The Seagull opens on an early summer evening in a park on the estate of Peter Nikolaevich Sorin, brother to Irina Arkadina, a celebrated actress. A small stage blocks a view of the lake that borders the park. Around it are some bushes, a few chairs, and a table. Behind the platform's curtain, Yakov and other laborers are finishing work on the makeshift structure.
Masha and Semyon Medvedenko are returning from a walk. She is the daughter of Sorin's steward, Ilya Shamreyeff. He is a poor schoolmaster, infatuated with her but perplexed by her sorrow, which is overtly revealed...
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