Chekhov’s 1901 play, Three Sisters is part of the naturalism movement in theatre where plays portrayed the lives of ordinary people in realistic settings. Three Sisters is about the decay of the privileged class in Russia and the search for meaning in the modern world. It describes the lives and aspirations of the Prozorov family. After their cultured upbringing in Moscow the family moves to a small provincial town after the death of their father. The young sisters find this new life stultifying. Their brother is the new head of the household, but disappoints when he spends his time gambling and marries a woman that the sisters despise. Moscow looms over the play as a symbol of both happiness and an intellectual existence, but always remains at an unreachable distance for these sisters who are desperate to return there. More than a century old, Chekhov’s play explores a theme that rings true to modern audiences: the strive for meaning, the attainment of hopes and dreams and the disillusionment when hopes are not fulfilled.
“We value [Chekhov] for his juxtaposition of comedy and emotional pain, his penetration into character and his understanding of the eternal truths of human nature.”—Telegraph