The pursuit of happiness

Check out Chekhov as DalTheatre opens season

- October 18, 2007

DalTheatre's Three Sisters. (NIck Pearce photo)

DalTheatre kicks off its season with a play student actors can really dive into — Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters, about the decay of the privileged class in Russia and the search for meaning in the modern world.

"Actors just love Chekhov because they can fully inhabit their roles," says the play's director Jure Gantar. "And audiences love him, too, because they experience a real slice of life."

The play's three sisters are Olga, Masha, and Irina. The Prozorov siblings are refined and cultured young women in their 20s, who were raised in urban Moscow but have been living in a small town for 11 years. After their father's death, their return to Moscow represents their hopes for a better life. Satirical yet profoundly humane, Chekhov's modern classic explores the lure — and the dangers — of the pursuit of happiness.

True Chekhov admirers may want to see the play twice: Dr. Gantar, associate professor in the Department of Theatre, has double cast the five female roles for the play and prepared each cast differently.

"We're playing with sense memory and emotional recall. I've given each set of women actors a whole different set of images and music to start from," he explains.

Dr. Gantar compares his approach to a science experiment. And he's delighted by what's happening in rehearsals: "The tone that comes out of the two interpretations is radically different just because the actors are different. One approach is gentler; the other is more rambunctious initially — it's all due to the choices the actors make."

See: click here to view photographs from the production.

DalTheatre's 2007-08 season:

  • Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov. Oct. 16 to 20 in the
    David Mack. Murray Theatre.
  • A Spider's Tale. Performed as a collaboration with Symphony
    Nova Scotia. Nov. 27 to Dec. 1 in the Sir James Dunn Theatre.
  • Firefly. By Carol Sinclair with music by John Alcorn and directed by Pamela Halstead. Feb. 5 to 9 at the David Mack. Murray Theatre.
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare. Directed by Robert McClure. March 25 to 29 at the Sir James Dunn Theatre.

Tickets are $12 or $6 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased at the Dalhousie Arts Centre Box Office, 6101 University Avenue, Halifax. Call 494-3820 or see:


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