Saturday, November 12, 2005

Three Sisters

Last night we saw a production of Anton Chekov's "Three Sisters" at SMU. I have never seen one of Chekov's plays but have heard much reference to them especially in Woody Allen films.

The set was minimal but well done. It was not a typical proscenium theatre but instead a theater in the half-round. The floor of the stage and the back wall were painted in black and white so as to imitate a snowy wood. Quite appropriate being that the play is set in a rural garrisoned town in Russia at the turn of the 19th century. Scattered about the stage and even into the audience there were imitated birch tree trunks stretching up to the ceiling. I thought this was a nice touch as it connected the audience to the stage and it gave an intimate feel to the theatre.

The play centers around three sisters, Olga, Masha, and Irina, young adult women whom have lost both their parents but were well bred and educated and forced to dwell in a small, dull garrisoned town. They all feel, especially Irina, consigned to waste and wither away in a less than satisfactory existence in the town. Ultimately the sisters strive to move out of the town and to Moscow, which serves as a metaphor for all the longings and dreams of the sisters as they drudge through their dull lives in the small town.

The play also has other characters that wax philosophical about the meaning of happiness and if one can ever truly be happy and also the meaninglessness of existence. The supporting characters philosophical soliloquies frame the story of the sisters so as to set them as living examples of the philosophical musings. Ultimately all the characters in the play wind up settling for less than what they imagined their lives to be.

Although the acting as just OK, I thought this play had some fantastic and very modern themes. My partner frequently has "existential crises" and I'm forced to go through similar kinds of questions that "Three Sisters" deals with with him when he gets down. What are we all doing? What is the point? Why do I do what I do? Am I really myself or am I just deluding myself? How am I not myself? These are all questions that I believe linger in the backs off all our minds; questions that are sometimes depressing to answer truthfully to, but nonetheless should be posed and answered from time to time.

If you're in Dallas and want to see the production its cheap and worth the money. You pay more to go see a sub satisfactory movie that doesnt come close to stimulating your mind as much as this does. Three Sisters, Nov 10-13 and Nov 17-20 at the Greer Garson Theater, located in the Owen Fine Arts Building at Southern Methodist University.


Blogger Knute123 said...

What is going on??!?!?! We saw the same play, the same week in different cities?


5:32 PM  

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