January 29 , 2011

Chekhov and Maria


Playwright Jovanka Bach paints a bittersweet portrait of Russian playwright Anton Chekhov and his sister, Maria, near the end of the dramatist’s life and at the height of his popularity. This throws into question Maria’s worth to her famous brother - at least in her own mind - especially since, at the age of 42, he has surreptitiously married Olga Knipper, a notorious coquette of the Moscow Art Theatre, Maria feels that this marriage has left her abandoned in her older age. In Bach’s vision, the siblings seem like characters straight out of Uncle Vanya, tortured by the machinations of their own lost desires, and in the midst of a passive struggle to halt the inexorable advancement of obsolescence.

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