolute inauthenticity of the characters who will be recognizable through an identity that differentiates them from one another: the identity of Kostja is to be read in his difference from Trigorin, that of Nina in her imitation of Arkadina, that of Masha in her desire to invent a world of romantic sentiments for herself.... In this Seagull, in which I will play the role of Dorn, the Doctor, I will attempt something that I have done only in Spoleto, last year with Ibsen: I will explain to the public exactly what I am doing while actually doing it and the reason why, reciting my lines, perhaps assuming different roles while the public watches our “rehearsal,” complete with all the difficulties and the problems posed by this text. This is by no means conceived as a lesson. We, the actors, will be on stage, in our normal everyday clothes, our parts memorized, but we will leave space for improvisation, albeit improvisation performed within specific limits. This is purely an experiment that could perhaps make The Seagull appear more oppressive and “unpleasant” than we are accustomed to expecting from a Chekhov play.
Reciting in fragments also provides the actors with greater freedom: they are able to realize that something can be presented in a hundred different ways, but never arbitrarily. My task will be exactly that: to encourage them in the direction of the greatest possible freedom, to make them understand, for example, that there is an enormous difference between a person in real life who is actually unhappy in love and a theatrical character who suffers because of love. The character is a literary function and, as such, does not possess a passport to real life.