Three Sisters

by Anton Chekhov

Version by Sarah Ruhl

Act 1: Olga

Read by Olivia MacFadden Elliot

Father died a year ago today, on your birthday, Irina, May fifth.

It was so cold, it snowed.

I thought I’d never live through it, and you fainted, as though you were the dead one.

But now it’s been a year, and we can remember with some —

lightness.

You’re wearing white again and your face is shining.

The clock struck then too, on that day — it sounded like this.

I remember, when they carried Father away, the music playing.

And guns firing, at the cemetery.

He was a commander, of a whole troop —

still, not many people came. Well, it was raining —

freezing rain mixed in with snow.

Today is warm, we can leave the windows wide open.

The birch trees are almost blooming.

I remember so clearly, eleven years ago, Father was an officer,

and we left Moscow, in early  May, same as today.

Moscow in early May! — blooming, warm, golden.

Eleven years ago — but yesterday.

My God! I woke up this morning, saw masses of light flooding in.

and my God, the spring!

I felt this great happiness in my soul, and I wanted to go home.

Stop whistling, Masha, it’s bad luck.