The Three Sisters Questions and Answers
by Anton Chekhov

The Three Sisters book cover
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How can the character Olga from The Three Sisters be approached, as an actor who has been cast as her in a forthcoming production?

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In this ensemble work, the relationships among the sisters shape the characterization of each of them. One feature that makes the play convincing is that Anton Chekhov shows how each sister influences the other two while at the same time providing her with specific characteristics that distinguish her from the other two. As the oldest of the three sisters, Olga tries to dominate them, which she sees as offering guidance in a quasi-parental role. However, her personality is not necessarily conducive to successful domination; she “loses heart,” suffers from headaches, and often withdraws into her room.

One crucial fact is that Olga’s experience growing up was very different from that of her sisters. Although she sees her Moscow-centric orientation as evidence of her superiority, she does not always convince the others that they really lost out. Rather, her constant nostalgic reflections come across as regret or even whining. She even has nostalgia for things entirely out of her...

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