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Noel Harrison, Narrator

Acting Anton Chekhov: Three Sisters

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Course Description

In this course, students will explore creating characters by rehearsing Chekhov’s Three Sisters with a particular focus on relationship, ensemble building, physical play, subtext, and sensory life.  The humor, absurdity, mystery, and empathy found in Chekhov’s work will be explored through rehearsal play.  Through research into 19th century Russian culture, students will discover how clothing, art, manners, music, and food affect movement and behavior.  Students will practice techniques developed by the great acting teacher Stanislavsky, including text analysis and improvisation, to connect with and embody the play’s characters and events, as well as exploring gesture, tempo-rhythm, physical centers, and archetypes.  The class will watch contemporary and older films that are influenced by Chekhov’s characters and plays and consider how various of his short stories connect with his plays.  The class will culminate in a performance of several scenes from Three Sisters.

Note: Interested students will have an opportunity to get to know Three Sisters in advance through informal play readings to be held in the Roble Gym building on March 15 and April 7. Auditions for acting roles will be held on April 9-10 with callback auditions on April 13.   There will be additional places for students (who are not auditioning) that are interested in dramaturgical research, rehearsal techniques, text analysis, and improvisation.

Actors who are cast, Assistant Directors, and Dramaturgs will participate in the summer Arts Intensive as part of the rehearsal and research process, which will continue with the acting company during the fall quarter of 2024.

Meet the Instructors

Stephanie Hunt

Stephanie Hunt

Stephanie Hunt (she/her) is an actor, director, and teacher of voice and acting. As a core member of the Bay Area theatre company, Word for Word, Stephanie has acted in numerous productions, including Tobias Wolff’s Sanity, Colm Tóibín’s Silence, Upton Sinclair’s Oil! and Susan Glaspell’s A Jury of her Peers. She played Lizzie Borden in The Fall River Axe Murders by Angela Carter directed by Amy Freed. For Word for Word, she directed the award-winning productions of Bullet in the Brain and Lady's Dream by Tobias Wolff, and All Aunt Hagar’s Children by Edward P. Jones, which played at the Z Space before touring France.  She has directed a number of university productions, most recently at USF, where she directed Twelfth Night, and adapted and directed Alice Munro’s The View from Castle Rock. Stephanie is committed to creating and teaching ensemble-based theater, and she has an abiding love for Chekhov’s plays.

Matthew Chapman

Matt Chapman

Matt Chapman (he/they) plays with physical theatre, movement, and clown. Since 2001, he has been Co-Artistic Director of his ensemble, Under the Table. Matt came to TAPS in 2017, after teaching at Dell’Arte International (Blue Lake, CA) and American Conservatory Theatre (SF).

Matt has worked around the world and has toured extensively to venues across North America – from Broadway’s Signature Theatre to a Seniors’ Centre in Saskatoon. He has collaborated with NYC’s Eavesdrop; Durban, South Africa’s African Dream Circus; Sweden’s Cirkus Cirkor; Denmark’s Filuren and Jomfru Ane Teatret; Philadelphia’s Hotel Obligado; Arcata, CA’s Pequeño Teatro DanceTheatre; Berkeley’s Pinecones and Portals; and Clowns Without Borders.

Based in Oakland, Matt writes music for the punk band The Big Forgive, and practices myofascial release/orthopedic massage therapy. He graduated from Dell’Arte International and the University of Kansas, and was a recipient of Theatre Communications Group’s “New Generations Future Leaders” program.