Tag Archive: Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Adaptation of Chekhov’s Seagull Lays Golden Egg for Woolly Mammoth in DC

Aaron Posner's Stupid Fucking Bird at the Mammoth Theater Company: (left to right) Katie DeBuys, Cody Nickell, Kate Norris, and Rick Foucheux

This is a bit of a sacrilege, but I have always found Anton Chekhov’s much beloved nineteenth-century play, The Seagull, bordering on a parody of itself. When Masha, the estate manager’s daughter, enters in the opening scene of the play dressed all in black and announces she “is in mourning for her life…” how can we possibly keep a straight face? Chekhov couldn’t have imagined how shamelessly French torch singer Edith Piaf would overuse the line in the 1930’s with her own infatuation with black clothing, making this an even more melodramatic line for today’s audiences. So, from my perspective, it does not take much to turn The Seagull from serious, revered Russian classic to clever, side-splitting spoof.

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