|Act 1 set design for The Seagull at the 1898 Moscow Theatre arts production|
"The Moscow Art Theatre (MAT) production of The Seagull in 1898, directed by Constantin Stanislavski and Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko, was a crucial milestone for the fledgling theatre company that has been described as "one of the greatest events in the history of Russian theatre and one of the greatest new developments in the hisotry of world drama." It was the first production in Moscow of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull, though the play had been performed with only moderate success in St. Petersburg two years earlier. Nemirovich, who was a friend of Chekhov's, overcame the writer's refusal to allow the play to appear in Moscow after its earlier lacklustre reception and convinced Stanislavski to direct the play for their innovative and newly founded Moscow Art Theatre (MAT). The production opened on 29 December [O.S. 17 December] 1898."