Comedy: 1 male, 1 female (Luka, servant, could be dropped), 1 set, under 30 min. Chekhov - Love Letters

... "The Boor," which he wrote in a single evening and which had a great success. *

* Popova is still in deep mourning seven months after her husband's death. She stays alone at her country house, refusing to go out or to see anybody. Suddenly, Smirnov arrives and rudely insists on seeing her. Popova's late husband owed him 1200 roubles and he demands the debt be paid at once because his creditors are after him.

Popova delays. Smirnov insists, makes light of Popova's mourning, and refuses to leave. They angrily vie with one another: "Men are rude and inconstant!" "Women are fickle and manipulative!" (It turns out that Popova's husband was actually a liar and cheat, but she remains true to his memory just to show him how faithful a woman can be.)

Smirnov challenges her to a duel for insulting him and Popova brings out her husband's pistols. At this point Smirnov realizes that he has fallen in love with this tough, spunky woman. Popova vacillates for a moment, but they end up in each other's arms. (All this in 12 pages.)

Commentary This is one of Chekhov's very short plays, an unquestionable comedy, as opposed to the author's full length dramas which he considered comedies, but which are certainly of a more serious ilk. The Bear condenses so much of human nature into this short, comical, bizarre, and ultimately triumphant act. Chekhov demonstrates how close (at times) is the relationship between anger and passion, and how strange and wonderful is the human condition.

I left the text in both languages [Russian is broken into XI French scenes]; Boor in PLAYS directory (cuts)

next: Proposal


Homework: write your characters' stories (journals), letters, lists...

* What does Popova () or Smirnov() likes? (list): books, food, season and etc. Be specific, does Smirnov have a woman (women) (?), describe his day, write the subtext for their monologues.

* Any connections between you and your character? What about your experience of dating?

* Read pages in acting directories (character development)!

* Mark every word/sentence you don't undestand or comfortable with!

[ to bring back the French Scenes' breakdown from the Russian original? ]

cuts = [ ]

* Russian (original) text at the bottom *

* There are several versions of this script in different places (acting directories), some without Luka.

Che & Shake: The Taming of the Shrew -- the whole journey comoleted in 15 min. They strated with the fight (expos.) -- happy end (knowing everything bad about each other). Stages (each): 1-2-3


[ one act * Chekhov, bio * farces guide PDF ]