Duing Allens Lane Theater’s last season, Josh Hitchens directed playwright Caryl Churchill’s “Vinegar Tom” at Allens Lane Theater. He has returned to the theater, located at 601 West Allens Lane, to guide more productions for local residents to enjoy. Instead of visiting a big-time theater, Allens Lane Theater wants to emphasize, for the Mount Airy area, that visitors can receive top-notch productions, in the comfort of their community.
Hitchens will direct “The Seagull,” an original production led by Anton Chekhov in 1895, with perfromances scheduled for the Allens Lane Theater Jan. 18–20, Jan. 25–27 and Feb. 1–2. It will start at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and at 2 p.m. on Sundays.
“‘The Seagull’ is about a famous actress who spends her summer vacation at a house in the suburbs,” Hitchens said. “This summer, she brings her new boyfriend, a famous writer, which sets off a chain reaction of love triangles and betrayal.”
The classic drama also reflects the consequences that the actors will have to face, due to the choices they make.
“It is a play about being in love and being an artist,” he said.
The play is an emsemble cast of ten actors, so there isn’t a single main character who takes on the primary role. The cast consists of Gerson Alexander, Hilary Kayle Crist, Adam Darrow, Megan Edelman, Asaki Kuruma, Christopher Morse, Jordan Mottman, Elliott Rotman, Janet Wassner and Peter Zielinski. All of the actors are professionals, ranging from recent college-graduated to people who have been acting for decades.
“I think teenagers and above will enjoy the play the most, although it is suitable for everyone,” Hitchens said.
This year marks Allens Lane Theater’s 59th season and “The Seagull” is the first Chekhov play it has ever done.
“I’ve always loved the play, finding it moving with wonderful characters — and it is a dream come true to direct it,” Hitchens said. “Chekhov’s plays are widely thought to be some of the best plays ever written, but you don’t see them on stage very often.”
Hitchens hopes that the audience is thoroughly entertained throughout the play, and that viewers feel as though they are watching a great story unfold, while meeting unforgettable characters.
“It should feel like you’re watching a new play, not one that’s been around for years,” he said.
“It’s a place where you can bring your friends, have a great meal and then watch a great show,” Hitchens said.
Visitors can reserve tickets by going to www.AllensLane.org or by calling (215) 248-0546.