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The Seagull

Directed by Tom Dugdale

@ Mandell Weiss FORUM Theatre

February 18 - February 27

About the Play

About the Playwright

How much whiplash can the heart endure? In love or art, what is the cost of taking a risk? And should that risk meet with rejection or failure, how do we choose to respond?

The Seagull is Chekhov’s great romance, his symphony on love, desire, heartbreak, creativity, and the power of art. We hope you will join us.


Born in Russia in 1860, Anton Chekhov was both a writer and a doctor. Renowned during his lifetime for his humorous sketches and stories, Chekhov is best known today for his four great plays — The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters, and The Cherry Orchard.

It has been said that Chekhov banished melodrama from the stage, installing in its place, as Paul Schmidt puts it, “the silences of missed opportunity, the nonsense phrase that suddenly seems laden with meaning.”

Chekhov remained active and industrious throughout his life, despite increasingly frequent episodes of poor health, brought on by tuberculosis. He died in the spring of 1904.


About the Director

Tom Dugdale is a third-year candidate for an MFA in directing. New York: The Rape of Lucretia (Manhattan School of Music), L’Histoire du Soldat, conception and staging of incidental vocal music from Stravinsky’s ballet, Pulcinella. UCSD: A Cure for Pain, Obscura, Vaudevaux Nouville, As You Like It, and The Heliotropic Man. In May 2009, collaborating with violinist János Négyesy and composer Lee Ray, Dugdale created the inaugural performance in the Conrad Prebys Music Center’s experimental theater. A classically-trained singer and recipient of an Aspen Opera Theater fellowship, Dugdale holds a B.A. in Theater, Modified with Music from Dartmouth College.

Director's Vision & Challenges

The Seagull feels completely contemporary to me. Nothing about it strikes me as foreign to the world we live in today. So I have a strong desire to turn the play loose, to let it live right now, to not weigh it down with heavy, naturalistic scenery or Nineteenth Century clothing. And I want to explore beyond the moody gloom so often associated with Chekhov. Chekhov himself can be our inspiration. He was tremendously funny! His life and letters contain an incredible vivacity, and I want to bring this out. I think there are a dozen moments of joy and happiness to be had for every moment of despair.

I keep thinking about the play in musical terms. The text feels like a score, with every entrance, exit, pause, object, and action placed carefully in time. Like musicians, we’ll need to listen to Chekhov’s rhythms and phrasing, even as we introduce our own (in the production, I imagine we will sing, dance, and perhaps play instruments, too). I love the orchestral quality of the play, the way it emphasizes ensemble over solo. Everyone is important here, and everything is intertwined.

Lastly, there are these big questions swirling around The Seagull, questions about the nature of theater itself. How does theater work? What makes it special? What makes it necessary? I know we’ll be wrestling with these questions as we prepare the production. But in a way, I hope we don’t find too many answers. Or at least, I hope we leave some questions dangling in the air, so that our audience has a chance to wrestle with them, too.

The Cast

The Creative Team

Arkadina - Cate Campbell
Nina - Zoë Chao
Konstantin - Patrick Riley
Trigorin - Gabriel Lawrence
Masha - Taylor Shurte
Sorin - Zach Martens
Medvedenko - Daniel Rubiano
Dorn - Evan Powell
Paulina - Sara Garcia
Shamrayev - Samuel Hunter
Yakov - Sean Estelle

Director - Tom Dugdale
Assistant Director - Anthony Luciano
Scenic Designer - Colin McGurk
Assistant Scenic Designer - Kathryn Lieber
Costume Designer - Christine Crook
Assistant Costume Designer - Elisa Benzoni
Lighting Designer - James Tan
Assistant Lighting Designer - Liao Wen Ling
Sound Designer - David Corsello
Assistant Sound Designer - Nicholas Drashner
Stage Manager - Hannah Wichmann
Assistant Stage Manager - Cate O'Brien
Assistant Stage Manager - Lauren Juengel




Thu, Feb. 18, 7:00 pm   PREVIEW
Fri, Feb. 19, 8:00 pm   OPENING
Sat, Feb. 20, 2:00 pm   MATINEE
Sat, Feb. 20, 8:00 pm    
Wed, Feb. 24, 8:00 pm    
Thu, Feb. 25, 8:00 pm    
Fri, Feb. 26, 8:00 pm    
Sat, Feb. 27, 8:00 pm   CLOSING

Located at: Mandell Weiss FORUM Theatre

Parking Passes Required: Monday through Friday. Weeknight passes are $2 per vehicle from the vending machines located in the UC San Diego Theatre District/La Jolla Playhouse parking lots and entry display case. Please remember your parking space number. You will need it to purchase your parking pass.

Note: Machines take all major credit cards except Discover and when paying with cash you must use exact change, NO CHANGE GIVEN.

Parking Passes Not Required: Saturdays and Sundays

Cars without permits are subject to ticketing by UCSD Campus Police. The Theatre & Dance Department does not have the authority to waive and cannot pay parking tickets.



Advance tickets for this production are available Monday-Friday, noon to 6 pm by calling the Box Office at 858.534.4574 or in person at the Theatre District’s Central Box Office at the Sheila & Hughes Potiker Theatre. 

At-the-Door tickets, if available, can be purchased one hour before show time at the performing theatre’s box office at the Mandell Weiss FORUM Theatre.

General Admission


UCSD Faculty/Staff/Alumni
Association, and Seniors (over 62)


UCSD Students (with ID)


*Preview performance on Thursday, February 18th at 7:00 pm is offered at the reduced ticket prices of $15/$10/$8.

Reserve Tickets



Production Photos

Photos by Tom Dugdale

Of Interest:

TheatreForum - An international theatre journal since 1992
La Jolla Playhouse - UCSD is home to this Tony Award winning theatre
UC San Diego Home Page - UC San Diego's Main Web Site
9500 Gilman Drive MC0344
La Jolla, CA 92093
Tel: (858) 534-3791