“It’s not so much that Letts is translating Chekhov rather than writing his own play. Letts’s main achievement here is to make Chekhov more emotional, accessible and active: ‘When you grab at happiness and just get little handfuls, and then lose it all anyway,’ Letts’s Masha observes, in her moment of revelation, ‘you get bitter. And you stop paying careful attention.’ [Thumps her chest] ‘In here.’…That’s powerful stuff—and a pretty succinct summary, a kind of Letts-Chekhov Unhappy Meal Combo, of bitterness, its derivation and its consequences.” —Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune
“A lucid renewal of Chekhov’s world. To his great credit, Letts hasn’t tried to make his script stand out but rather to erase the misplaced reverence of most Chekhov translations. The effect reveals the colors and original intent beneath, including Chekhov’s underappreciated humor.” —Michael McGregor, Oregonian
“A no-nonsense script that blends compassion with tough love…Repeatedly Letts delivers heartbreak on cue…I’ve seen more than a dozen Three Sisters, but never has the final scene registered so hard. It’s the cumulative effect of searing truth-telling from Letts, who knows family dysfunction as only the author of August: Osage County can; and Chekhov, the good doctor who diagnoses all our weaknesses.” —Lawrence Bommer, Chicago Theater Beat
“Letts’s accessible adaptation puts Chekhov’s human longings at the forefront. Letts’s script shows a tremendous empathy for Olga, Masha, Irina and the men in their lives.” —Kris Vire, Time Out Chicago
Tracy Letts is a playwright, actor, and resident company member of Steppenwolf Theatre Company. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for August: Osage County.