"Three Sisters" by Anton Chekhov, graces the stage of NWSA in celebration of the school's silver ann

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"Three Sisters" by Anton Chekhov, graces the stage of NWSA in celebration of the school's silver anniversary
MIAMI—New World School of the Arts’ Silver Anniversary brings forth one of Anton Chekhov’s masterpieces. Three Sisters, directed by NWSA theater faculty member Gail NWSA Actors from Three Sisters Garrisan, highlights the artistic talent of the college juniors and seniors. Categorized as a drama by the playwright himself, the play explores the complexity of human nature by looking through the lens of realism rather than sensationalism and placing particular emphasis on the mundane. Garrisan notes the significance of this production “one of the criticisms of Chekhov plays is that “nothing happens”. There is no action! Perhaps. But maybe his genius is that everything happens. Just not in a way that we would expect. Sometimes,life is outrageous. Sometimes, it is dramatic. But mostly it is not.”   
The six-day schedule begins on Friday, February 10, 7:30 pm – Louise O. Gerrits Theater – 25 NE 2nd Street, 8th Floor, downtown Miami.  Additional performances will be on February 11 and 12, 7:30 PM and Sunday, February 12 and 19, 2:00 PM. General admission is $12, students and seniors $5. Tickets can be purchased online at nwsa.mdc.edu.
 “The greatest acting is not done with broad strokes.  It is comprised of the embodiment of the character’s intentions, in beats and micro beats.  It is not just what we say or do, but also what we don’t say or don’t do,” explained Garrisan. “The complexity of Three Sisters provides our students a perfect canvas for the application of their understanding of this concept.  Byanalyzing the text and mining for subtext, they develop a greater understanding of subtlety, nuance and living moment to moment in the given circumstances of the play.”
 Anton Chechov’s Three Sisters is a magnificent example of his intentions as a playwright – to offer us the opportunity to be among these characters; to partake of the atmosphere and condition of their lives; and to see ourselves perhaps, or those we know. We experience the lives of Olga, Masha, and Irena and the others, over a period of almost five years.  What happens? Everything! Hope, laughter, longing, regret, love, resentment, passion, despair, loss; it happens in starts and stops, sharps remarks, in pauses and deep breathes, in fleeting thoughts, in late evening revelations, in unexpected tears and random musings. Along with Strindberg, Ibsen and later Shaw, Chekhov brought to the stage, a heretofore-unfamiliar sense of realism. His wonderful plays and short stories remind us that life happens one moment at a time; in the heart, in the mind, in the spirit. We just don’t usually notice our lives passing because we are living the moments- from the inside, one at a time. 
 “There is a timelessness in Chekhov’s work that, I suspect, will keep it current for some time to come. The years may pass, but human nature not does not change thatmuch. We are reminded, as we watch this play, of our own dreams and disappointments, foibles and fragility, our action or in-action. Change requires effort. Talk is cheap. Effort can be costly. But, just “talk” unaccompanied by effort, is even more costly.” – Gail Garrisan, Director of Three Sisters at NWSA.
 Chekhov was remarkably suited to the genre he helped create. He was known to be shy as a child; an observer. Chekhov’s personal life was quite challenging and his experiences and interests were broad.  He was the grandson of a serf. His father was rather tyrannical. One of six children in lower class family, his home life was extremely difficult.  When his father left home to find other work, after his business failed, young Anton was left to care for his mother and young siblings. At sixteen, he was all on his own, tutoring and writing to support himself and struggling to finish school. Later, he trained as a doctor and also became increasingly interested in environmental issues. Diagnosed with tuberculosis at 26, he was often ill and weak, yet always hopeful. All of these aspects of his own life find their way into his work, though he would be the first to say that none of his plays are about him. They are however, “about” simply being human. Everyday life.
 Theater and music theater students at NWSA hone their craft through acting technique, movement and speech classes, focusing on fundamentals of physical and emotional preparation. With performance at its core, training is based on the classical texts and the principles of drama as well as practical incursions into the contemporary and experimental edges of theater. Consequently, alumni are found performing onstage nationally and internationally and their talent and vision are recognized and highly regarded in the industry.
 New World School of the Arts was created by the Florida Legislature as a center of excellence in the performing and visual arts, and is an educational partnership of Miami Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College and the University of Florida. Through its partnership with the University of Florida NWSA is able to grant Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees.
 For moreinformation about the theater program at NWSA, call (305) 237-3541 or visit nwsa.mdc.edu
Photo Caption: Jennifer Zabalo(Masha), Stephanie White (Irena), Ashley Chang (Olga). NWSA College Theater. Photo courtesy of NWSA.

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