Dr. Vera Zubarev







                                                          COURSE DESCRIPTION     


“What’s so funny, Mr. Chekhov?” This question is often asked by critics and directors who still are puzzled with Chekhov’s definition of his four major plays as comedies. Traditionally, all of them are staged and directed as dramas, melodramas, or tragedies.

Should we cry or should we laugh at Chekhovian characters who commit suicide, or are killed, or simply cannot move to a better place of living? Is the laughable synonymous to comedy and the comic? Should any fatal outcome be considered tragic?

All these and other questions will be discussed during the course. The course is intended to provide the participants with a concept of dramatic genre that will assist them in approaching Chekhov’s plays as comedies.

In addition to reading Chekhov’s works, Russian and western productions and film adaptations of Chekhov’s works will be screened. Among them are, Vanya on 42nd Street  (with Andre Gregory), and Four Funny Families. Those who are interested will be welcome to perform and/or direct excerpts from Chekhov’s works.