The Three Sisters


The Three Sisters


The Three Sisters is a visceral new translation of Anton Chekhov’s original, developed in collaboration with director and translator Stepan Simek. This production returns to the fierce sparseness of the original Russian text and uses contemporary performance techniques to illuminate Chekhov’s classic for a 21st Century audience, highlighting questions of individualism, entitlement, community and cooperation. Employing PETE’s unique actor training and collaborative process, the company has worked with Simek to create a translation that excavates the play from under more than a century of romantic English translations.

photo by Owen Carey

photo by Owen Carey


The play follows the lives of three sisters as they lose their house and sense of home, navigating the personal, cultural and political changes that rocked Russia at the end of the 19th Century. Over one hundred years later, we identify with the very humanness of Chekhov’s figures as they search for meaning in their lives. We recognize a likeness between America’s current plight – economic recession, a disappearing middle class, gridlock in government, a cultural sense of apathy and powerlessness – and the circumstances of Chekhov’s Russia.


The acting company functions as a wonderfully wrought symphony.  Each actor gives us a uniquely envisioned character but they are all skillfully blended within the whole.

-The Oregonian on PETE’s The Three Sisters



These elements—a new translation, an excellent cast, and unique staging—present a vibrantly blooded, breathing portrait of House Prozorov and its three sisters. The production is so fully in its world, and so obviously respects its characters, that the actual plot seems incidental, by which I mean inevitable. It can't help but happen, and you can't help but watch.

-Portland Mercury on PETE's The Three Sisters



photo by Owen Carey

photo by Owen Carey

This production might do for you what it did for me: Turn my thinking about The Three Sisters upside down in the most unexpected, telling, clever, and hilarious ways. Maybe that’s not how you think you want your Chekhov?

-Oregon Arts Watch on PETE’s The Three Sisters



Masterful. A living, breathing theater for the ages. Another knockout from PETE ... Outstanding ensemble and fresh translation give Chekhov’s characters clear trajectories. Immersive staging utterly transforms new Reed studio. Unmissable.

-Portland Theatre Scene on PETE’s The Three Sisters



The show has the company’s visceral, iconoclastic stamp all over it, from the inventive staging to the tension between stillness and motion... this production is immediate and alive.

-Willamette Week on PETE’s The Three Sisters


photo by Owen Carey

photo by Owen Carey

PETE’s Aggressive New Translation of Chekhov’s ‘The Three Sisters’

Preview article by Portland Monthly



Production Credits:


August 2-17, 2014

Venue: Diver Studio, Reed College


Text by Anton Chekhov

Original translation by Stepan Simek

Director: Stepan Simek



Rebecca Lingafelter*

Cristi Miles*

Amber Whitehall

Jacob Coleman

Isaac Lamb*

Mike O'Connell*

John San Nicolas*

Chris Murray*

David Meyers*

Jahnavi Caldwell-Green

Kathleen Worley*

Michael Chambers

Jake Simonds

Dustin Rush


*Member, Actors' Equity Association



Sound design: Mark Valadez

Lighting design: Miranda K Hardy

Set design: Peter Ksander

Costume design: Jenny Ampersand


Stage Manager: Jory Bowers*

Assistant Stage Manager: Mac Kimmerle


Photography Owen Carey


Made possible with support from Ronni LaCroute, the Kinsman Foundation, and The Regional Arts and Culture Council.

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