First performed at the Moscow Art Theatre in 1901, this landmark of modern drama probes the lives and dreams of Olga, Masha and Irina, former Muscovites now living in a provincial town from which they long to escape. Their hopes for a life more suited to their cultivated tastes and sensibilities provide a touching counterpoint to the relentless flow of compromising events in the real world. With explanatory footnotes.
NATASHA: God that’s…so…so classless MASHA: I’m sure it’s a sign of being happy if you don’t notice whether it’s summer or winter. If I was at home I wouldn’t notice I’m sure, it’d just all be home to me VERSHININ: I was reading the diaries of this man in prison. He wrote pages and pages about these birds he could see from his cell, they were quite common birds all over the place but he became totally fascinated. Never noticed them before and the second he got out never noticed them again. Be the same in London, you’d never notice it if you were in it. It’s like I said we aren’t programmed to be happy, just to want it VERSHININ’s phone beeps, he looks at the text. TUSENBACH: No more red? IRINA: (About SOLYONY who has the bottle with him.) There’s your culprit TUSENBACH: That was fast VERSHININ: (Angry.) Oh for fuck’s sake They all look to VERSHININ, he waves it off, only MASHA remains looking, his voicemail finishes; to MASHA privately. VERSHININ: I better go MASHA: Why? VERSHININ: Don’t want to make a big fuss MASHA: Is it a secret? VERSHININ: It’s my…that was my daughter, her mother’s… MASHA: Oh