Three Sisters: A Play

( 1 )

Overview

In this, his third adaptation of a Chekhov play, Pulitzer Prize–winning author David Mamet offers a contemporary, highly accessible version of Chekhov’s The Three Sisters. Working from a literal translation by Vlada Chernomordik, Mamet has rediscovered the characteristically modern chords in this powerful play and breathes new life into a timeless classic. This is Chekhov rendered in direct, colloquial language marked by Mamet’s finely tuned ear for dialogue.

The play focuses on...

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Overview

In this, his third adaptation of a Chekhov play, Pulitzer Prize–winning author David Mamet offers a contemporary, highly accessible version of Chekhov’s The Three Sisters. Working from a literal translation by Vlada Chernomordik, Mamet has rediscovered the characteristically modern chords in this powerful play and breathes new life into a timeless classic. This is Chekhov rendered in direct, colloquial language marked by Mamet’s finely tuned ear for dialogue.

The play focuses on the lives of three sisters, Olga, Masha, and Irina, young women of the Russian gentry who try to fill their days in order to construct a life that feels meaningful while surrounded by an array of military men, servants, husbands, suitors, and lovers, all of whom constitute a distraction from the passage of time and from the sisters’ desire to return to their beloved Moscow.

“Mamet’s ear is famously impeccable, the dialogue is always authentic and convincing….[This adaptation] will help to undermine our silly critical notions of ‘definitive’ Chekhov. Mamet has made me rethink the play,” said Robert Brustein in The New Republic of Mamet’s adaptation of The Cherry Orchard. And the Chicago-Sun Times called it “audacious, consistently arresting.”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802132765
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/1994
  • Series: Chekhov, Anton Series
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 546,181
  • Product dimensions: 5.42 (w) x 8.26 (h) x 0.35 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2006

    Masterful

    I recently went to a reading of this play by a theatre group here in Philadelphia that I really enjoy. Although I could write a very positive review of their reading, I'll try and focus on the writing itself. This play presents a masterful peek into societal life for three sisters living in a relatively small Russian city of 100,000 people. The theme of living in your memories or living in your hopes is a major theme that is magnificently played out across the play's long four acts. Each of the main characters has a catch phrase or speech that they deliver a variant of in each act, the first time full of hope and happiness and with each passing act with more and more despair and hopelessness. The three sister's arcs into unhappiness and depression weave together to create a very cohesive whole. I thought the contrast between the three sisters and their one brother played perfectly into the development of the sisters' characters. In fact, the contrast between the male characters and the female characters was very interesting all around. The transformation of Natasha's character was also an interesting shift. I found the character of Solyony to be one of the only male characters that compared to the three sisters, but I can't put my finger on why. Watching the town fall apart through the lives of the sisters made for a great play. If you can stand some slow plot development and lengthy dialog (ie, it is a Russian story), you should really check this play out!

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