Classic Chekhov drama "Three Sisters" to be performed at Coe

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(319) 399-8605 or

2010-11-22 11:25:23 - General

Coe students Alison Polivka (standing, as Olga), Taylor Eagan (seated, as Irina) and Heather Michele Lawler (on the floor, as Masha) and are featured in the upcoming Coe theatre production "Three Sisters."  The play opens Dec. 3 in Dows Theatre on the Coe campus.

The Coe College Department of Theatre Arts will present a classic Chekhov drama focused on the decay of the privileged class in early 20th-century Russia in "Three Sisters" on Dec. 3, 4, 5, 9, 10 and 11 in Dows Theatre on the Coe campus. All performances begin at 8 p.m. except for the Sunday, Dec. 5 performance, which starts at 2 p.m.

Seats are reserved, and tickets are $10 for general admission and $8 for students and seniors. Tickets are available at the door, or by calling the Coe Box Office at 399-8600, Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

"Three Sisters" is a bittersweet, serio-comic family drama set against the decay of the privileged class in Russia at the turn of the 20th century. The Prozorovs - sisters Olga, Masha, Irina, and their brother Andre - who spent their refined and cultured youth in Moscow, have been living for more than a decade in a small, colorless provincial town where their now-deceased father, a military general, had been transferred. Over time, their shared dream of returning to the more urbane life in the capital erodes, as the ordinariness of daily living gradually tightens its grip on them.

"Three Sisters" was written by Anton Chekhov and is directed by Steven Marc Weiss, Coe College associate professor of theatre arts. In addition, original incidental music was composed especially for this production by Coe Assistant Professor of Music Joseph Dangerfield. The music is scored for piano, violin and cello, and serves to establish the mood and atmosphere at the beginning and end of each act.

"Throughout the play, we see this trio of women struggling to carve out the tiniest morsel of happiness for themselves in a world that, ultimately, seems unfriendly to personal fulfillment of almost any kind," noted Weiss. "The real miracle of Chekhov's play is that he neither condemns the sisters' shared inertia nor espouses the philosophical posture of any of its characters. He refuses to take sides. He presents instead, without apology or excuse, a group of highly sympathetic, sensitive individuals who wander aimlessly through their lives, adrift in the maelstrom of human anguish. This could be a dangerous practice if it were adopted by a lesser playwright, but it is Chekhov's particular and unique genius that enables him to get away with it, and to do so with such depth of insight and profundity of understanding."

For more information, call 399-8600 or visit