That Dan Sullivan didn't much care for our interpretation of Chekhov's "Three Sisters" ("L.A. Theatre Center: Notes and Quibbles," Oct. 6) is beside the point. What troubles me, deeply, is Sullivan's methodology.
Sullivan obviously came to this production full of preconceptions--particularly, he'd come convinced that the "sisters" aren't "loonies." Sullivan mustn't judge a production by what he thinks the play means, but rather by the intent the production sets for itself. There is no "correct" production of Chekhov; there's no "right" approach to the sisters' characters. There are many different performances, and translations, of a basically fixed text--performances and translations that are continually reconstituted for a specific time, place, theater and sensibility.
Hence, one can read much of Chekhov and do much research and not emerge with an "accurate" production. One prefers that a production be true to the essence. Chekhov's words are not the only thing; neither are they fixed in their possibilities
Los Angeles Theatre Center