Three Sisters, The Chekov/Detroit Project

Produced by the experimental performance company theRUMPUSroom

By: Anton Chekov, Amanda Ewing, Chantel Gaidica
Directed by Chantel Gaidica with Dramaturg Amanda Ewing

We endeavor to interpret and explore gender relationships in the workplace and home by using Anton Chekov’s The Three Sisters. Through engaging the hopelessness and enduring suffering of Chekov’s work we will place the themes of The Three Sisters in conversation with the disenfranchisement of Detroit in order to access a purely Detroit aesthetic. Through multi-medium acts our company, theRUMPUSroom, focuses on experimental performance rooted in text and ornamented by other performance elements.

Don’t be fooled though – this is a comedic drama.

The work of Chekov has an inherent humor to it. This play is a jumping off point for us to use a classic text in conversation with other thematic focuses. We play with performance lecture, movement, Motown, traditional text, and verbatim theatre.

This play is broken into four separate performative moments; one piece for each of the sisters and a final piece, which connects their stories through the perspective of their joint antagonist, Natasha (who is an amalgamation of the negative qualities of each of the women). Focusing on each sister’s through-line, and the intertwining effort of antagonist Natasha, we will emphasize the fractured moments of Chekov’s play through media, source material, and choreographic moments.

Olga, the eldest sister is a teacher. Her piece combines interviews with teachers and students in Detroit Public Schools projected onto a screen with Chekov’s original text about teaching, labor, and struggle.

Masha is the middle child. Already married, Masha is in a loveless marriage, and already knows that she will never have her dreams. This primarily movement based piece layers classic Motown hits with Chekov’s text. (An excerpt from a recent workshop of the piece is included.)

Irina has just entered the workforce as the youngest child in the family. Irina’s performance lecture, entitled “Dear Diary, a performance lecture by Irina Prozorov, the world’s leading expert in despair.”

Here are some videos from our recent workshop, hosted by Matrix Theatre Company:

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