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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

Oct. 5, 2007

Chekhov play comes to Fisher stage

by Erin Rosacker

Three Sisters

ISU Theatre's opening performance of The Three Sisters begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12. Photo by Patrick Gouran.

ISU Theatre stages its second show of the season with the turn-of-the-century Russian drama, The Three Sisters. Written by Anton Chekhov, the four-act play centers on the lives of sisters Olga, Masha and Irina Prozorov.

"Chekhov is one my favorite playwrights," said Brad Dell, a theater faculty member who is directing the play. "I love the drama and the character development. It's an amazing opportunity for college actors to explore these characters."

The privileged 20-something women grew up in the urban bustle of Victorian-era Moscow, but are bored with the small provincial town they've lived in for the last 11 years. Following the death of their father, the sisters dream of returning to a high-society life in Moscow as they toil through the circumstances of everyday life.

"Like every person, these are characters that are just wanting more. They are so passionate about wanting to know more, and do more, and be more than what they are," Dell said. "Despite a lot of bad things that happen in this play, ultimately it is a play about hope."

Dell said that although the set and costumes will provide a 19th century backdrop, the dialogue is a contemporary translation. He said the audience should easily relate to the characters, that many of the situations and circumstances are universal and timeless.

"That's what's amazing about Chekhov -- he didn't write for the turn of the century, he wrote for forever," Dell said.

All performances will be in Fisher Theater. They include two Friday night performances (7:30 p.m. Oct. 12 and Oct. 19) and two Sunday matinees (2 p.m. Oct. 14 and Oct. 21).

The sisters are portrayed by seniors Heidi Germann (Olga), Amanda Mullen (Masha) and Kim Chelf (Irina). Senior Adam Moeller plays the trio's brother Andre, and senior Carrie Taylor is Natasha, the sister-in-law who transforms from hesitant peasant girl to formidable matriarch.

Tickets, available at the Iowa State Center ticket office, are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors and $7 for students and children.

ISU Theatre will offer Saturday evening (7:30 p.m.) performances of its first fall production, We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay! during the two-weekend run of The Three Sisters.


"He [Chekhov] didn't write for the turn of the century, he wrote for forever."

Brad Dell