Playwrite Frank Gagliano

                        Chekhov

[Frank Gagliano and bust of Anton Chekhov. on the grounds of the Chekhov Memorial Museum, Yalta, Crimea] 

MY FIVE DAYS WITH CHEKHOV

(text and photos about my participation in the 2012 Chekhov Conference
as playwright/performer
and Keynote Speaker

at the Chekhov Memorial Museum in Yalta, Crimea)

KEYNOTE SPEECH
("Looking For Chekhov, This Traveler Comes Home"

(I gave the keynote address at the Chekhov Memorial Museum on 23 April 2012)

"MY CHEKHOV LIGHT" (Complete Text For Easy pdf download)   

(I gave a reading/performance of the play on 26 April, 2012)

 

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ANTON CHEKHOV'S TIME LINE (pdf for easy download) 

 

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"TEN THOUSAND EMOTIONAL LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA" by Veteran Actor/Director AUSTIN PENDLETON (pdf for easy downloadRe: Acting Chekhov)

“You can, and you must, speculate about what’s going on in Chekhov, but when the time comes to rehearse it, all your speculations about what Chekhov is going to show you bear the same relationship that a sandcastle bears to the next big wave in the ocean.” AP

                           

[Austin Pendleton. . .Director (Off Broadway): “Ivanov,” “Three Sisters,”  “Uncle Vanya,” others. (Broadway): “The Little Foxes,” with Elizabeth Taylor,” John Gabriel Borkman,” “The Runner Stumbles,” others. Acting (Stage--Off Broadway): “Ivanov,” “Uncle Vanya,” “Masterclass,” “The Exonorated,” “Mother Courage and Her Children,” others. (Broadway): “The Diary Of Anne Frank,” “Grand Hotel,” “Fiddler On The Roof,” “The Little Foxes,” others. (Film): “A Beautiful Mind”, “Catch 22, “The Front Page,” “My Cousin Vinny,” “Mr and Mrs. Bridge,” others.”]

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"TICKLING THE FUNNYBONE,"  by Heather Helinsky, Dramaturg (pdf for easy download)

Helinsky, one of America's leading dramaturgs, explains how "Chekhov knew perhaps more than any other playwright that his plays, like life, had to create a new kind of plot to be both hilarious and devastating." 

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"IN THE MIDDLE: Aspects Of Language, Translation, And The Chekhov Play," by Kristin Johnsen-Neshati (pdf for easy download)

 (“Consider a Chekhov play with the translator’s three key questions in mind. . . .")  In this essay, Professor Johnsen-Neshati, translater of four of Chekhov's plays, answers all three questions

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"CHEKHOV AND THE THEATRE OF THE ABSURD" By Joyce Carol Oates (from "The Age Of Impossibility")

“Much of what seems stunning and avant garde in the last two decades of Theatre has been anticipated in both theory and practice by Chekhov.  . . . In his philosophical grasp of this material, as well as in a number of particular dramatic devices, Chekhov anticipates the contemporary theatre of the absurd.” JCO—from this essay (1972)

Chekhov/Absurd (117-123)

Chekhov/Absurd (124-131)

Chekhov/Absurd (132-137)

 

 

[Joyce Carol Oates is Roger S. Berlind ’52 Professor of the Humanities, Professor of Creative Writing in the Lewis Center for the Arts, Princeton University (retiring in 2014). She has written novels, essays, dramas, poetry and has won many literary awards. She and her late husband  Raymond J. Smith operated a small press and published a literary magazine, "The Ontario Review." From her publishes: “She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including the national bestsellers,”We were the Mulvaneys” and “Blonde” (a finalist for the National Book Award and The Pulitzer Prize). . .”]

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“So why is Chekhov’s work frequently considered sad and heavy and morose and ‘ohmygod do we have to go to this play?’ I will paraphrase what Chekhov said: ‘It is Konstantine Stanislavsky who has made my characters
into crybabies.’ “

A RESPECT FOR COMEDY:CHEKHOV'S VAUDEVILLES AND HIS RELATIONSHIP TO THAT THING CALLED "PLOT." By Constance Congdon, playwright (pdf for easy download)

Constance Congdon has been called "one of the best playwrights our country and our language has ever produced" by playwright Tony Kushner. Her plays include “Tales of the Last Formicans,” “Dog Opera,” and “Casanova” among many others. She is also known as an adaptor of classic plays. Congdon has taught playwriting at the Yale School of Drama and is a playwright-in-residence at Amherst College where she’s been teaching for a couple of decades.

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“. . .In The Seagull, his first major success on the stage, three characters occupy the scene: a doctor, a successful writer of magazine literature, and a radical playwright. Chekhov was all three of these things. . .”

THE GOOD DOCTOR’S LAST PATIENT (Program notes for a production of Chekhov’s, “The Cherry Orchard”) By Dr. Jay Malacher (pdf for easy download)


[Dr. Jay Malarcher is a Dramaturg, Theatre Historian and, currently, an Associate Professor in the Division of Theatre, West Virginia University. His book “The Classically American Comedy of Larry Gelbart “ was published by The Scarecrow Press in 2004. He is currently working on a book of comedy theory, tentatively titled “The Situation of Comedy,” and a book on the “verbal semiotics” of theatre.]

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 [My thanks to Austin Pendleton, Heather Helinsky, Kristin Johnsen-Neshati, Joyce Carol Oates, Constance Congdon and Dr. Jay Malacher for giving me permission to post these essays. There will be further Chekhov posts in the future. Return often.]