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Drake students present StageWest play reading

November 24, 2008
CONTACT: Tory Olson, 515-271-1834, tory.olson@drake.edu

Drake University's theatre students in collaboration with StageWest will present a staged reading of Anton Checkhov's "The Seagull" on Tuesday, Nov. 25. The reading is part of the Des Moines-based theatre company's monthly series, Scriptease.

The event, which is free and open to the public, begins at 7 p.m. at the First Unitarian Church of Des Moines, 1800 Bell Ave.

Drake Assistant Professor of theatre arts Karla Kash directs "The Seagull" and Drake junior Sam Button-Harrison assistant directs the production. The play features a cast of 11 students from Kash's advanced acting course and is performed "on book" with minimal props and costumes.

The acting class also worked with students from an English course to discuss and analyze the play. The class, co-taught by Drake President David Maxwell and Assistant Professor of English Craig Owen, is studying Checkhov as a major literary figure.

President Maxwell, an expert in Russian literature, also met with students to discuss the play, proper pronunciation, Chekhov and his other works.

"The Seagull," originally written in Russian in 1895, was translated to contemporary English by Curt Columbus. The play portrays the romantic entanglements and regrets of a group of actors, writers and artists gathered on a Russian estate and the common struggle of putting words on a page.