Thursday, January 27, 2011

Maggie Gyllenhaal Off-Broadway in Anton Chekhov's "Three Sisters"

Back in October 2008, I had the pleasure of seeing the Broadway production of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull starring Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard and Kristin Scott Thomas.

Currently playing at the off-Broadway theater, the Classic Stage Company, Sarsgaard is once again tackling Chekhov, but this time along with his wife, Maggie Gyllenhaal, in the Three Sisters.

Due to strong ticket demand, the Classic Stage Company’s forthcoming production has been extended for two weeks, through March 6. The play began previews on January 12 and will open on February 3.

Three Sisters features Maggie Gyllenhaal (Masha), Jessica Hecht (Olga), Juliet Rylance (Irina) and Peter Sarsgaard (Vershinin).

Three Sisters is a naturalistic play about the decay of the privileged class in Russia and the search for meaning in the modern world. It describes the lives and aspirations of the Prozorov family, the three sisters (Olga, Masha, and Irina) and their brother Andrei. They are a family dissatisfied and frustrated with their present existence. The sisters are refined and cultured young women who grew up in urban Moscow; however for the past eleven years they have been living in a small provincial town.

Chekhov's initial inspiration was the general life-story of the three Brontë sisters, i.e., their refinement in the midst of provincial isolation and their disappointment in the expectations they had of their brother Branwell.

Moscow is a major symbolic element: the sisters are always dreaming of it and constantly express their desire to return. They identify Moscow with their happiness, and thus to them it represents the perfect life. However as the play develops Moscow never materializes and they all see their dreams recede further and further. Meaning never presents itself and they are forced to seek it out for themselves.

To purchase tickets, click here.

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