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The Quotidian Theatre Company’s staging of Anton Chekhov’s 1896 The Sea Gull fast-forwards the action all the way to…1912. Director Jack Sbarbori explains that this is “a time period which worked well for our past Chekhov efforts,” but one suspects a more practical reason: They already had the costumes. And fine costumes they are, designed by Stephanie Mumford. Would that all elements of the play fit so well. Though the perform-ances are bold and plenty emotional, the characters seem to be more acting than interacting. Act 1 begins as they trickle into the lakeside garden of sage Petr (Norman Seltzer), where his aspiring-playwright nephew, Konstantin (Nello DeBlasio), presents his debut effort to his mother, Irina (Mumford), a well-known actress; her lover, Trigorin (Nick Sampson), a successful novelist; and assorted friends. The sole player in the production is Nina (Colleen Delany), a sheltered neighbor whom Konstantin loves desperately. The play-within-the-play provides one of the few humorous bits in Chekhov’s tragic “comedy in four acts”—Delany recites Nina’s lines with the delightfully overstudied quality of a truly terrible actress. The petulant Irina heckles her son mercilessly, sending the hair-clutching young man into a depression that he fully embraces with a fit of acting-out. Soon afterward, Nina’s desire for fame leads her into the arms of the largely indifferent Trigorin; two years later, the affair has soured, Nina is ruined, and Konstantin still mourns his many failures. Sbarbori makes some odd choices in shaping this chaos: Chemistry is lost in all the howls and foot-stomping, and the actors largely fail to employ the kind of subtle gestures that hint at true connection. (The exception is Seltzer, whose gentle, droll Petr hovers above the fray.) Mumford does her best work as costume designer, smartly switching Nina’s attire to darker colors in the final act to signal the loss of her innocence. And Sbarbori’s clever set design deserves a note: The birch trunks of the first two, outdoor acts swing around to reveal the sconces and wallpaper of the second half’s drawing room. But where is the love? Sure, the word is amply tossed about the stage, but not the humanity one needs in order to believe it—or to muster even an ounce of sympathy for all these self-indulgent brats.—Anne Marson