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Office of News & Public Affairs

BC Theatre Department Presents Chekhov’s
“Three Sisters”: November 21-24, 2013

Chestnut Hill, Mass. (November 2013)  – The Boston College Theatre Department continues its 2013-2014 season with an exciting, non-traditional production of Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters.  The production will be directed by guest artist, David R. Gammons, the Theatre Department's Rev. J. Donald Monan, S.J. Professor in Theatre Arts for the Fall 2013 semester.  [More below.] Performances will take place on the Robsham Theater Arts Center  main stage November 21-24.

Photo: John Schettino ’15 and Maggie Kearnan ’14. (Photo by Danny Zawodny)

Widely considered Chekhov's masterpiece, Three Sisters includes complex roles coveted by professional actors.  Set in the twilight of the Czarist era in Russia, the play tells the story of the four Prozorov siblings: sisters Masha, Olga, Irina, and their brother Andrey, children of a military commander who died a year before the play begins. The action takes place in the bustling Prozorov home, a haven for the local intelligentsia, located in a provincial backwater town.

Over the course of four acts, the audience meets a constellation of characters, most of whom are caught between their dreams of a happier, more fulfilling future and the limitations and disappointments of their everyday reality.  The yearning for a better life is epitomized by the sisters' desire to return to the excitement of the big city where they grew up: Moscow.  The refrain "To Moscow. To Moscow!" echoes through the play with a mixture of hope and despair. 

BC Monan Professor David R. Gammons comes to the University as an accomplished director, designer, visual artist, and theatre educator.  He has directed and/or designed for an impressive list of professional Boston-area theater companies, including SpeakEasy Stage Company, American Repertory Theatre, Actor’s Shakespeare Project, Coyote Theatre, and New Repertory Theatre.  He has also worked with Philadelphia’s acclaimed Pig Iron Theatre Company and Headlong Dance Theatre.  A graduate of the directing program of the American Repertory Theatre Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University, he currently directs the Theatre Program at Concord Academy, where he teaches acting, directing, playwriting and design.

Gammons' practice of creating original devised work with a company of actors is balanced by his interest in taking a fresh look at established classics, and he has long wanted to tackle Three Sisters. "I've seen the play many times, taught the play over and over, and overseen a student-directed production, but not had the opportunity to create my own vision of the text,” says Gammons.  “For twenty-five years I have been haunted by the Prozorov sisters and the others that fill their house with laughter, tears, yearning and passion.  It is quite an honor to be able to bring this play alive at Boston College this fall.” 

Chekhov wrote Three Sisters explicitly for the legendary Moscow Art Theatre, the Russian company famous for bringing a new level of truthfulness to theatrical presentation.  The play premiered in 1901 under the direction of Konstantin Stanislavsky; Chekhov's wife Olga Knipper played the role of Masha.  The play has gone on to countless translations and adaptations in theaters around the world.  The Boston College production makes use of the translation of poet and playwright Paul Schmidt; practically the standard American translation for more than the past decade, it is praised for its fidelity to the original Russian and its clarity and familiarity in American English. 

The cast features Maggie Kearnan ’14 as Olga, Thais Menendez ’14 as Masha, Sydney Sabean ’16 as Irina. Eliott Purcell ’14 will play their brother, Andrey, and Maiken Fjellstad ’14 will play Natasha, Andrey’s love interest and eventual wife.  Other cast include John Schettino ’14 as Vershinin, the new battery commander and Masha's love interest; Dustin Pazar ’15 as Tuzenbach, Irina's chief suitor; Ryan Cooper ’16 as Masha's husband, Kulygin; Kyle Brown ’14 as the brooding Solyony; Brandan Ray ’15 as the military doctor and long-time friend of the family, Chebutykin; Alexandra Lewis ’14 as Anfisa, the long-serving family housekeeper; and Stephen Wu ’14 as Ferapont.

Also on the production team are BC Theatre Department faculty members Crystal Tiala as scenic designer, Jackie Dalley as costume designer and Jeff Adelberg as lighting designer. David Wilson is the guest-artist sound designer; Sarah Kelley ’14 is stage manager.

The production opens Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. and runs through a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, November 24, 2013 in the Robsham Theater Arts Center. Tickets are $15 and $10 for students, seniors, and BC faculty and staff. All tickets are available online at through the RTAC Box Office, or by calling 617-552-4002.

Boston College Office of News & Public Affairs