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The Seagull by Anton Chekhov

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Irina Gachechiladze
June 27, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Director and designer.

What is your show about?
Our production is a unique vision of this classic Chekhov play, with dreamlike staging, live sound effects and music, and ethereal designs.

Where were you born? Where were you raised? Where did you go to school?
I was born in the Republic of Georgia and was raised there in Tbilisi till I was twenty. I studied opera directing in Moscow, international relations in Georgia, choreography in Israel, and performance in Amsterdam.

What are some of your previous theater credits? (Be specific! Name shows, etc.)
Here in the states I’ve worked with Amios on their Shotz! series at the Horsetrade and am an associate artist at Hybrid Theatre Works. Overseas I directed the opera "Don Giovanni" for the Armenian National Opera Theatre and "Eugene Onegin" at the Marjanishvili Theatre in Tbilisi. For a while, I was also directing films and before that I was a dancer and choreographer.

Why did you want to write/direct/produce/act in/work on this show?
This play I know very well, because of growing up so close to Russia, and being fluent in the language of Chekhov. This play is very much about dreams and the subjectivity of reality, which I think is interesting artistically and allows me to experiment beyond the naturalism that most people associate with Chekhov.

Which character from a Shakespeare play would like your show the best: King Lear, Puck, Rosalind, or Lady Macbeth -- and why?
I’m going to cheat and say "Hamlet." Kostya, like Hamlet, is a thinker lost in a hopeless destiny struggling find his place in society -- and both have mother issues.

Can theater bring about societal change? Why or why not?
Yes. "Figaro" helped bring about the French Revolution. Which means art has power. The question becomes which stories are most important to tell right now? People go see plays for more than entertainment, at least I hope they still do.