Diane Wiest and Alan Cumming to Star in CSC's 'The Seagull'

Classic Stage Company, under the leadership of Artistic Director Brian Kulick and Executive Director Jessica R. Jenen, will continue its 40th anniversary season with two-time Academy Award winner Dianne Wiest and Tony Award winner Alan Cumming starring in Anton Chekhov's The Seagull, beginning performances Wednesday, February 20 at Classic Stage Company (136 East 13th Street).  The official opening is Thursday, March 13. The Seagull will play a limited engagement through Sunday, March 30.  The production will be directed by Viacheslav Dolgachev, with sets by Tony Award winner Santo Loquasto, costumes by Suzy Benzinger, lighting by Tony Award winner Brian MacDevitt, and translation by Paul Schmidt.  Additional casting will be announced in the coming weeks.

Written in 1896, The Seagull is widely regarded as Chekhov's first masterpiece, subtly dissecting the affairs of the heart and the demands of a life in the arts, while balancing the comic, the lyric and the tragic in a manner that has become the hallmark of his work.

Dianne Wiest (Madame Arkadina) has been seen on the New York stage most recently in Wendy Wasserstein's Third at Lincoln Center and Kathleen Tolan's Memory House at Playwrights Horizons.  On Broadway she appeared in Salome, Solitaire, Othello, Beyond Therapy and In the Summer House.  She won Obie Awards for her performances in The Art of Dining, Other Places and Serenading Louie.  Film work includes:  Bullets Over Broadway (Academy Award), Hannah and Her Sisters (Academy Award), Parenthood (Academy Award nomination), The Birdcage, Radio Days, September, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Edward Scissorhands, Bright Lights Big City, The Lost Boys, Little Man Tate, Dan in Real Life, among others.  Television work includes: Law & Order" (as DA Nora Lewin, 2000-2002), "Road to Avonlea" (Emmy Award), "The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn" (Emmy nomination).  She will soon be seen in the new HBO series "In Treatment."

Alan Cumming (Trigorin) received the Tony Award as Best Actor in a Musical for his performance as The Emcee in Cabaret.  He has also been seen on Broadway in The Threepenny Opera and Design for Living.  London theater credits include Bent, The Bacchae, Hamlet at the Donmar Warehouse (for which he won the TMA Best Actor Award), Cabaret, La Bete (Olivier Award nomination), Ellle, Conquest of the South Pole (Olivier nomination) and The Accidental Death of an Anarchist at The Royal National Theatre, for which he received an Olivier Award for his performance.  His film work includes with Jennifer Jason Leigh co-producing, co-writing, co-directing and co-starring in The Anniversary Party, which premiered at Cannes and won a National Board of Review Award and two Independent Spirit Award nominations.   His latest film as director and star is Suffering Man's Charity.   

Viacheslav Dolgachev  (Director) is the Artistic Director of the Moscow New Drama Theatre. In the 1980's he was an associate at the theatre that was Chekhov's theatrical home, The Moscow Art Theatre, where he worked under the artistic leadership of famed director Oleg Yefremov at a time when that theatre was experiencing a renaissance of re-imagining Chekhov for modern Russian audiences.  Mr. Dolgachev is widely considered to be one of the foremost Chekhovian experts in his field. He has taught and directed Chekhov extensively in Moscow, Switzerland, and across the United States, including New York University, Columbia University and currently at the Actors' Center here in New York. In 2000, he was awarded the distinction of "Accomplished Artist of Russia."

Santo Loquasto (Sets) is a designer for theatre, film, dance and opera has been the recipient of 3 Tony Awards and nominated 14 times.  He has collaborated with Woody Allen on 24 films.  Recent designs include Three Days of Rain, Prelude to a Kiss, Inherit the Wind and 110 in the Shade. He also designed the landmark Lincoln Center production of The Cherry Orchard starring Irene Worth.  He received the Merritt Award for Excellence in Design and Collaboration in 2002, was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 2004, received the Pennsylvania Governor's Award for the Arts in 2006 and the Robert L.B. Tobin Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2007.

Brian MacDevitt (Lighting) Broadway credits include Cymbeline, Inherit The Wind (Tony Nomination), The Vertical Hour, The Coast of Utopia (Tony Award, Drama Desk Award), The Wedding Singer, The Color Purple (Tony Nomination), Absurd Person Singular, Sweet Charity, The Pillowman (Tony Award), Good Vibrations, Pacific Overtures, 'night, Mother, A Raisin in the Sun, Match, Fiddler on the Roof (Tony Nomination), Henry IV (Tony Nomination, Drama Desk Nomination), The Retreat From Moscow, Long Day's Journey Into Night, Nine (Tony Nomination), Tartuffe, Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune, Into the Woods (Tony Award), Morning's at Seven, The Women, Urinetown, Major Barbara, A Thousand Clowns, The Invention of Love (Drama Desk Nomination), Judgement at Nuremberg, The Dinner Party, The Ride Down Mt. Morgan, True West, Night Must Fall, Wait Until Dark, The Diary of Anne Frank, Proposals, Side Show, Present Laughter, Sex and Longing, Summer and Smoke, Master Class, Love! Valour! Compassion! (Drama Desk Nomination), What's Wrong With This Picture?.  Numerous commercial Off Broadway productions, as well as Lincoln Center Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, The Roundabout Theatre, New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theatre, The Atlantic Theatre Company, Playwrights Horizons, New York Theatre Workshop, and designs for virtually every major Regional Theatre across the US.

Suzy Benzinger (Costumes).  Broadway credits include Miss Saigon, Saturday Night Fever, Ain't Broadway Grand and the current production of A Chorus Line (Associate Designer).  Her film credits include Deconstructing Harry and Celebrity.

The Seagull will be performed Tuesday through Fridays at 8:00; Saturdays at 2:00 and 8:00 and Sundays at 3:00.  For tickets and information, visit www.classicstage.org or call (866) 811-4111, or (212) 352-3101, or visit the CSC box-office at 136 East 13th Street, Monday through Friday 12 pm to 6 pm. 

Now in its 40th season as one of New York's most exciting Off-Broadway theaters, Classic Stage Company is the award-winning Off-Broadway theatre committed to re-imagining the classical repertory for a contemporary American audience. CSC presents plays from the past that speak directly to the issues of today. As we return to works of the past, we endeavor to keep a clear eye on the future, particularly in terms of the next generation of artists and audiences. Classic Stage's artists are the best-established and emerging theater practitioners working in this country. Highly respected and widely regarded as a major force in New York and American theater, Classic Stage has been cited repeatedly by all the major Off-Broadway theater awards: Obies, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League and 1999 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work.

CSC's current production of David Ives' New Jerusalem, directed by Walter Bobbie, starring Tony Award winner Richard Easton, Fyvush Finkel, David Garrison and Jeremy Strong, opens January 13 for a limited engagement through February 3.  For tickets and information, visit www.classicstage.org or call (866) 811-4111, or (212) 352-3101, or visit the CSC box-office at 136 East 13th Street, Monday through Friday 12 pm to 6 pm. 

Memberships to Classic Stage Company productions are available at various price levels, including the flexible Masterpass membership, which in addition to prime seats, entitles members to participate in CSC special series, including their sold out Open Rehearsal events.  For more information on Classic Stage Company visit the theater's website at www.classicstage.org. 



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