Kate Burton and Son Morgan Ritchie to Lead Huntington Theatre Company's THE SEAGULL
Real-life mother and son Tony and Emmy Award nominee Kate Burton (The Corn is Green, The Cherry Orchard, Hedda Gabler at the Huntington) and Morgan Ritchie (The Corn is Green) will play mother and son onstage together for the first time when they return to the Huntington Theatre Company for a lush new production of Anton Chekhov's passionate classic The Seagull. Huntington favorite Maria Aitken (The Cocktail Hour, Betrayal) will direct the Paul Schmidt translation of the classic of world drama about love, missed connections, and what it means to be an artist. Performances of The Seagull begin at the Avenue of the Arts / BU Theatre on March 7, 2014.
"I'm thrilled to reunite with Morgan Ritchie, my leading man from The Corn is Green, at one of my favorite theatre companies, the Huntington," says Burton.
Burton's performance of the title role in the Huntington's 2001 production of Hedda Gabler garnered her a Tony Award nomination upon its transfer to Broadway, and The Boston Globe said of her previous Chekhov performance at the Huntington in 2007, "The Cherry Orchard gains wonderful luminescence from the star power of Kate Burton."
The versatile actress, currently featured as Vice President Sally Langston on the hit TV show "Scandal," steps into the iconic role of celebrated actress Irina Arkadina. In the play, her visit to her aspiring playwright son Konstantin (Ritchie) with Trigorin, her successful novelist lover, in tow kindles unrequited passions and petty jealousies. Broadway actor Ted Koch (The Pillowman, Death of a Salesman, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof) will appear as Trigorin, and recent Juilliard graduate Auden Thornton (Years of Sky at 59E59) will play Nina, the aspiring actress and object of Konstantin's affections, to complete the quartet of characters at the center of Chekhov's ensemble.
The cast of thirteen also features local favorites Nancy E. Carroll (Rapture, Blister, Burn and Good People) as wife of the estate manager, Paulina Andreyevna; Thomas Derrah (The Jungle Book, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom) as Irina's brother Sorin; and Nael Nacer (Our Town) as Medevenko the teacher, as well as Meredith Holzman (After the Revolution at Playwrights Horizons) as Masha the daughter of the estate manager who loves Konstantin; Don Lee Sparks (Take Me Out on Broadway) as Shamarayev, the manager of the estate; Marc Vietor (She Loves Me at the Huntington) as the physician Dorn; June Baboian as the cook; Kyle Cherry as Yakov the workman; Melissa Jesser as the maid; and Jeff Marcus as a servant.
"Director Maria Aitken is such a gifted interpreter of the classics, and she will undoubtedly coax humor and pathos out of Chekhov's masterpiece in this production anchored by the incomparable Kate Burton," says Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois. "I love the fragility of what is happening emotionally in Chekhov's play. As a viewer, you feel the tectonic plates of his world shifting. What you're getting in the play is just the surface, but you sense that what is happening underneath is volcanic." Hear more from DuBois about the production at huntingtontheatre.org/peter-seagull.
Anton Chekhov (Playwright, 1860 - 1904) practiced medicine throughout his adult life, but many consider him to be among the greatest writers of short stories in history. The Huntington has previously produced his plays The Cherry Orchard (2001) and Uncle Vanya (1985). His other classic play is Three Sisters. Born in Taganrog, Russia in 1860, Chekhov began his literary career as a freelance journalist, publishing humorous sketches of contemporary life. In 1887 he won the prestigious Pushkin Prize for At Dusk, a collection of short stories. Success as a playwright eluded him, however, and the 1897 premiere of The Seagull flopped. It was remounted in 1898 at the innovative Moscow Art Theatre, where director Konstantin Stanislavsky's attention to the psychological realism of Chekhov's text made the play a critical and popular success.