SPOTLIGHT: Short and sweet Chekov is on at the fairgrounds in Langley

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Kent Junge and Sarah Kelso rehearse "The Proposal" at the Black Box Theater in Langley. (WLM photos)

Kent Junge and Sarah Kelso rehearse “The Proposal” at the Black Box Theater in Langley. (WLM photos)

Feb. 21, 2013

Director Matthew Gregory welcomes everyone to enjoy three, short comedies by the masterful Russian playwright Anton Chekov, who is famous for such big-hitters as “The Three Sisters,” “Uncle Vanya,” and “The Cherry Orchard.”

Gregory directs the one-act vaudevilles, “The Bear,” “The Proposal,” and “A Tragedian in Spite of Himself,” in an evening of theater that totals about 90 minutes. It opens tonight at 7:30 p.m. and plays through March 2 at the Black Box Theater in Langley. That’s the little theater at the Whidbey Island Fairgrounds that OutCast Productions has been renovating for the past year or so and welcomes other artists to make use of the space, too. Gregory took them up on the offer to kick-off his new Little Island Theatre.

“The biggest reason I wanted to do these pieces is that they show a different side to a serious prolific author,” Gregory said. “They’re under-done and under-known pieces”

Gregory is happy to start with these “classics” and said his goal with directing is to be sparse and technically efficient; something that is often true of theatrical enterprises on a tight budget. His focus, he said, is on performance and story.

“Theatre is about an interaction between two groups of people, the actors and the audience. I hope the audience can laugh both with and at these characters. I think Chekhov was having a lot of fun when he wrote these pieces, and my only wish is that everyone involved in our production will have fun as well,” he said.

“Farces of Chekov” runs Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; and at 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Tickets are $12 for adults; $10 for students, seniors and those under 25.

Advance tickets care at  Brown Paper Tickets or get them with cash or check at the door. The Black Box Theater is at 819 Camano Ave. in Langley.

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