NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS - When audience members hear the lines spoken by Olga, Masha and Irina of Anton Chekhov's "Three Sisters," they will understand the women's yearning to return to Moscow.
But the audience will be able to actually feel the women's sense of entrapment when they see the scenic design used in the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre's upcoming production of the classic drama.
Scenic designer Dana Gloege, SFA assistant professor of theatre, chose not to use conventional walls to depict the 19th-century provincial Russian home; instead, he designed massive stylized window units that surround and lean into the stage.
"Dana's set provides a sense of balance between two conflicting ideas: the fact that the sisters feel trapped and the fact that there's nothing really preventing them from escaping," said Rick Jones, SFA professor of theatre and the play's director.
"Since there are no walls, all the sisters would have to do to leave is simply step around the looming windows," Jones continued.
Tyler senior Caitlin Dean, the show's lighting designer, is excited about the possibilities the windows provide because they are covered with a 36-foot wide fabric specially woven to diffuse and soften reflective light.
"The lights we shine through the windows will beautifully reveal the different times of day and indicate whether the action is taking place inside or out of doors," Dean explained.
Technical director Mark Porter said there are only two places in the world that manufacture the material, and he's happy to have an opportunity to work with it and see the results.
The School of Theatre will present "Three Sisters" at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, through Saturday, March 3, in W.M. Turner Auditorium. The production is part of the College of Fine Arts' 2011-2012 University Series.
Prior to the Feb. 28 performance, Jones will give an informative talk at 7 p.m. in Griffith Gallery, across the hall from Turner Auditorium. The audience is invited back to the gallery after the performance for a reception honoring the event's corporate sponsor, Tipton Ford-Lincoln of Nacogdoches, and to meet the cast.
Tickets are $18 for adults, $12 for seniors and $6 for students. For tickets or more information, please visit www.finearts.sfasu.edu or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.