Asian American Literature: Discourses & Pedagogies, Vol 3 (2012)

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A Hapa Family in Chekhov's Three Sisters

Elizabeth Liang


It is an act of courage or foolhardiness to produce theatre in the heart of the film world, depending on your point of view and how large the houses turn out to be. In the fall of 2005, I produced Three Sisters in a 60-seat theatre in Burbank, California (home of Disney and Warner Bros.). The odds were stacked even higher against the show's success when I stipulated that the main characters, the upper-class and highly educated Russian Prozorov siblings, had to be played by hapa actors. This essay describes my attempt to interpret the play through a multi-ethnic lens while working with a monoracial director, and the challenges this posed, both on the stage and off.

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