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February 11, 1983 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-02-11

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

aI.

ARTS

FL(OUISE FLOWERS"

. ...

The Michigan Daily Friday, February 11, 1983 Page 7

'Three Sisters'

: Slow dazzle

By David Kopel
"Three Sisters is a play that should
be seen at least once by all
theatregoers, because it is a definitive
example of the true ensemble style."
At least that's what the press release
says. Happily, this release tells the
truth, for the current production of
Three Sisters is a masterpiece of fine
ensemble work.
lrhe play continues at the Power Cen-
ter through Sunday, with evening per-
formances at 8:00, and a Sunday
matinee at 2:00. Tickets are five to
seven-and-a-half dollars.
.Writer Anton Chekhov's approach to
tlheater emphasized realism. He aimed
thow his characters living out their
lives the way real people do.
-As a result, Chekhov created
lesurely-paced domestic drama. Most
CLiekhov scenes are about ordinary
edents, about the typical days that fill
uD our lives. But within the structure of
allay based on ordinary days, Chekhov
created some of theater's most realistic
characters-characters as interesting

and subtle as real people.
The story is about three educated and
aristocratic Russian sisters, living in
the countryside around the turn of the
century. Stifled by the torpor of rural
life, they dream of moving to Moscow.
One of the most satisfying aspects of
the PTP production is the cast's con-
fident insistence on letting the play
proceed on its ownterms. However,
some directorial decisions re-inforce
Chekhov's intention that his plays
create full world of their own.
For example, characters appear on
stage, going about their business before
the play formally begins, and between
acts. A few dialogues are played with
the characters facing away from the
audience, and one long scene takes
place in a dining room set deep
backstage.
The point is that whether the audien-
ce is in the lobby or not, life in the
sisters' family continues. By
seemingly ignoring the audience, the
cast makes it all the easier for the
onlookers to move into the reality of
Chekhov's world.
The highlight of Three Sisters is wat-
ching how well the cast rises to the

demands of ensemble playing. Each
actor balances against and contrasts
with the next. Good ensemble playing
demands absolute precision, and that is
the strength and the weakness of this
show. Every tiny detail adds
something to the whole, and the play
moves like clockwork. Unfortunately,
the cast-especially in the first
act-sometimes relies on technical ex-
cellence as a substitute for true
emotion.
But more often than not, the charac-
ters are as life-like as any you'll see in a
theater. The play takes place over
several years, with each of the charac-
ters changing (or stagnating) over the
passage of time. This play won't rivet
you to your seat with gripping action
(Chekhov thought it unnecessary), but
if you watch attentively, you'll see
characters with all the nuances of real

* people, down to the last little twitch.
Singling out special performances
here is difficult because almost every
one of the characters has several out-
standing scenes. The three sisters are
not perfect, but they are interesting all
of the time, and often superb.
Curiously, their peaks of sadness have
more substance than do the happy
moments. One of the best features of
the evening is observingJhe interaction
of three very different sisters.
Three Sisters requires a commitment
from the audience. You'll have to sit
through three hours of life in a place
where life moves no faster than it wants
to. But if you can overcome your
anxiety to hurry and get back to the
'real world,' you'll be rewarded with a
well-constructed picture of how an in-
teresting group of people try to make
sense of their lives.

.;.,. .

PRESENTS
eautifully
rranged Bouquets
Long lasting
Plants
for a
Valentine's Day
ot soon forgotten!
't forget Valentine's Day
Mon, Feb. 14

Louise Flowers & Gifts
334 S. State Street Don
663-5049

ANNOUNCING SPEEDY'S
NEW COPY CENTER

The R. C. Players present
MAMAS, DON'T LET
YOUR BABIES
GROW UP TO BE
PLAYWRIGHTS
AN ACTOR'S EVENING OF
SAM SHEPARD
FEBRUARY 10-12, 8:00
EAST QUAD AUD
ALL TICKETS $1.00

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SPEEOY RESERVE NOTE
.i." 00,
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COPY ORDER ONLY
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Expires February 28 1983 Not Redeemable For Cash
;SA '-La

CHECKMATE WELCOMES YOU TO OUR
BIGGEST FASHION SALE OF THE YEAR

I

0/0'

* Tim Hopper and Maggie Fleming are pictured in this touching moment from
Anton Chekov's 'Three Sisters,' currently running at the Power Center.

Our sister store, Wakefield's of Milwaukee is preparing for reno-
vations. Before the construction begins they have shipped to us
their big winter inventory for clearance. Substantial markdowns
have been taken.
Wakefield's has been a Milwaukee fashion landmark for many
years serving a large and loyal clientele of business and profes-
sional women. Their store is known for it's tasteful, quality clothes.
We cordially invite you to this very special fashion sale

Junior & M
3 to 15

isses

Sizes

4 to 18

Winter Coats * Leather Coats

Winter Jackets * All weath

e

r zip-

lined Coats * Kaincoats * Dresses
Suits * Blazers * Skirts * Pants
Jeans * Sweaters * Shirts e Blouses

Yes, you

may Lay-Away

FFIFcm3ECKMATE

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