SIDNEY — The Creative Dramatics Workshop will present the classic play "The Three Sisters" by Anton Chekhov. It will open Friday night and run for two weekends.
Robert Picklesimer, artistic director of the workshop, who will direct, said the cast features the best young actors at the Creative Dramatics Workshop. They come from throughout East Central Illinois.
They include Brandon Moore and Emily and Sarah Pawlicki, last seen in "A Shayna Maidel" at the workshop; Peter Cowley, Zoey Bryant, Jonathon Neuman and Bailey Burnett, all of "Bedroom Farce"; Hannah and Amanda Overbye, most recently seen in "A Midsummer Night's Dream"; Jake Smith, Allison Billman, Lena Leonberger and Joe Reichlin, all of "Othello"; and Jennifer Comeau, Liana Reichlin, Zach Coffin, Nate Shotten and Hazel Burnett, all of "Best Christmas Pageant Ever."
The central political themes of the 20th century resonate in "Three Sisters," first performed in 1901, Picklesimer said.
"There are serfs, the military, the questions of social class and education, the potential hollowness of the elite, the existential questions of worth in our society — all are dealt with in this play in amusing, poignant and very personable ways," he wrote. "These are real characters, interacting in real ways."
The play is about the decay of the privileged class in Russia and the search for meaning. It describes the lives and aspirations of the Prozorov family, the three sisters — Olga, Masha and Irina — and their brother, Andrei.
"They are a family dissatisfied and frustrated with their present existence," reads a summary at the website LibriVox. "The sisters are refined and cultured young women who grew up in urban Moscow; however, for the past 11 years, they have been living in a small provincial town. Moscow is a major symbolic element: The sisters are always dreaming of it and constantly express their desire to return.
"They identify Moscow with their happiness, and thus to them, it represents the perfect life. However, as the play develops, Moscow never materializes and they all see their dreams recede further and further. Meaning never presents itself and they are forced to seek it out for themselves."
While many modern naturalistic plays revolve around only three or four main characters, "Three Sisters" has at least 14 who play pivotal roles in the story, Picklesimer said.
The play will be presented this and next Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with Friday and Saturday shows at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday shows at 2:30. Tickets are $5 per person; to make reservations, call 688-2395.
The Creative Dramatics Workshop is in an old church at 400 E. Byron St., Sidney.