Steppenwolf Theatre Company closes the 2011/12 season with Three Sisters, Anton Chekhov's humorous and affecting tale of longing for a better life, adapted by Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning ensemble member Tracy Letts, directed by Tony Award-winning ensemble member Anna D. Shapiro. Letts and Shapiro continue their celebrated collaboration following their acclaimed world-premiere production of August: Osage County (2007), bringing fresh insight to this classic story of a privileged family's changing fortunes.
Three Sisters begins previews June 28 (Opening Night is July 8; Press Performances are July 7 at 3pm and July 10 at 7:30pm) and runs through August 26, 2012 in Steppenwolf's Downstairs Theatre (1650 N Halsted St). Tickets ($20 – $75) are on sale now (prices are subject to change).
In Three Sisters, the Prozorov family chafes at the constraints of life in their small provincial town, once a bustling army garrison where their late father served as general. Attempts to shore up their crumbling social status lay bare the larger forces of unrest that will soon engulf them all.
"Chekhov's play is one filled with nostalgia-the meaning and motives of which are very difficult to hold on to because at its heart is longing for something that never was, that can never be again," comments Steppenwolf Artistic Director Martha Lavey.
Adds director Anna D. Shapiro, "Three Sisters is a play about a certain kind of paralysis. It is about all of the things we construct in the future that keep us immobilized in the day. There are unhappy marriages, unrequited love, duels and really nasty in-laws. And everybody's trying to get somewhere else. And it's funny. Funny in the way that serious human folly can be funny."
Regarding his adaptation of Chekhov's play, Tracy Letts notes in a recent interview published in American Theatre magazine, "I don't speak a word of Russian. So my first pass through the script was like math; it was some of the hardest stuff I've ever done, just trying to figure out what the sentences were. So my guiding principle going into was, I'm going to try to eliminate for the audience any further act of translation; they're going to have direct communication with the ideas and the characters."
Steppenwolf's 2011/12 season, Dispatches from the Homefront, explores how everyday lives are touched by war. In each of the five plays, war exerts a pressure-sometimes centrally, sometimes obliquely-on the lives of the characters-and moves them to action. The plays are alive with the humor, the tenderness and the urgency of lives struggling to find home.
Final casting for Three Sisters features ensemble members Alana Arenas (Natalia "Natasha" Ivanovna), Ora Jones (Olga Prozorova), and Yasen Peyankov (Kulygin) with Usman Ally (Solyony), Chance Bone (Fedotik), B. Diego Colón (Rodé), Carrie Coon (Maria "Masha" Prozorova), Maury Cooper (Ferapont), Mike Digirolamo (Ensemble), Jennifer Dymit (Ensemble), Luke Fattorusso (Ensemble), Derek Gaspar (Tusenbach), Brandon Holmes (Ensemble), Scott Jaeck (Chebutykin), John Judd(Vershinin), Garrett Lutz (Ensemble), Katie Mazzini (Ensemble), Tom McGrath (Ensemble), Bruce Moore (Ensemble), Caroline Neff (Irina Prozorova), Rakisha Pollard (Ensemble), Tommy Rivera-Vega (Ensemble), Mary Ann Thebus (Anfisa) and Dan Waller (Andrey Prozorova).