ONE YEAR CHEKHOV MISSION STATEMENT
We perform a Chekhov play honestly and simply.
We invite the actors and audience together in a communal experience.
So no matter how hopeless the world seems, we can all walk away feeling a little less alone.
Our mission is to provide access and opportunity to all actors of our Chicago community, cultivating an explorative playing ground that supports risk-taking. Our brief, immersive rehearsal process results in an open workshop of a play that will never be finished. The process is rooted equally in philosophizing over meals as it is in textwork, improv, and action. We come together for five days to rehearse, during which actors are empowered to interpret the text individually and make their own choices with minimal direction.
We insist on the audience experience being more than just sitting in the dark. Just as we empower the role of the actor, we also empower the audience. Utilizing an open floor plan, we bring you inside of the playing space, right to the edge of the performance. No one’s pulling you onstage, but we want you near us; this is an experience we want to have with you.
Beyond just a writer, Chekhov was a humanitarian. He spent his life giving to others, and his point of view is a compassionate one. The goal of our work is not to produce a depiction of Russia at the turn of the century, but to regenerate the heart of the text. We reclaim the core essence of Chekhov’s writing, and let go of traditional preconceptions about how and by whom they should be performed. Typecasting and traditional costume and dramaturgy are stripped away. By removing prescribed ideas on gender, race, age, and orientation, anyone is free to play any part; Nina can be a man, Vanya can be a woman. Our process distills Chekhov’s works to their core message: the need for connection and humanity in the face of the melancholy that stalks us all.
Chekhov’s work celebrates compassion and community. We need both, now more than ever.