Twin Cities Chekhov Festival

So, for no adequately explored reason, I have, barnacle-like, elected to attach myself to the first annual Twin Cities Chekhov Festival.

This decision may bear some exploration. After all, I’m no real fan of Anton Chekhov. I find his prose to be ponderous and affected, his plots to be warmed-over soap-opera, and his insights to be shallow. I find the characterization of him as some kind of champion of naturalism to be absolutely absurd, since I find nothing naturalistic in the way his characters communicate with each other. Besides, I’m somewhat hostile to naturalism in general; after all, I’m a fantasy writer. I find a theatrical distortion of reality to be far more compelling than our clumsy attempts to mirror it.

So what siren song called me on board an enterprise I’m already nursing some degree of hostility towards? Why, the phenomenal crew of artists they’ve called together! Of the twelve shows they have going up, I count among them some of my favorite artists working in the Twin Cities — as well as several I’ve never even heard of before. It’s truly Fringe-y combination of talent, and my spidey-senses are tingling.

For the record, I’ve read and seen a few of the classic scripts — “The Cherry Orchard,” among others — though they tend to blend together for me, and I have only a casual familiarity with their contents. I’m struck by the fact that, glancing through the list of shows, almost *none* of them are actually mounting scripts by Chekhov, but rather mounting parodies and homages and deconstructions and reconstructions and whatnot. As a fairly process-oriented artist myself, I find this encouraging. Who knows? Perhaps they’ll even make a convert of me.

Since one Stan Lee reference was hardly sufficient for a blog post — excelsior!


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