AUK Students Capture Emotional Life of Classic Russian Drama The Seagull
The Music and Drama Department at the American University of Kuwait (AUK) presented its production of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull, performed at the Black Box Theater on AUK’s campus.
The students worked diligently to delve into the world of the play—memorizing lines, building their characters, and imagining the realities of middle-class Russian country life at the turn of the century. Additionally, the cast and crew spent a lot of time on ensemble-building activities, based on the Stanislavski system of acting, such as sharing personal stories, running on the corniche, and eating meals together in an effort to build trust with each other.
The play was performed with the audience surrounding the actors which helped the audience feel as if they were “in the middle of the action.” English instructor, Alison Koushki, who uses drama to augment English language skills, said, “Dr. Yassi’s team of impassioned student actors brought Chekhov’s characters to vivid life in the audience’s very midst, close enough to see the tender malcontent, Konstantin’s (played by Fahad Al-Qadiri), genuine tears well up.”
The Music and Drama faculty of talented professionals work closely with students to prepare them for campus concerts and plays, and to academically challenge them in courses on the performing arts and their cultural contexts. The department fosters artistic proficiency, cultural appreciation, a sense of community, and a lifelong commitment to the arts.
The play was directed by Assistant Professor of Drama, Dr. Yassi Jahanmir, and featured a talented and collaborative ensemble of student actors: Rama Sabbagh, Fahad Al-Qadiri, Ali Albader, Ghazaleh Hosseini, Zahraa Abbas, Mohammed Abdulsalam, Alaa Al-Abdullah, Kawthar Alhamer, Jomana AlNahham, Syed Raza Ali, Faisal Alluhaidan, Hassan Hajiyah, and Abdulwahab AlQarooni. The play was assistant directed by Mariam Al-Sabah. The production’s costumes, set, lights, and sound were designed and built by students in the Drama Production Class: Alaa Al-Abdullah, Sough Al-Ahmad, Nora Al-Sabah, Fahad Al-Qadiri, Ali Albader, Kawthar AlHamer, Layali AlQarooni, Lujain AlShami, Hassan Hajiyah, and Ali Mulla Yousef.
Scenes from The Seagull performed by AUK students