2005 updates: Small Chekhov Fall * "Four Farces & One Funeral" -- Chekhov.05
Chekhov's one-acts are updated -- The Bear, The Proposal (1st act -- Oh, Love!), Wedding, Tobacco (Act II -- Ah, Marriage!), but I'm still working on the "funeral" (Last Day of Anton Chekhov). mini-chekhov
FINITA (Four Farce & One Funeral)
The Second Chekhov, invisible, only the dying Anton sees him, hears and talks with that Chekhov, who will live after his death in 1904. Who lives now... Even in Fairbanks, Alaska.
( Letters edited by Lillian Hellman, as if she wanted to write about him... )
( Letters edited by Lillian Hellman, as if she wanted to write about him... )
mini-chekhov 2005: Meyerhold staged Chekhov's one-acts during the NEP (New Economic Policy, partial restoration of capitalism after the Military Communism of the Civil War); the money came back to be valued by the "new rich" (simular to today's Russia). Anton Chekhov modelled his farces on French Vaudevilles, entertainment of bourgeoisie. The Midlle Class of Russia at the end of the 19 century immitated everything "French".
... American Middle Class -- money (all four pieces with "MONEY issue"). "Wedding with a General" -- our "celebrity cult" is living with the "stars"! Hypocracy, pretending what you are not, especially, for YOUSELF. "Tobacco" is tragic comedy...
[ advertising space : webmaster ]
Light, Set: Kade
3 Sisters Forum: Method Acting
See pages with Monologues & Scene Analysis:
[ ... ]
ShowCases: 3 Sisters, Mikado, 12th Night, Hamlet, The Importance of Being Earnest, Dangerous Liaisons, Don Juan
prof. Anatoly Antohin Theatre UAF AK 99775 USA
SummaryIntro to Chekhov
QuestionsType of work: Drama
Type of plot: Impressionistic realism
Time of plot: Nineteenth century
Locale: Provincial Town in Russia
First presented: 1901 Written in four acts, Anton Chekov's play is regarded by some critics as the best drama of the 20th century. The Prozorov sisters, Olga, Masha, and Irina, along with their brother, Andrey, drag out a dull existence in a small provincial garrison town. Only the diversion afforded by the officers and the ever-present dream of someday moving to Moscow keep the sisters going from one drab day to the next. Audrey, who has had dreams of becoming a professor, makes a bad marriage that thwarts his ambition and adds to his sisters' troubles. His wife, Natalya Ivanovna, becomes a domestic despot. Masha, who is married to the pedantic schoolmaster Kulygin, tries to find happiness in a love affair with the officer Vershinin. The youngest sister, Irina, attempts to escape the drabness of her life by marrying Baron Tuzenbakh, another officer. The removal of the regiment from the town undoes Masha's plan, because Vershinin is married and cannot take her with him. Tuzenbakh is killed in a duel. The three sisters are left as they were in the beginning, deriving some faint pleasure from the cheerful sounds of the regimental band as it marches away, still clinging to their hopes for a better life. [Play summary from Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia, p. 1024]
Notes* The Seagull is the first of what are generally considered to be Anton Chekhov's four major plays. It centers on the romantic and artistic conflicts between four theatrical characters: the ingenue Nina, the fading leading lady Irina Arkadina, her son the experimental playwright Konstantin Treplev, and the famous middlebrow story writer Trigorin.
Like the rest of Chekhov's full-length plays, The Seagull relies upon an ensemble cast of diverse, fully developed characters. In opposition to much of the melodramatic theater of the nineteenth century, lurid actions (such as Treplev's suicide attempts) are kept offstage. Characters tend to speak in ways that skirt around issues rather than addressing them directly.
The play has a strong intertextual relationship with Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'. Arkadina and Treplev quote lines from it before the play-within-a-play in the first act. There are many allusions to Shakespearean plot details as well. For instance, Treplev seeks to win his mother back from the usurping older man Trigorin much as Hamlet tries to win Queen Gertrude back from Uncle Claudius.
The opening night of the first production was a famous failure. Chekhov supposedly walked out in the middle of the performance, much as Treplev walks out on the performance of his play-within-a-play.
The Possessed 2003
2007 3sis : SOD project
[ I do not think I will collect all the files and materials for The Three Sisters. Ever. NTL, there are many new texts on Chekhov and as you can see I am doing "mini-chekhov" in 2005. Perhaps, the best tribute to any writer is his his works in production, on stage. The "serious" late Anton Chekhov is present in my last show, letters. How far would we go talking about Chekhov himself? Will see.
"Finita" is an original one act, a part of the show, based on the well-known farces. Anatoly ]
SHOWCASE -- UAF 3sis:
- ANDREY SERGEEVICH PROZOROV
- NATASHA NATALYA IVANOVNA, (his fiancée, afterwards his wife)
- PROZOROV'S SISTERS:
- FYODOR ILICH KULYGIN (high-school teacher, husband of MASHA)
- LIEUTENANT-COLONEL ALEXANDR IGNATEVICH VERSHININ (battery commander)
- BARON NIKOLAY LVOVITCH TUZENBAKH (Lieutenant)
- SOLYONY VASSILY VASILEVICH SOLYONY (Captain)
- DOCTOR IVAN ROMANOVICH CHEBUTYKIN (Army Doctor)
Time -- Present
Place -- Created World
Cast/Crew/Students/Surfers -- the place to discuss 3 Sisters, Chekhov, Drama, Theatre. Join the Virtual Theatre project! Welcome to the next century and new millennium of theatre!
new "Chekhov Pages" (updates in script.vtheatre.net)
A couple things you need to study, if you want to do 3 Sisters. Method - Stanislavsky (above in ACTING) and Chekhov's drama (in Script Analysis)!
@1999- Adaptation/Translation by Anatoly Antohin * vtheatre.net *
www.themoscowtimes.com/context -- John Freedman
Lord knows I complain often enough about the decade-long pandemic of copy-cat Chekhov productions that we constantly must slog through. They remind me of a phrase my father used to use, one whose logic I never could quite crack - "it's all the same difference." Now, from the daunting heights of personal experience that I have attained in more decades of life than I wish to admit, I have come to realize that dad meant something like all those dozens, nay, hundreds, of Chekhov productions that, for all their differences, are, in fact, spot-on identical.
But there is always something ready to come along and burst your bubble, isn't there?
In this case, I mean an arresting new interpretation of Anton Chekhov's "The Three Sisters," the tale about three cultured women who dream in vain of returning to Moscow while the backwater burg they live in is being vacated by an army garrison, the town's only source of entertainment. This show at the Dzhigarkhanyan Theater wreaked havoc on my neat theory that cloned Chekhov productions are running neck and neck with global warming, criminal political crusaders and Britney Spears in the evil conspiracy to destroy Planet Earth. In fact, most of the characters in this tough, challenging production, created jointly by directors Yury Klepikov and Vladimir Yachmenev, look as though they have gazed into the fires of Armageddon and wish to tell us what they have seen before the conflagration engulfs them.
This is one household of unhappy people. No one, however, is pining gloomily for the past or the future. No one is heaving the sad sighs of loneliness and melancholy. Almost everyone here - the three sisters and all of the other family members, visitors and hangers-on - is caught in that vicious downward spiral that is otherwise known as life. Each is in the grips of deep-seated frustration, if not rage. Suffering is something they do loudly and demonstratively, not cowering in the shadows.
This makes for some very funny moments, as in the desperate, clawing love scenes played out with everybody watching. When the humor is eclipsed, such as when Andrei, the three sisters' once-gentle brother, begins breaking down psychologically, this show can throw a chill down your spine.
And then there are the numerous scenes when comedy and heart-stopping drama race forward hand in hand. For me one of the most memorable of these moments takes place as the luckless but congenial Tuzenbach (Alexei Shevchenkov) swears repeatedly that he is going to be happy. Every time he utters the word "happy," the pompous Lieutenant Colonel Vershinin (Andrei Merzlikin), all philosophy and no brains, stridently interrupts him and grumbles, "No!" By the seventh or eighth round of this shotgun exchange, we are consumed by laughter and shaken by the realization that, jerk or not, Vershinin is right - the clueless Tuzenbach can't ever possibly be happy.
One of the discoveries of this production is the depth of the characters of Andrei (Stanislav Duzhnikov) and his wife Natalya (Yelena Ksenofontova). The typical handling of this pair is for Andrei to be a mouse and for Natalya to be a rat. Not so at the Dzhigarkhanyan. Ksenofontova plays a sex goddess who uses her feminine wiles and lack of scruples to cow everyone into submission. Brusque, flirtatious and self-confident, she keeps Andrei in a state of frustrated agitation by leading him on sexually but rarely allowing him to get beyond preliminaries. For his part, Andrei starts out as a compassionate man who seems too normal for all the eccentrics surrounding him, but eventually develops into a strangely violent man who chases around the old watchman Ferapont (Denis Nadtochy) in an effort to engage him in wrestling matches, and who, in his lowest moment, spouts off a speech about how good Natalya is while rudely kicking a group of fire victims out of his house.
In short, the characters and situations of Chekhov's play are the same as they have always been, but they are cast in an entirely new, completely believable, light that allows us to approach them as if for the first time.
Kulygin, customarily a dowdy old Greek teacher whose colorless personality oppresses his wife Masha (Olga Kuzina), the second in age of the three sisters, is, a strong, stylish, sensitive man in the performance of Alexander Bukharev. This comes as a revelation and significantly tightens the drama of Masha's brief affair with Vershinin. When Masha strays to Vershinin, a comically clumsy and irritating type as performed by Merzlikin, we can only conclude that the demons driving her are far more profound than mere boredom. The result is that both Kulygin and Masha become more complex, and so interesting, as characters.
Most of the private, intimate scenes in Chekhov's play take place in this production before the eyes of all. There are no secrets here; everyone knows his or her own sorrows and understands that they are shared by all. In this light, Masha's farewell meeting with Vershinin is especially moving. Kulygin stands by watching the whole thing happen and, even so, moves to comfort Masha as she remains shattered following Vershinin's departure.
The sisters Olga (Yelena Medvedeva), Masha and Irina (Anna Bashenkova) seem overwhelmed but not quite broken by the tragedy of their lives going to waste. Olga is tough and stoic; Masha is as trivial as she is explosive; Irina is 20 going on 45, a woman who knows instinctively that life holds no hope for her but also knows it would be in bad taste to show it. She agrees to marry Tuzenbach because she has no other choice, but when she hears he has been killed in a duel, her reaction is hollow. Any emotions she ever may have had were spent long ago.
Klepikov and Yachmenev gave the show an almost feverish pace. People are constantly running in and out, interrupting one another, shouting each other down. On occasion someone might try to escape into a corner but peace seldom lasts long there - the crowd always finds them and envelops them again in the swirl of noise and activity.
The soundscape of this show handled beautifully. Rattling and crashing sounds back up the action at key moments while a half-singing, half-howling chorus distantly accompanies Andrei's bitterly ironic speech that happiness awaits him, his wife and son in the not-too-distant future.
The set by Ilya Yevdokimov is a layered space that is occasionally sliced in two by a pair of transparent plastic panels that act as a "wall with eyes." When Natalya and Andrei escape the crowd at Irina's 20th birthday party to paw each other in lustful abandon, all the guests stand staring at them from the other room. Looming in the back are the bare trees of an orchard, apparently a hint that the logical extension of "The Three Sisters" is "The Cherry Orchard," Chekhov's next and final great play in which a family loses its grip on past glories and is driven out of its house altogether.
Film-North * Anatoly Antohin
© 2006 by vtheatre.net. Permission to link to this site is granted. books.google.com + scholar.google.com