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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
August 2-17, 2014
Venue: Diver Studio, Reed College
Text by Anton Chekhov
Original translation by Stepan Simek
Director: Stepan Simek
John San Nicolas*
*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.