POST: 'The Seagull and Other Birds' - new forms of theater

What's it about?

A show centered around finding new ways to innovate art and theatre.

What'd I experience?

As I walked in the theatre, looking for a seat, I looked at the stage and saw all the characters doing ballet in tutus. Already I was like here we go. If you know me then you know that I like extravagant and sometimes avant-garde productions, and just by this introduction I could already tell that I was going to love this play.

While I was sitting one of the characters came down from the stage into the audience. She was handpicking people to join her on the stage. As she was picking I saw her coming in my direction…

I was like NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

…She extended her hand out and asked me “Would you please join our ballet class on stage?” I said “Sure, why not” I mean I had to be a good sport although I never did ballet before. I can’t even do yoga how was I supposed to know how to do ballet?

I was literally like...

So the actress put me in my position directly beside the ballet instructor (of course). I felt like everyone in the audience had their eyes on me, and the fact that everyone was pretty much in all white or pastel colors while I was in all black didn't help. It was so intense. I was trying to focus and follow all of the moves as best as I can but the lights that were beaming onto the stage and basically into my eyes made it so hard. 

Every time the instructor lifted her leg or so gracefully to the left or right like this,,,

I attempted to do the same but in my head I feel like I looked like this... 

I had a trouble with my balance. I clearly have to take some classes to work on my balancing skills. When the class came to an end everyone took their seats, and the play began.

By reading the playbill, I knew that the show was all about finding new ways to innovate theatre. The main character Konstantin was writing a play and wanted to use it as an example for a new way of art. He constantly kept talking about “new forms” of theatre. It began to be a bit redundant but somehow it never got annoying. Usually if someone kept repeating the same thing I would be screaming #SnoozeFest

Konstantin's wanted "new forms" of theatre because he felt that theatre has stayed the same for many years. He wanted people to leave theatres feeling different emotions that they hadn't felt before entering. He wanted the experience of going to the theatre to be life-changing for people. He expressed that the way he was going to change theatre was through writing plays. 

I personally feel like there are certain aspects of theatre that people like. For me, I love extravagant and dramatic productions. It might not be so much the script that needs changing. It's hard to say that you want to make "new forms" when there's nothing new to really bring into theatre. I couldn't tell if Konstantin's ideas of new forms were really that new.

Throughout the play the characters would dance to EDM music and rap to modern instrumentals. Incorporating music that I would hear on Billboard charts was cool, but it wasn't anything that left me thinking that this was innovating.

It was good to see a different side of theatre almost a lighter side if you will. The actors seemed like they were having fun on stage and it made me have fun because watching them share a genuine respect and love for theatre translated to me. I caught on the that respect and love.


 

Want to see it?

$30 Tickets

The Seagull and Other Birds
Abrons Arts Center
thru Apr. 2