Friday, 28 October 2016

The (Marriage) Proposal (1889) written Anton Chekhov and produced at the Vassar College Theater, USA, in 1927

Some scenes from The Proposal (first published in 1889) written by the Russian playwright Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) and produced at the Vassar College Theater, USA, in 1927

"When Vassar College staged The Proposal in the 1920s, they performed it three times in one evening, each with a very different staging: "as realism, expressionism, and constructivism."[2] In the second version, played closer to tragedy, the actors were masked, and in the third the actors were all dressed in work suits in a playground, tossing a ball between them."

"The argument for theatre’s importance was not achieved solely through offstage efforts. Productions in performance too made the argument that theatre was central to education, cultural diplomacy, and the United States’ global reputation. Three particular productions exemplify how theatre was used to these ends. In 1927 Hallie Flanagan directed Anton Chekhov’s “A Marriage Proposal” performed by Vassar College undergraduates. Flanagan employed what she had learned during her Guggenheim year, particularly in Soviet Russia, to create theatre that helped her students understand themselves as part of a global artistic reinvention. The students were immersed in the ideas and methods of Russian Soviet directors Vsevelod Meyerhold, Nikolai Evreinov, and Konstantin Stanislavsky and in the process were able to envision a different way of looking at the world."

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