The Three Sisters is the third of Anton Chekhov’s four major plays, and maybe the most perfect expression of his artistic genius. It chronicles three and a half years in the falling fortunes of the four children of a recently deceased Colonel in the Russian army: sweet Irina, the youngest and most impressionable; tempestuous Masha, who is trapped in a loveless marriage; practical Olga, who has resigned herself to spinsterhood; and their brother Andrei, whose ill-advised romance and compulsive gambling wreaks havoc on the family finances and eventually forces them out of their home. Weary of their small-town surroundings, the Prozorovs long to return to Moscow, the bustling metropolis they left eleven years ago. Unfortunately, ground down by disappointment, debt, and the oppressive ordinariness of their daily lives, they’re never able to get there. Ten other vivid characters round out the cast -- including a coterie of soldiers whose arrival in town in the first act is a cause for celebration and whose departure in the final act is a cause for dismay. Despite Chekhov’s undeserved reputation for avoiding intense drama, The Three Sisters is packed with action and emotion, including two tumultuous affairs, a fire that devastates the nearby town, and a duel that ends in the death of a major character.
The Three Sisters guide sections