Three Sisters at Columbia University



Finished performing Vershinin in Chekhov's Three Sisters at Columbia University.
  • Three Sisters was directed by Mikhael Garver
Three Sisters is a play by Russian author and playwright Anton Chekhov, said to be inspired by the three Brontë sisters. It was written in 1900 and first produced in 1901.
Three Sisters is a naturalistic play about the decay of the privileged class in Russia and the search for meaning in the modern world. It describes the lives and aspirations of the Prozorov family, the three sisters (Olga, Masha, and Irina) and their brother Andrei. They are a family dissatisfied and frustrated with their present existence. The sisters are refined and cultured young women who grew up in urban Moscow; however for the past eleven years they have been living in a small provincial town.
Chekhov's initial inspiration was the general life-story of the three Brontë sisters, i.e., their refinement in the midst of provincial isolation and their disappointment in the expectations they had of their brother Branwell.
Moscow is a major symbolic element: the sisters are always dreaming of it and constantly express their desire to return. They identify Moscow with their happiness, and thus to them it represents the perfect life. However as the play develops Moscow never materializes and they all see their dreams recede further and further. Meaning never presents itself and they are forced to seek it out for themselves. Considered a classic, this play is periodically revived to suit extraordinary stage actresses, but the breadth and scope of the roles require that the entire company be extraordinary. Although the play's rise and fall seem to follow the arc of Irina's story, the star role, for her passion and her humor, is usually Masha. However, as with all of Chekhov's plays, any one of the characters, in the right actor's hands, can blaze with uncommon humanity, and the simplest moment can become a sudden revelation.