Celebrating 85 seasons of drama

Hamline Theatre Department kicks off its 85th season with a production of “The Seagull.”

Adam Whitt, Reporter

Months of hard work and preparation come to an end as Hamline’s Theatre Department gets ready to pull the curtain back on their newest production, “The Seagull”.

Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull” puts focus on Romanticism in 19th Century Russia. The comedic play happens during the 1890s when family and friends gather together to watch a play.

Actor Grace Barnstead describes The Seagull as “a dynamic production that examines love, loss and the will to keep on living.”

“It looks at the interactions between people on a social level and has a certain charm to it,” said junior Jacob Krohn.

Jacob plays Pyotr Nikolayevich Sorin. Sadly, he said that his character has no ties to Hamline’s own Sorin sisters.

Many of the actors also spoke of how this challenged them in ways they had not encountered in previous shows. Junior Robby Miller discussed his sense of how real the production feels. He emphasized that many characters you see on the stage are similar to those that you would see on a daily basis.

“‘The Seagull’ is different from other Hamline productions in the sense of how real this production is,” said Miller. “Through the entire production process, we all [the actors] found the meanings and rationale to show how we see ourselves in these characters.”

60 students in the theatre department were involved in making the set, costumes, lights etc. Hamline’s Theatre Department provides opportunities for students to get hands-on experience designing various aspects of plays. Box Office Manager and actor Carlye Felton, a junior, designed “The Seagull”’s unique poster and junior Jake Otto works as the show’s lighting designer.

Junior Adriana Anderson works in the costume shops and serves as the makeup lead for this production.

“It was really nice to be able to build pieces based on the 1800s,” said Anderson. “We’ve gotten a big range being able to make costumes for both poor and rich characters in the play, which also included styling wigs and making facial hair; I’m very proud of it.”

Those who are a part of the show also spoke of the stage, designed by Theatre Department Chair Bill Wallace, saying that while design appears simple, it allows for scenes to showcase different dynamics. When pressed further on the topic, the actors teased that the show actually takes place on a revolving stage that allows for scenes to further play on different dynamics.

“‘The Seagull’ isn’t just a production—it’s a theatrical experience,” said Grace Barnstead. “The lighting is beautiful, the set is wonderfully simplistic and the ensemble has a fantastic dynamic. These elements combined make for a charged atmosphere that creates a unique experience for each audience member.”

The cast and crew of “The Seagull” are excited to share all their hard work with the rest of the school and the community. Barnstead in particular said she thinks the play will be a hit.

“The show is ridiculously funny, dramatic and touching all in one, making it a wonderful experience for all ages,” she said.

“The Seagull” runs two weekends in November: 6, 7, 12, 13, and 14. Tickets may be purchased at the door, but the Theatre Department recommends reserving a seat in advance.  Make sure to keep an eye open in Anderson for a chance to purchase tickets. Reservations can be made through the Hamline University Theatre Box Office at 651-523-2905 or via email at tickets@hamline.edu.

For more information on Hamline University’s Theatre and Dance Department, visit www.hamline.edu/cla/theatre-arts/.