Arts & Culture » Culture

Three Sisters

Runs through Sunday, Nov. 24

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Anton Chekhov was born in Taganrog, Russia, in 1860. A doctor by profession, he made a name for himself as a writer of short stories and plays that eschewed the moral and heroic in favor of engaging and relatable characters who are both agents of their own wills and the playthings of circumstance. Writing on the cusp of the revolution that would usher the Bolsheviks into power, his works reflected the crumbling of Russia's pre-revolutionary society and its sad denizens turning away from history, submerged in their own troubles.

Boise State University Department of Theatre Arts will stage Chekov's play Three Sisters, which places Russia's decaying gentry at the center of the action. In it, three sisters--the domineering Olga, disenchanted Masha and naive Irina--must reconcile themselves with their changing family dynamic, mislaid plans and the frequently mediocre men in their lives.

Rather than placing these characters in the midst of a revolt, famine or economic decline, their stories are told over the course of several years. Chekhov set his trio on a slope, rather than a cliff, and they slide, rather than fall, away from Moscow, good marriages and leisure.

While containing no violence and only occasional strong language, Three Sisters, with its story of disappointment and decay, is not for the faint of heart.