On Friday November 16, I got the chance to see Eastern’s Arts Department put on a production of the play “Three Sisters” by Anton Chekhov, and it was amazing! The play was written in 1900 and was performed for the first time a year later at the Moscow Art Theatre, and it’s considered to be one of Chekhov’s best plays. Eastern’s production of the play was directed by Lori Reed. The play takes place in a small Russian town where the three sisters, Olga, Irina and Masha Prozorova, along with their brother Andrei Prozorov, are all attempting to cope after the death of their father.
Olga, played by Katelyn Rediger, is the eldest of the siblings and she busies herself with teaching at the local high school. Masha, played by Morgan Leavy, is the second sister. She is unhappily married to Fyodor Kulygin (played by Pascal Guerrier) and finds herself in love with a Lieutenant-Colonel (played by Bryan Eltman), who is also already married. The youngest sister Irina, played by Aubrey Carey, is a woman filled with dreams of returning back to her home in Moscow like her other siblings, but because of their declining fortune, her dreams cannot come true. She occupies herself with working as well as getting her teaching degree.
Finally, there is their brother Andrei, played by Hector Davila, who is married to a woman named Natasha Ivanovna, played by Naomi Roth. In the beginning of the play, Natasha was terribly shy and did not have the greatest sense of fashion. However, as the play progresses, she becomes more feisty, takes charge of the house and uses Andrei as a tool to manipulate his sisters to do whatever she wants.
On top of Natasha’s shenanigans is Andrei’s increasing gambling debts which have lead him to mortgage the house. He initially does not reveal to his sisters the fact that he has mortgaged the house, a fact that makes him the primary reason that they cannot return home to Moscow.
Although the siblings lead seemingly mundane lives, characters such as Dr. Chebutykin, the Baron, Solyony, Ferapont and Anfisa add humor to the play which is what the actors set out to do.
“[The play] is supposed to a comedy. The writer thought it was really funny but it turns out it’s really depressing a lot of the time so we do a really hard job of trying to make it really upbeat and funny” Zack Wilson, who played Dr. Chebutykin said.
His character especially was known for being extremely funny during the play as the Doctor who was drunk most of the time and would have random urges to get up and dance. However, despite his drunkenness it was not hard to tell that he deeply cared for the three sisters as well as their deceased mother.
The youngest sister, Irina, meets with three young men who try everything they can do to get her attention and affection. The Baron (played by Ian Maxwell), Lieutenant Fedotik (played by Spencer Lyons) and Solyony (played by Mary Cassel), all attempt to grab her attention through flattering language and photography; however, she is not interested in them because she wants to marry for love but she is unable to.
The three sisters have had many unfortunate hardships in life but what remains steady and strong is their bond–a bond which could easily be seen through the actors’ performance. Katelyn Rediger, Morgan Leavy and Aubrey Carey brought a natural sisterly connection to the stage which is what I think made the play such a success. The cast did not seem like they were merely just acting and trying to remember their lines. Instead, they made their characters come to life! Their characters seemed real to me, and that was because the actors did an amazing job at making them believable. This was my first time ever seeing a play at Eastern and it was a tremendous experience. I’m excited to see the next one!