The Online Stage heard but not seen

Russian Drama

The Boor

The Boor

by Anton Chekhov

Translated by Hilmar Baukage.

The Boor (sometimes translated as The Bear) is an atypical romantic comedy by Anton Chekhov. A surly landowner visits a widow who is one of his debtors - with unexpected results.

Helen Ivanonva Popov - Susan Iannucci
Grigori Stepanovich Smirnov - David Prickett
Luka - Denis Daly
Stage directions - Marty Kryz.

Link to audio: The Boor

 Incompatibility of Temper

Three Pictures of Moscow Life
by Alexander Ostrovsky

Translated by Ethel Voynich

Prezhnez, the First Coachman and a Person Unknown - Marty Kryz
Madame Prezhnev - Linda Barrans
Paul and the Second Coachman - Tovarisch
Oustinya Filimonovna Pereshkivkina and Outlita Nikitishna - Jennifer Fournier
Karp Karpych and a Footman - John Burlinson
Serafima Karpovna - Lee Ann Howlett
Matryona and a maid servant - Anastasia Durning
Stage directions read by Denis Daly

Link to audio: Incompatibility

 The Nose

The Nose
by Nikolai Gogol

Translated by Claud Field

Gogol's phantasmagorical tale about a man whose nose decides to asbcond and begin living a life of its own is one of the earliest and most celebrated examples of absurdist literature.  Apart from its recondite humour, it is remakable for Gogol's skill in characterization and his ability to paint a picture of contemporary life in Russia in a few verbal brush strokes.

Narrated by Susan Iannucci

Featuring the voices of Ben Stevens ,Linda Barrans, David Prickett, Russell Gold, Tovarisch and Jeff Moon.

Link to audio: The Nose


A Protégée of the Mistress

A Protégée of the Mistress
by Alexander Ostrovsky

Translated by George Rapall Noyes

The premier Russian dramatist before Chekov, Alexander Ostrovsky was one of the first masters of realistic theatre.  A typical example of his approach to drama,  A Protégée of the Mistress is almost cinematic in its presentation.  The action is represented by a series of vivid snapshots, in which Ostrovsky quickly and subtly illustrates the foibles and weaknesses of each character, and shows how they are forced into a hostile dependence on each other.  A recurring theme of Ostrovsky’s plays is the uneasy balance between social utility and moral rectitude, which is encapsulated in this bitter comedy in the character of Madam Ulanbekov, wealthy landowner and relentless guardian of young wards, whom she forces into marriages of convenience as she sees fit.

Madam Ulanbekov - Cate Barratt
Leonid - David Prickett
Vasalisa Peregrinovna - Michele Eaton
Potapych and Negligentov - John Burlinson 
Nadya - Charlotte Duckett
Gavrilovna – Maureen Boutilier
Peasant girl and Grisha - Becca Maggie
Liza - Leanne Yau
Stage directions read by Grace Garrett

Link to audio: A Protégée of the Mistress

 The Mantle

The Mantle
By Nikolai Gogol

Translated by Claud Field

The Mantle follows the life of a civil servant, Akaki Akakievitch who just loves his work! Born in St Petersburg, he is a copy writer, meaning he copies text from one place to another. In his spare time and after work hours, he also copies. When given more responsibility, he begs to return to... copying. One particular winter, he notices that, between home and office, he is cold, his mantle is threadbare, and he can no longer repair it himself. Our conflict begins here, as Akaki seeks a solution to his threadbare mantle. Nicolai Gogol is a wonderfully observant author and his characters are so rich that we feel we can understand their point of view. This tragicomedy is Russian society in the mid 1800’s at its most delightful!

Akaki Akakievitch  - Ben Stevens
Mother  -  Linda Barrans 
Petrovitch -  Tovarisch 
Sentry  -  Jeff Moon
Superior official/Doctor - Russell Gold 
Assistant/Shouting man/Friend  - Andy Harrington
Landlady/Daughter  -  Lee Ann Howlett
District Superintendent  -  David Prickett
Man in street/ Lower officials - Alan Weyman
Narrator  -  Susan Iannucci

Audio edited by Susan Iannucci

Link to audio:  The Mantle

 The Cherry Orchard

The Cherry Orchard

by Anton Chekhov

Translated by George Calderon

The Cherry Orchard is Chekhov's final play, first performed in 1904 at the Moscow Art Theatre and directed by Konstantin Stanislavski. It takes place on the Ranevsky family's country estate, which boasts a large cherry orchard that is in bloom as the play opens. The family is gathering at the estate for a reunion, but also to decide how to handle their debts, which have reached a crisis point. The impractical Lyubov and her brother Gaev hope for a miracle to pay their mortgage, while the successful merchant Lopakhin advises them to cut down the orchard and sell the land. The destinies of the family members mirrors the fate of Russia itself, as it transitions away from a landed aristocracy toward an uncertain future.

Mme. Ranevsky (a landowner) - Elizabeth Klett
Anya (her daughter, age 17) - Amanda Friday
Barbara (her adopted daughter, age 27) - Elizabeth Chambers
Leonidas Gaef (brother to Mme. Ranevsky) - Noel Badrian
Lopakhin (a merchant) - Ben Stevens
Peter Trophimof (a student) - Ted Wenskus
Simeonof-Pishtchik (a landowner) - Tovarisch
Charlotte (a governess) - Linda Barrans
Ephikhodof (a clerk): Jeff Moon
Dunyasha (a housemaid) - Leanne Yau
Firs (a manservant, age 87) - Denis Daly
Yasha (a young manservant): Andy Harrington
Tramp and Station-Master -  David Prickett
Stage directions read by Maureen Boutilier

Audio edited by Elizabeth Klett

Link to audio:  The Cherry Orchard

 Uncle Vanya

Uncle Vanya
By Anton Chekhov

Translated by Marian Fell


Uncle Vanya is Anton Chekhov's 1902 tragicomedy focusing on the romantic entanglements of the residents of a declining country estate. Vanya loves Helena, the unhappily married wife of aged professor Serebrakoff. Sonia loves Dr. Astroff, but he's more interested in Helena. Serebrakoff loves only himself, and is idealized by Vanya's mother, who believes him to be a genius. All the characters waver between love and hate, between idleness and industry, between idealism and despair, in Chekhov's "Scenes From Country Life."


Alexander Serebrakoff, a retired professor: Ron Altman
Helena, his wife: Elizabeth Klett
Sonia, his daughter by a former marriage: Elizabeth Chambers
Mme. Voitskaya, widow of a privy councillor, and mother of Serebrakoff's first wife: Linda Barrans
Ivan (Vanya) Voitski, her son: Tovarisch
Michael Astroff, a doctor: David Prickett
Ilia (Waffles) Telegin, an impoverished landowner: Jeff Moon
Marina, an old nurse: Maureen Boutilier
A Workman / Ephim the Watchman: Denis Daly
Narrator: Leanne Yau

Audio edited by Elizabeth Klett

Link to audio:  Uncle Vanya

 The Three Sisters

The Three Sisters

by Anton Chekhov

Translated by Julius West

The Three Sisters is Anton Chekhov's 1901 play about the Prosorov family, who are stuck in a provincial Russian town. The sisters - Olga, Masha, and Irina - fantasize about one day returning to Moscow. Meanwhile, their brother Andrey courts village girl Natasha, and the family socializes with the soldiers stationed nearby. Dreams, longing, and illicit love drive the action of Chekhov's comic drama.

Andrei Sergeyevitch Prosorov: Andy Harrington
Natalia Ivanovna (Natasha), his fiancée, later his wife: Leanne Yau
Olga: Elizabeth Chambers
Masha: Elizabeth Klett
Irina: Amanda Friday
Feodor Ilitch Kuligin, high school teacher, married to Masha: Jeff Moon
Alexander Ignateyevitch Vershinin, lieutenant-colonel: David Prickett
Nicolai Lvovitch Tuzenbach, baron, lieutenant in the army: Tovarisch
Vasssili Vassilevitch Soleni, captain: Ron Altman
Ivan Romanovitch Chebutikin, army doctor: Noel Badrian
Alexey Petrovitch Fedotik, sub-lieutenant: Ben Stevens
Vladimir Carlovitch Rode, sub-lieutenant: Ted Wenskus
Ferapont, door-keeper at local council offices: Denis Daly
Anfisa, nurse: Maureen Boutilier
Narrator: Linda Barrans

Audio edited by Elizabeth Klett

Link to audio:  The Three Sisters


The Seagull

The Seagull
Translated by George Calderon

The Seagull is Anton Chekhov's first major play, originally produced in 1896.  It dramatizes the romantic and artistic conflicts between four characters: the famous middlebrow story writer Boris Trigorin, the ingenue Nina, the fading actress Irina Arcadina, and her son the symbolist playwright Constantine Treplef.

Mme. Arcadina, an actress: Elizabeth Klett
Constantine Treplef, her son: Andy Harrington
Sorin, her brother: Ron Altman
Nina, daughter of a rich landowner: Amanda Friday
Shamrayef, manager of Sorin's estate: Denis Daly
Pauline, his wife: Linda Barrans
Masha, their daughter: Leanne Yau
Trigorin, a writer: David Prickett
Dorn, a doctor: Tovarisch
Medvedenko, a schoolmaster: Jeff Moon
Yakof: Noel Badrian
Cook: Maureen Boutillier
Narrator: Ted Wenskus

Audio edited by Elizabeth Klett

Link to audio: The Seagull

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