Northern Kentucky University’s “Three Sisters” Gives Patrons a Glimpse into Russian Culture

Review by Mary Kate Groh of “Three Sisters”: NKU Theatre

Northern Kentucky University opens its second performance of the season with one of Anton Chekhov’s greatest plays, “Three Sisters.” The play, hidden with bits of humor scattered throughout, is the story of the Prozorov sisters and their brother who yearn to return to their adventure-filled life in Moscow. “Three Sisters,” directed by Mike King, is packed with emotions, aching desires and dreams, and the heartbreaking realities that are so often experienced.

The play opens in the spring of 1895 at the home of the Prozorovs where we meet the three sisters. Olga (Chelsea Trammell) is the oldest; the feisty Masha (Rachel Kazeez) is the middle sister who is stuck in an unhappy marriage; and then there’s the optimistic Irina (Hannah Beaven) who dreams of going back to Moscow. Their brother, Andrey (Joel Parece), dreams of being an influential university professor, but his issues with gambling and his marriage to his controlling wife, Natasha (Gabriela Barbosa–Gonzales), prevent him from chasing his dream.

My favorite aspect of this production was the beautifully decorated stage. Scenic designer, Anna Catton, crafted a superb staging design that transported me into an affluent 19th century home in Russia. The costumes, designed by Jacob Miller, really brought the entire production and mood-setting for the time period. While the actors did a phenomenal job with the material they were given, I found myself having a hard time hearing the lines being spoken, therefore, I found myself having a hard time following the story. I was not familiar with Chekhov’s work before seeing this production, so I did not know what to expect going into this play.

“Three Sisters” is playing in NKU’s Stauss Theater until October 27. For more information and to purchase tickets, call the NKU School of the Arts Box Office at (859) 572-5464 or visit