The playwright Anton Chekhov met the actress Olga Knipper in 1897 at a rehearsal for The Seagull. She was playing the actress in the playwright’s play. Over the next five years she became his friend, then his girlfriend, then his wife. They hardly saw each other. She was mostly in Moscow acting at the Moscow Art Theatre. He was far away in Yalta, exiled to a warmer climate by his illness. Their relationship stayed alive mostly through the letters they wrote to each other during the five years they had together before Chekhov’s death in 1904. Their correspondence is a fascinating, lively, and moving record of their relationship both to each other and to their own passionate work.
We have selected some of these marvelous letters, arranged in chronological order, to be presented as a one hour dramatic reading in the Osborne Studio. Kevin Landis will read Anton Chekhov and Julie Sweum, last seen at THEATREWORKS as the lovely Roxanne in Cyrano de Bergerac, will read Olga Knipper. She called him “Darling” and “Dearest.” He called her “Little Doggie”, “Savage Woman” and “My Heart of Hearts.”
The letters will be given five readings: April 28, 29, and 30 at 8:00 p.m., April 29 at 2:30 p.m, and Sunday, May 1 at 4:30 p.m. All tickets are $10 and seating is general admission. Please call the THEATREWORKS Box Office or visit theatreworksCS.org for tickets. Seating is limited to 50 people, so reservations are essential.