Three sisters, whose father was the chancellor at college in New York City, are meeting to celebrate the birthday of the youngest. Olga, the oldest, has pursued her father's career in academia and is one her way to becoming chancellor herself. Marcia, the middle sister, is trapped in a loveless marriage with a diffcult and emotionally crippling husband, Harry. The youngest , Irene, is an aimless young woman who is adrift and without purpose in her life. They have a brother, Andrew, who has been recently engaged to Nancy, a woman hated by everyone in the play. There are three other people: Gary, David, two young Professors both in love with Irene; and Dr. Chebrin (the character I play), an avuncular and irascible old man, a former colleague of the father.
Vincent Antoneli an old teaching assistant of the father. He, like Marcia, is in a loveless marriage. The two are attracted to each other and begin an affair. Irene has an overdose, which is a nice counter event to the fire in Chekov. Irene becomes involved with David, which drives Gary into a seething rage that he shows in more and more biting, vicious sarcasm. Plans are made to move back to Charleston, but Andrew sells the house and scuttles them. A fight ensues and David is gravely injured. The play ends,
The play very admirably updates the situations and relationships that were forged by Chekov but the tone is more that of, say, Neil Labute: caustic, acerbic, bitter and full of witty, biting vitriol. It's this change in tone that I most dislike about the play. Not to say I dislike the play. I like it, but I don't love it. Chekov's existential angst is replaced with fairly obvious psychodrama. It takes all of the subtlety of Chekov and lays it bare. It also embellishes the play with a negative tone that turns me off.
I'm looking forward to playing the part. Dr. Chebrin has some grace and goofy eloquence that will be fun to find.