• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How would you direct the actor playing 'Vershinin' in order to make his motivation clear in Acts 1 and 4 of Chekhov's 'Three Sisters'?

Extracts from this document...


How would you direct the actor playing 'Vershinin' in order to make his motivation clear in Acts 1 and 4 of Chekhov's 'Three Sisters'? In Act one we first meet the character of Vershinin, introduced as 'Lieutenant-Colonel Vershinin', a middle-aged and seemingly very capable man, 'certainly no fool'. Before we meet him, the audience already has a preconceived idea of what this man will be like due to Tusenbach's descriptions. The constant theme in his description becomes one of marriage and despondency as we are informed of his wife trying to commit suicide 'evidently to spite her husband'. As such, Vershinin's entrance becomes clouded in anticipation and his arrival needs to be played with slight apprehension, being covered by his forward personality. In act 1, Vershinin has a difficult time coming into a family where the father has died and he has replaced him as a commander after knowing him well; 'the same battery as your father'. This is an uncomfortable situation to be in and the character's anxiety as an interloper would need to be portrayed through nervous gestures for example shuffling in his seat when being asked questions by the girls, or nervously touching a part of his uniform. He seating during this questioning allows many opportunities for the actor to show his discomfort and desire to please. ...read more.


The affair clearly starts, as he desires to be loved, and so I think that the meetings between them in the final act would need to be played with much intensity and tenderness. The tone of his voice would need to change from the usual assuredness, to being a lot quieter and perhaps more anxiously. The movement in these scenes would need to be increased as the sense that what they are doing is wrong, deepens. If the audience were to pause the seen, Vershinin's expressions would need to be read as a mixture of uncertainty, love, anxiety, happiness and much indecision. Facially, more smiles would flicker across his face, and the actor would be in much lighter make up to show the relief of love. Act 4 concerns the parting of the two characters as Vershinin leaves. These scenes are the most intensely emotional in the entire play as the happiness of both characters is destroyed, and their found love must die. The character as a whole is much more silent throughout this act, reflecting his sorrow at leaving Masha. When he does speak, his pace would need to be significantly slowed as he tries to prolong every minute left with her. However, he does still spare a thought for his wife and children, showing that he is a loving man. ...read more.


Masha especially, is taken with Vershinin who has a maturity and experience beyond her dreary existence. In order to portray this to the audience, the actor playing Vershinin would perhaps have a darker skin tone than the isolated Prozorov's to show how well travelled he is; glasses stereotypically embody intelligence and education and even small things such as the way in which the character holds himself would suggest so. As he takes an interest in their house, this again would symbolize a curiosity associated with those whom travel. Therefore, a keen interest in artefacts on set would emphasize his well-travelled self and as such his knowledge on many things which are new to the sisters, like the affair. We see people brimming with hopes in Act I who have reached the end of their tether or have sunk into resignation by Acts III or IV. Vershinin's existing marriage veers into adultery in the desperate attempt to snatch at happiness, his philosophising becomes more harrowing as he realises that soon he will have to leave Masha and his wife tries to kill herself to 'spite him' yet again. Certainly, the life of Vershinin over the space of these acts is distressing, leading us to find many reasons for his behaviour and the behaviour of other characters towards him, like his wife. Directing the character would involve a lot of work upon nervous gestures and arrogance in Act 1, leading to sorrow and less movement in the final act. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Plays section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Plays essays

  1. 'Three Sisters' by Anton Chekhov Act 1 - Irina

    As an audience we would need to get the impression that she feels she would not be so foolish. This could be one of the reasons she ignores the many claims of love and admiration she receives. However, Irina never in this act actually refuses the claims, which leads us

  2. Directing Act 4 Scene 1 of Macbeth

    else also it may make them look a little scarier, also when they appear I would like there to be a fast drumming sound i.e. (broom broom broom broom) then a halt, and a puff of smoke to show they are appearing.

  1. For this exam we have been given the text "Too Much Punch for Judy" ...

    I didn't like playing the role of Judy but it gave me a chance to experience how closed in and threatened she would have felt before after the first and second accident. Although I didn't like the experience I think it was a good techniques to have used because it

  2. Too much punch for Judy.

    The images were horrific it was shocking to see what one stupid mistake can lead to. By seeing these images I felt sick trying to imagine what would have happened to Jo in the passenger seat. The first thing that I performed was the "club" scene; Tejal and me were playing the parts of Jo and Judy.

  1. Drama evaluation - Communication, motivation and co-operation,

    All his life he had never been fortunate to get what he wanted. He had been settled down with Lisa since they had finished school in 1992, from the age of 16years old. In school they were both similar to each other as they found themselves to the opposite sex, to be unattractive.

  2. Free essay

    Blue Remembered Hills .What are the challenges for an actor performing the part of ...

    The terror comes back to Donald when Peter tells him he will go to jail; the actor must quickly shift again from this excited state, back to being frightened. When Peter brings up his dad, the actor should show a clear reaction to this, showing he is deeply, emotionally hurt with the fact that his dad is missing.

  1. Discuss how you would direct Mrs Betterton in 2 sections of the play, making ...

    At the beginning of this scene Mrs Betterton should sweep in as if she owned the whole theatre and tell Doll the order before she has acknowledged any of the other actresses, again showing her superiority. Perhaps when Mrs Betterton utters this line, she should spit on the floor after

  2. Six Characters in Search of an Author by Luigi Pirandello, Act One, Scene One, ...

    as Julie knows she is not what ?one would call a lady.? Jean therefore feels he can cross the line and do something socially unacceptable. This links into his desire to ?climb and climb? to the top and Julie?s desire ?to fall? ?down to the ground.? This creates a social issue between them.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work