Monday, February 26, 2018
Chekhov Gets An Updating
The Illinois Theatre Association (ITA) continues on in Tucson, AZ. Jan and I spent an invigorating afternoon at the U. of AZ directing studio where John Muszynski directed a new play by MFA student Fly Steffens. Had a nice chat with[JDY1] John after the show and also ITA stalwart Donna Burke who was visiting. We may want to set up an AZ alum chapter for ITA.
The play was a mind bending contemporary retelling of Chekhov’s Three Sisters. In 95 intermissionless minutes it covers most of the Chekhov plot, but adds strange noises, recorded passages, interior monologues, multiple voices and a bear that erupts out of the birch forest with a primal sexual force that snares Masha and several other of the characters. Moscow is a myth and so is life in the burbs. That may be why the author extends the title to: Three Sisters, or: Insignificance is sickening and love means nothing at all; all it is is the strength to keep going on no matter what. No matter what, this was challenging stuff, excellently produced, and with a young and exuberant cast. Kudos all around.