Three Sisters

There have been a few film adaptations of Three Sisters, but I was unable to find any of them online—and none of the readily-available ones look very promising.  For the record, here is what I found:

 

• A 1966 film directed by Paul Bogart.  This is not out on DVD, but you can get a VHS tape at NYPL.

 

• A 1970 film starting Laurence Olivier.  Widely available on DVD, including at NYPL.

 

• A 1970 BBC TV broadcast of the play.  Available on DVD at NYPL.

 

• There was another BBC TV broadcast in 1981, this one based on a production of the play by Trevor Nunn.  VHS copies of this exist, but none in the US, unfortunately.

 

• There was a 1994 Russian film adaptation, directed by Sergei Solovyov, and apparently based in part on the Olivier adaptation.  

http://www.filmannex.com/movie/three-sisters-1994-film/16033

 

• In 2009 there was a low-budget film adaptation by the Ocean Troupe theater company.  The trailer is on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OY5_KbJX5G8

 

There have also been scores of productions of the play, some of which drastically alter it.  Apart from The Quick-Change Room, there is Three Sisters: The Final Cut, a “radical adaptation” of the play that showed in San Francisco in 2010.  Here is a (strongly negative) review:

http://www.sfweekly.com/2010-11-10/culture/three-sisters-final-cut-theater-review/full/

 

Another play adaptation called Promise premiered in 2012.  For some reason the trailer is set to private on YouTube, but you can look at the play’s Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/PromiseThePlayAnAdaptationOfThreeSisters

 

In 2010 (?) there was a Greek production put on by the Karolos Koun Greek Art Theater, set during Perestroika.  The production included video clips assembled mostly from historical footage, which you can view here:

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0C3A07AA5ADFBBD7

 

There is a “rendering” of Three Sisters by Sarah Ruhl, which premiered at Yale Repertory Theater in 2011.  Here is a review:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/02/nyregion/sarah-ruhls-take-on-chekhovs-three-sisters-is-at-yale-review.html?_r=0

The script for this adaptation has been published, and you can find it at Columbia or Fordham.

One thought on “Three Sisters

  1. Only very marginally about the Three Sisters, but perhaps the place for it:

    I’m wondering whether it might be fair to argue that what makes something an adaptation varies by the conventions of the original’s medium. Specifically, I’m thinking about scripted theater, which, on some level, seems only to exist in adapted forms. Every new production of the Three Sisters — even every new “faithful,” non-bold, non-high-concept performance — will be, by virtue of time/place/casting/direction/design/dramaturgy/talent, new, non-replicable, and interpretive. All the elements that go into staging productions are adaptive gestures — but it also seems to me that it’s not quite accurate to call every performance of anything an adaptation of it, because then…what would the original be? The first production? (Arbitrary, not necessarily a successful realization of vision). The script? (But the script was never intended to live UNperformed and so UNadapted).

    For most of the case studies we’ve looked at so far this semester, the “original” work is clear and relatively static: when we look at Billy Budd, we have (sort of?) definitive access to a fully-realized version of the original vision. (Scripted-by-a-designated-playwright) theater, though, requires what seems to be an act of translation — there is a gap between the script and the performance, and bridging that gap seems to require some degree of, if not adaptation, then something like adaptation. (Or is it not officially adaptation because it doesn’t cross media, and instead it’s…interpretation?)

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