Calista Flockhart is finding new inspiration in a radio theater production of Chekhov’s The Seagull at L.A. Theatre Works.
“For me it’s all about getting my theatre fix,” the 47-year-old said in an interview with The Guardian. “It’s a fun, low-key way to get into a room with talented actors and directors, and have a great time reading a classic, wonderful play.”
The alternative set-up of having actors onstage reading into microphones provided Flockhart with an exciting project. The play is recorded live in front of an audience, and then is also syndicated for radio stations around the country. “For people who live in LA and who also live in traffic, this kind of production is actually quite wonderful,” she said. “We’re half hidden behind mics, wearing minimal costumes with just a suggestion of a time period, and there’s no blocking at all, but they laughed and cried. I think it proves that people love a good story. When you’re a child and you’re read to, you just close your eyes and listen, and so maybe that’s all you need sometimes.”
Playing the character of Irina Arkadina in the production would seem terrifying to some actors. “It’s edifying, but it’s also a tease,” Flockhart said. “Last year when I did A Doll’s House I kept talking about how I wanted to do that production, and this year I really want to do a production of The Seagull. But right now I’m focusing on sixth grade, football games and getting through homework. I have no big plan. I’m a normal mum and yes, I’m also a theatre junkie, but my family is my priority. That’s what guides me.”