* chekhov.us & teatr.us
... 3sis webshow project [ Utopia ]
* Spring 2006: THR331 Fundamentals of Directing ("Stagematrix")
Hopefully this summer (2001) I will make use of the Three Sisters as a showcase for StageMatrix (Directing). One-two scenes only.
Therefore I have to rework some of the pages in 3sis directory to take directors from the text, to the concept, rehearsals and the show. For other classes, like acting and playscript analysis, I use the play differently.
As for contrast I plan to use the scenes from 12th Night to study the comedy genre. Of course, there are some comic elements in everything by Chekhov -- and some tragic elements in 12th Night, but for a director it is important the genre parameters during the conceptualization process.
In both cases I placed the action into "created world" settings, meaning that the time and the place are invented. The Three Sisters are not in the past, present, or future. The mixture of the elements of all three produces the effect of "fictional" space. It is very common method, which let the director to overcome the "period piece" limitations. You keep the historical frame of reference to a degree you need.
Featured Pages: Notes I do not know when I will have time to get to this project (the entire play).
2007 : Letters of Anton Chekhov to his family and friends -- With a Biographical Sketch, Translated by Constance Garnett * eBooks@Adelaide 2004
331 Fundamentals of Directing [ scenes I use ]
Notes* Second life of this directory and 3sis Forum ...
Annensky -- biblio (Russian) : brilliant writing on Chekhov (not translated?), some quotes [ru]
I will be returning to this page from chekhov.us and teatr.us
With the Web now I have a POST-PRODUCTION phase, like in the movies....
I have to finish this show with the notes, files, photos, so the Experience of production can be archived.
3 Sistes left an open forum behind -- 3sis: Realism & Method. I use it for classes. You are welcome to subscribe.
Since the play is online, use it for acting and directing classes (monologues and scenes). Some are on "character" pages (Shows Directory).
The Virtual Theatre aspects of this production are at vTheatre website (see listing above).
"Chekhov Y2K" : The showcase textbook -- play, comments, director's notes, forum discussion and etc.
In Acting Two (Biomechanics) I use Wilde and Mikado (comedy); in Acting Three (Method) I use "3 Sisters" (drama) and "Hamlet" (tragedy).
It is not the business of a translator to attempt to outdo all others in singing the praises of his raw material. This is a dangerous process and may well lead, as it led Mr. Calderon, to drawing the reader's attention to points of beauty not to be found in the original. A few bibliographical details are equally necessary and permissible, and the elementary principles of Chekhov criticism will also be found useful.
The very existence of "The High Road" (1884), probably the earliest of its
author's plays, will be unsuspected by English readers. During Chekhov's
lifetime it was a sort of family legend, after his death it became a family
mystery. A copy was finally discovered only last year in the Censor's office,
yielded up, and published. It had been sent in in 1885 under the nom-de-plume
"A. Chekhonte," and it had failed to pass. The Censor of the time being had scrawled his opinion on the manuscript, "a depressing and dirty piece--cannot be licensed." The name of the gentleman who held this view--Kaiser von Kugelgen--gives another reason for the educated Russian's low opinion of German-sounding institutions. Baron von Tuzenbach, the satisfactory person in "The Three Sisters," it will be noted, finds it as well, while he is trying to secure the favours of Irina, to declare that his German ancestry is fairly remote. This is by way of parenthesis. "The High Road," found after thirty years, is a most interesting document to the lover of Chekhov. Every play he wrote in later years was either a one-act farce or a four-act drama.*
*"The Swan Song" may occur as an exception. This, however, is more of a Shakespeare recitation than anything else, and so neither here nor there.
In "The High Road" we see, in an embryonic form, the whole later method of the plays--the deliberate contrast between two strong characters (Bortsov and Merik in this case), the careful individualization of each person in a fairly large group by way of an introduction to the main theme, the concealment of the catastrophe, germ-wise, in the actual character of the characters, and the creation of a distinctive group-atmosphere. It need scarcely be stated that "The High Road" is not a "dirty" piece according to Russian or to German standards; Chekhov was incapable of writing a dirty play or story. For the rest, this piece differs from the others in its presentation, not of Chekhov's favourite middle-classes, but of the moujik, nourishing, in a particularly stuffy atmosphere, an intense mysticism and an equally intense thirst for vodka.
"The Proposal" (1889) and "The Bear" (1890) may be taken as good examples of the sort of humour admired by the average Russian. The latter play, in another translation, was put on as a curtain-raiser to a cinematograph entertainment at a London theatre in 1914, and had quite a pleasant reception from a thoroughly Philistine audience. The humour is very nearly of the variety most popular over here, the psychology is a shade subtler. The Russian novelist or dramatist takes to psychology as some of his fellow-countrymen take to drink; in doing this he achieves fame by showing us what we already know, and at the same time he kills his own creative power. Chekhov just escaped the tragedy of suicide by introspection, and was only enabled to do this by the possession of a sense of humour. That is why we should not regard "The Proposal," "The Bear," "The Wedding," or " The Anniversary" as the work of a merely humorous young man, but as the saving graces which made perfect "The Cherry Orchard."
How to organize this part 5 -- the showcase? I place some notes from the 3sis Forum to giva you some sense how it works:
From: STIMMELMAYR RAPHAELA _
Date: Thu Sep 30, 1999 5:55 pm Subject: [3sis] Daily news 28sept99 DAILY NEWS 28/29SEPT.99 * SAM WILL BE AT REHEARSAL THURSDAY 7 PM. THE VOICE OF ANDREI * THURSDAY: REHEARSAL: 8-9PM NATASHA AND ANDREI REHEARSAL: 9-10 NATASHA AND OLGA * NO REHEARSAL FRIDAY. * PARTY @ ANATOLY 4 PM ON SATURDAY. * MONDAY: PRODUCTION MEETING AT 3.30 PM MONDAY. *ALL ACTORS SEND ME YOUR FREE-TIME SCHEDULE. I NEED IT TO SCHEDULE UPOMING REHEARSALS. BRING IT BY ON SATURDAY OR E-MAIL ME. *
QUOTABLES-CONCEPTUALS-NOTABLES (notes by the stagemanager after the reheaqrsals):
3SISTER: WHY IS THERE NO MOTHERLY INSTINCT IN THE THREE SISTERS; 3SISTERS DEPARTURE FROM THE HOUSE: THEY NEEDED TO GO. OTHERWISE THE HOUSEHOLD WOULD BE AS UNHAPPY AS IT ALREADY IS. NATASHA KNOWS THEY NEED TO LEAVE.
ACT III ? EVENT: FIRE , KEYS; ARMY GONE, AND THE HOUSE IS MORTGAGED.
ANDREI X NATASHA MARRIAGE: NATASHA IS PREGNANT FROM PROTOPOV; THEY (PROTOPOV AND NATASHA) ARE SIMILAR BOTH ARE MANIPULATORS THAT RUN OTHER PEOPLES LIFE. NATASHA IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR PROTOPOV, BUT HE'LL KEEP HER AS A MISTRESS. WHAT ABOUT ANDREI. DOES SHE HAVE FEELINGS FOR HIS TENDERNESS SOFTNESS.
ANDREI'S CHILDREN : PROTOPOV IS THE FATHER. BUT ANDREI RAISES THEM SO THEY ARE HIS CHILDREN
BIOMECHANICS: A: WHAT IS THE AIM.; ACTION, REACTION TO THE ACTION; STOP. AIM + ACTION + REACTION= CYCLE. ALL OF LIFE. 1+2+3;IT TEACHES YOU HOW TO EXAGGERATE;
EMOTIONAL CONTINUITY BETWEEN ACT III AND ACT IV. UNNATURAL ENDING OR DIVISION BETWEEN ACT 3 AND 4. TIME BETWEEN IS ONLY ABOUT A WEEK.
FIRE=THE BURNED ASHES. THE MOOD IS DEVASTATION, BUT THERE IS OPTION FOR PHOENIX OUT OF THE ASHES
IRINA'S BIRTHDAY: WHO INVITED NATASHA? WHY THE MARRIAGE PROPOSAL ON THAT DAY.
MUSIC: WHISTLE MASHA= VERSHININ IS COMING IN; TRAM-TAM-TAM = CODE; WHAT IS IT SAYING?
NATASHA: SHE ALWAYS SOUNDS IN AGREEMENT;THEN SHE SNAPS INTO HER AGENDA. THE GIRL GETS WHAT SHE WANTS. THE RHYTHM OF POLIT SWEET AND ROUGH IS ALL PLANNED. SHE MANIPULATES HER SOCIAL INTERACTION.
WE OBSERVED THE MAKING OF A COMPLEX EMOTIONAL EVENT. SOLYONIN X BARON, IRINA COMES TO THE HEAD (CLIMAX ) IN ACT III. WHY CAN' T I BE HERE AND HE CAN.
WHISTLE: IF YOU WHISTLE THE DEVIL APPEARS (OLD PROVERB) WHO CARES ABOUT THE FIRE: NOBODY CARES ABOUT THE FIRE?
http://library.ups.edu/instruct/ricig/tsmain.htm 3 Sisters Dramaturgy ***