October 19, 2009
The Knox College Department of Theatre and Dance presents Anton Chekhov's "Three Sisters," directed by Associate Professor and Chair of Theatre Neil Blackadder, at 7:30 p.m., November 4-7, in Harbach Theatre, Ford Center for the Fine Arts, on the Knox campus in Galesburg, Illinois.
Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for senior citizens, and free to all students and members of the Knox College faculty and staff.
Written in 1901, "Three Sisters" is set in a provincial 19th-century Russian town. While three sisters long to return to Moscow, the imperial capital, their lives intersect with those of the military officers and others who frequent their home. The Knox production of "Three Sisters" is using the translation by Kristin Johnsen-Neshati.
"Chekhov's dramatic realism captures how ordinary men and women live, love, work, and hope," Blackadder said. "His characters experience a full range of emotional outcomes, from heart-warming through disappointing to devastating."
Blackadder has taught theatre at Knox since 1998. Among the plays he has directed are his own translation of "Rosa and Blanca" by Rebekka Kricheldorf.
"It has been several years since we produced Chekhov specifically, and a few since we last staged a play representative of the realism that became so fundamental to theatre in the late 19th century," Blackadder says. "We also have a sizeable group of students who've taken our intermediate acting class that focuses on psychological realism, so I knew this would provide a great opportunity for those students to put into practice what they learned in that course."
Thanks to two student assistant directors, Devan Cameron and Samantha Newport, Blackadder says he has been able to run parallel rehearsals. "While I'm working on a scene with the three sisters on the main stage in Harbach Theatre, one assistant director might be rehearsing elsewhere with Andrei and his wife Natasha, and the other with two of the military officers. Our direction is consistent, because they've been involved in the main rehearsals too."
The costume designer is Matt Hundley, a 2009 Knox graduate working this year in a post-baccalaureate fellowship in the theatre department. "Matt has worked with our costume shop supervisor, Margo Shively, and he has carried out all the research and made the key design decisions," Blackadder said.
Founded in 1837, Knox is a national liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, with students from 47 states and 48 countries. Knox's "Old Main" is a National Historic Landmark and the only building remaining from the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates.
Three Sisters, by Anton Chekhov
November 4-7, Harbach Theatre, Knox College
Andrei ~ Isaac Miller
Olga ~ Abby Harms
Masha ~ Kate Donoghue
Natasha ~ Carla Hamilton
Irena ~ Nellie Ognacevic
Vershinin ~ Shane Donegan
Kulygin ~ Nate Hults
Tuzenbakh ~ Ben Lee
Solyony ~ Steve Selwa
Chebyutykin ~ Jonathan Plotnick
Fedotik ~ Kristen Chmielewski
Rode ~ Cindy Reiter
Afinsa ~ Katie Haynes
Director ~ Neil Blackadder, associate professor of theatre
Assistant Directors ~ Devan Cameron, Samantha Newport
Stage Manager ~ Lauren Neiheisel
Assistant Stage Managers ~ Josh Gunter, Ivy Reid
Scenic and Lighting Designer ~ Craig Choma, associate professor of theatre
Assistant Lighting Designer ~ Ryn Flynn
Costume Designer ~ Matt Hundley
Sound Designer ~ Alex Robertson
Props Designer ~ Marina Capizzi
Hair/Makeup Designer ~ Alicia Vallorani