Theater Review: Intensity is abound in 'Three Sisters'

In the intimate setting of the Mandell Weiss Forum Studio, the UCSD Department of Theatre and Dance’s production of “”The Three Sisters”” takes viewers through the lives of three sisters in a small, provincial Russian town at the beginning of the 20th century.

Courtesy of UCSD Theatre and Dance Department

The play is an intense, dark comedy that allows the viewer to see not only the difficult, trying times of the family, but also the good that they try to scratch out of their lives while yearning for something more. Skillfully crafted, this play is as potent now as it was when it was first presented over 100 years ago.

The play is performed in the center of the circular seating of the audience, which allows the viewer to feel as though they are actually part of the production rather than an observer. However, this also allows for only the bare minimum in the way of sets, which means that the actors have to carry the burden of creating their world for the audience.

Kyle Donnelly does a wonderful job leading a talented group of actors through this rich character study, and all of the actors do a wonderful job of evolving their characters over the course of the production. Joy Osmanski does a fantastic job as Masha, the middle sister who fights so hard to keep control and ends up losing it when the soldiers who have kept the town alive finally depart and she is faced with confronting her unhappy marriage. David McMahon does a wonderful job as Andrey, the girl’s brother, a young dreamer who wants to be a professor until his plans come undone because of his marriage to Natasha, local girl brilliantly played and developed by Emily Donahoe. All the actors give dazzling performances and deserve to be praised.

This play is a wonderful experience that takes you through the ups and downs of lives that begin to feel like their own; it shouldn’t be missed.

Three Sisters

UCSD Department of Theatre and Dance.

Playing through Jan. 25

Box office: (858) 534-4574