Three Sisters

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Three Sisters (Russian: Три сeстры; translit. Tri sestry) is a play by the Russian author and playwright Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) [1].

The original text

It was written in 1900 and first performed by the Moscow Art Theatre under the direction of Konstantin Stanislavski[2] in 1901.

Translations and adaptations

Translated into English in 1965 as Three Sisters by Elisaveta Fen.

Translated from the English into Afrikaans as Drie Susters by Robert Mohr (Tafelberg Publishers 1977).

A significant original play, written as a sequel to Chekhov's play, is Reza de Wet's Afrikaans play Drie Susters Twee ("Three Sisters Two"). Published 1996.

According to the theatrical agent Gordon Dickerson it was rather surprising that, to the best of his knowledge, no one else except Reza de Wet had seemingly thought to update Chekhov’s story to a more contemporary period before she did. Interestingly, a few years after he had started circulating the English version of the South African play, a Swedish adaptation of Chekhov’s play was written which was set during the Second World War, a similar period of uncertainty about what the future would be.

Performance history in South Africa

First South African performance in 19** by **.

1939: Presented by the University of Cape Town’s Speech and Drama Department and their University Dramatic Society at the Little Theatre in April, directed by Wensley Pithey.

1970: Produced by Rosalie van der Gucht for the University of Cape Town Drama Department in the UCT Arena Theatre.

1970: PACT Drama did the Afrikaans version by Robert Mohr at the Alexander Theatre from 26th February to 7th March under the direction of Mohr. Cast: Annette Engelbrecht (Irina), Katinka Heyns, Schalk Jacobsz, Don Lamprecht (Koelighin), Wilna Snyman, Wilma Stockenström ("Olga"), Francois Swart, Carel Trichardt, Louis van Niekerk (Wersjinin).

1976: The Afrikaans translation by Mohr was presented by KRUIK Afrikaanse Toneel under the direction of Rosalie van der Gucht in the Nico Malan Theatre in March 1976 starring Anna Cloete, Neels Coetzee, Liz Dick, Mary Dreyer, Trudi du Plessis, Pieter Geldenhuys, Schalk Jacobsz, Pieter Joubert, Sandra Kotzé, Siegfried Mynhardt, Etienne Pienaar, Chris Truter, Marko van der Colff, Pierre van Pletzen, Mees Xteen. Decor and costumes by Penny Simpson, lighting by John T. Baker.

1985: The Afrikaans translation by Mohr was presented by Universiteitsteater Stellenbosch in October 1985 in the H.B. Thom Theatre, directed by ***.

1987: Presented by the University of Cape Town Speech and Drama Department, directed by David Haynes, to commemorate the Baxter Theatre's 10th anniversary, starring Wayne Robins, Nikki Ziehl, Lisa Askew, Melinda Ferguson, Margaret King, Aubrey Maasdorp, Barry Berk, Trevor Keeling, Daniel Ahrens, Damon Galgut, Raymond Suttle, Judd Milner, Warrick Grier, Leanne Goronovsky, Jennifer Parker, Louie Cowan. Designed by John Caviggia, lighting design by Pip Marshall.

1992: Drie Susters was presented by TRUK Toneel at the Arena, State Theatre and at the Windybrow Theatre under the direction of Ilse van Hemert. Design by James MacNamara and lighting by Paul Pamboukian. The cast: Hannes Muller, Tess van Staden, Antoinette Kellermann, Mitzi Booysen, Wilmien Rossouw, André Stolz, James Borthwick, David Clatworthy, Tjaart Potgieter, Louis van Niekerk, Gustav Geldenhuys, Godfrey de Meyer, Eghard van der Hoven, Tilana Hanekom.


Inskip, 1972. p.124. (1939 production)

Siener in die Suburbs theatre programme containg list of actors and their roles for TRUK 1965-1971.

Die Nag van Legio programme, announcement of future productions, 1976.

Three Sisters programme, 1987.

Drie Susters programmes, 1976, 1992.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

Return to

Return to PLAYS I: Original SA plays

Return to PLAYS II: Foreign plays

Return to PLAYS III: Collections

Return to PLAYS IV: Pageants and public performances

Return to South African Festivals and Competitions

Return to The ESAT Entries

Return to Main Page