Chekhov in New York

It’s been a long time since my previous blog post…

Along with my work as the translator for Viola Spolin’s Improvisation For The Theater, I have been busy working on a new project, a new web-series on my favorite Russian; Anton Chekhov’s work.

Since my graduation from The New Actors Workshop, I often hear my teachers Mike Nichols and George Morrison’s voices in my head; both of them were big fans of Chekhov. One thing Mike used to repeat over and over during his masterclasses was that we should be working on materials which made us think “I know exactly what this is about!”. Finally in summer/fall of 2016 I dared to jump in and start working on Chekhov’s dark, cynical and funny characters, this time they are – yup!- New Yorkers!

“Fine. Since the tea is not forthcoming, let’s have a philosophical conversation.”

Anton Chekhov wrote about people, their hopes and dreams, failures and weaknesses, their desires and heartbreaks. He often questioned morality, common sense, social values and norms. His characters speak and act in a way that often hits too close to home. 

He lived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A Russian doctor. Medicine was his wife and literature was his mistress. He believed that if you wanted to lead a good life, you needed to work. So, he devoted himself into healing people physically as well as intellectually and spiritually by holding them a mirror through his stories and plays. 

“Man will become better when you show him what he is like.” 

In this project, we asked ourselves what if Chekhov’s characters were some New Yorkers?

Dark, grumpy, selfish, stupid and quirky… Along with a love and hate relationship with the city. 

“For one sensible person there are a thousand fools, and for one sensible word there are a thousand stupid ones; the thousand overwhelms the one, and that is why cities and villages progress so slowly. The majority, the mass, always remain stupid!”

While most of us would agree with Anton on that one, we all hang on to this;

“You must trust and believe in people or life becomes impossible.”

The series will be published in February 2017, meantime we’ll share little snippets. So please subscribe to the channel, share and comment!
Chekhov in New York
Adapted & performed by Ege Maltepe
Directed by Emir GAMSIZOGLU
Music by Emir GAMSIZOGLU