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Two cheerful one-act plays by Anton Chekhov

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov came from a lower-middle-class southern Russian family and was a doctor by profession, but practiced medicine almost exclusively on a voluntary basis. At the same time, he wrote and published a total of over 600 literary works between 1880 and 1904. Internationally, Chekhov is best known as a playwright through his plays such as Three Sisters, The Seagull and The Cherry Orchard. With his typical, value-neutral and reserved way of depicting aspects of the life and way of thinking of people in the Russian provinces, Chekhov is considered one of the most important authors in Russian literature.

The bear

The grieving widow and landowner Popova devotes herself to the memory of her deceased husband. Even though her husband died a year ago, she still puts on mourning clothes every day and rarely leaves the house. Elena Popova emphasizes that life has lost all value for her since Nikolayevich's death. She therefore swore to herself that she would not take off these mourning clothes until her grave and that she would no longer see the world. Then Smirnov appears, a stubborn creditor of the deceased who needs money tomorrow to pay off interest owed and won't let himself be wiped out. The argument gets more heated by the minute until Smirnov finally leaves the widow...

the marriage proposal

The well-off but somewhat hypochondriacal bachelor Lomov tries to propose to his neighbor Cubukov's daughter. After the argumentative girl's father quickly signals his consent, the suitor is sent to the girl. But even before the nervous Lomov has submitted his application, both of them get into a heated argument about the ownership of a meadow that borders both properties. A happy ending to this “romance” seems to be a long way off...

With their very simply structured, exaggeratedly comic plot, the plays are rather atypical of Chekhov's work. In general, these one-act plays served the author during his mature period (from the mid-1880s) as a kind of outlet for his humorous streak, which he made full use of in his early stories, while his style became increasingly thoughtful and reserved in his later works. Especially in the marriage proposal, the subtle situational comedy typical of Chekhov's early works is mixed with a satirical allusion to the lying customs and stuffiness of the Russian small nobility, for whom every marriage is primarily a question of money instead of real love because of the lavish dowries.

Director: Kathrin Schülein

Playing: Jeffrey von Laun, Mattis Nolte, Caroline Siebert

The theater is open from 6:00 p.m.