Chekhov’s “Three Sisters” To Play in the Carousel Theatre

Carlène Pochette, Emily Kicklighter, and Lauren Pennline in the CBT's 2017/2018 production of "Three Sisters."Photo: Elizabeth Aaron

Carlène Pochette, Emily Kicklighter, and Lauren Pennline in the CBT’s 2017/2018 production of “Three Sisters.”
Photo: Elizabeth Aaron

Anton Chekhov’s classic “Three Sisters,” in a new adaptation by Libby Appel, will play in the Carousel Theatre September 27 to October 15.  A Talk Back with the cast will take place Sunday, October 8following the matinee and the Open Captioned performance is Sunday, October 15 at 2:00 pm.  The production is sponsored by Stowers Machinery Company and the Clayton Foundation with support from the Mildred Haines and William Elijah Morris Lecture Endowment Fund.  Media sponsors are WUOT, WUTK, The Daily Beacon, and the Knoxville News Sentinel.  In addition to the “Three Sisters” production, a Chekhovfest, celebrating Chekhov’s writing and featuring plays, stories and discussions will take place.  More information is available at

Languishing in a provincial town far from their beloved Moscow, sisters Olga, Masha and Irina yearn for the sparkling city of their childhood, where they believe all dreams will come true. Acknowledged as a masterpiece of the world stage, “Three Sisters” is Chekhov’s tour de force investigation of a family navigating the space between reality and dreams.

The emotions and ordeals of the twelve principal characters are shown through all their laughter, tears and anxieties. The play’s themes of love, desire, unrequited affection and death are just as relevant and pertinent to today’s audiences, who quickly become absorbed by the experiences of each discrete character,” said Michael Fry, director.

Michael Fry (Director) was born and is still based in London. He has worked as director and writer at theatres including, in the UK, the Liverpool Everyman, Nottingham Playhouse, Mercury Colchester, Watermill Newbury, Cambridge Theatre Company and for the Welsh National Opera and Glyndebourne. He was Arts Council Assistant Director at Chester Gateway and Arts Council Associate at the Nuffield, Southampton. Work in London includes the Young Vic, the Lyric Hammersmith, the Gate, Soho Theatre, the King’s Head, the Royal Court and the National Theatre. Work abroad includes Ireland, Italy, France, Romania, Estonia, South Africa, China and frequently in the United States. His plays and adaptations have been performed in theatres throughout England, America and Australasia. He has been artistic director of Floorboards Theatre Productions, Great Eastern Stage and Not the National Theatre, senior lecturer at Coventry, Middlesex and London Universities and Visiting Professor of Theatre at Washington and Webster Universities in the US. He is currently Deputy Director of East 15 Acting School in London.

The cast is comprised of visiting guest artists, UT Theatre faculty and graduate and undergraduate students, as well as community actors.

Visiting guest artist Christian Gray (Aleksander Ignatyevich Vershinin) is making his Clarence Brown debut.  Chicago Theatre: Court Theatre, First Folio (Artistic Associate), Remy Bumppo, ShawChicago (Ensemble Member), Writers’ Theatre, 20 others. Regional Theatre: Artists’ Ensemble (IL), Cumberland County Playhouse (TN), Fort Worth Shakespeare (TX), Kentucky Repertory, Montana Shakespeare, Pennsylvania Stage Company. Film credits: “Day 1,” “Plastic,” “Reclamation,” “Drifted,” and “The Judas Run.” Television: “Chicago PD,” and “The Blackwood Prophecies.” Commercial: Horseshoe Casino, Stein Garden and Gifts.

Visiting guest artist Joseph McGranaghan (Nikolai Lvovich Tuzenbakh) is happy to be home in Knoxville, where he grew up on live theatre at the Clarence Brown. He was last seen here in the 2013 CBT production of “Noises Off.” New York theatre credits include: La MaMa ETC and Magis Theatre, Remix, Mabou Mines Resident Artist Workshop, Hudson Warehouse, and Storm Theatre, among others. Regionally: Baltimore Centerstage, Asolo Rep, Philadelphia’s Lantern Theatre, Pittsburgh City Theatre, Quantum Theatre, Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, Chamber Theatre of Boston, Urbanite Theatre, Luna Stage, Centenary Stage Company, and others. Film and TV: “Hack My Life,” “The Lucky Six,”
“Door to Door,” and “Eight Degrees in Suburbia.” He received his MFA from the FSU/ Asolo Conservatory.

Visiting guest artist Roderick Peeples (Ivan Romanovich Chebutykin) is based in Chicago. Most recent CBT credits: “A Christmas Carol,” “The Crucible,” and “The Open Hand.” Previously at CBT he was in “The Threepenny Opera,” “Amadeus,” and “Life of Galileo.” A two-time recipient of Joseph Jefferson Citations, his Chicago credits include: Chicago Shakespeare, Goodman, Steppenwolf, Remy Bumppo, Victory Gardens, Famous Door, Court, and Next theatres. Regional credits: Utah Shakespeare Festival, Syracuse Stage, Madison Repertory, and Illinois Shakespeare Festival. Film: Robert Altman’s “The Company,” “Road to Perdition,” “Novocaine,” “The Hudsucker Proxy.” TV: “Chicago Med,” “Prison Break,” “ER,” “Early Edition,” and the “Untouchables” series (syndicated).

Visiting guest artist Christopher Tramantana (Fyodor Ilyich Kulygin) is thrilled to be back at The Clarence Brown Theatre.  A New York based actor, he is a proud alum of UT’s graduate acting program. New York theatre credits include: Hard Sparks, Planet Connections, TerraNOVA, Greenlight Productions, HERE, Playwrights Horizons, and NYTW. Regional theater credits include: Next Act Theater, Milwaukee, and the CBT. Christopher also teaches clown at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. BA in Theatre: Fordham University at Lincoln Center; MFA in Acting: University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

UT Theatre professional, local professional and community actors include Brian GligorRobert Stephan, and Nancy Duckles. UT Theatre graduate and undergraduate actors include: Charlotte MunsonEmily KicklighterCarlène PochetteLauren Pennline, Miguel A. Faña, Evan Price, Ben Pratt, Julius Gross, Ben Terpstra, Celeste Pelletier and Maddie Poeta.

The creative team for this production includes: visiting guest designer Matthew Tibbs (Sound Designer); UT MFA candidates Alice Trent (Lighting Design) andJelena Andzic (Scenic Design); and UT Theatre faculty member Bill Black (Costume Design).  Also assisting are Shelly Pack Payne (Production Stage Manager); Candace Moore (Assistant Director); Collin Hall (Assistant Stage Manager); Delaynie Rizer (Assistant Stage Manager); and Bonnie Valerio(Assistant Stage Manager).

Two Previews for “Three Sisters” are Wednesday, September 27 and Thursday, September 28 followed by Opening Night Friday, September 29. The production runs through October 15. UT faculty/staff, senior citizens, military personnel, children and students receive discounts. For tickets, call the Clarence Brown Theatre box office at 865-974-5161, Knoxville Tickets at 865-656-4444 or order online 24/7 at  

With a dual mission to train the next generation of theatre artists and to provide top quality professional theatre, the Clarence Brown Theatre at the University of Tennessee Knoxville is one of only 13 academic LORT (League of Resident Theatre) institutions in the nation.  Under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Calvin MacLean and Interim Managing Director Tom Cervone, the CBT season runs from September through May and features eight productions ranging from musicals to drama.

For more information, tickets or accessibility accommodation requests including Open Captioning, American Sign Language, and assistive technologies, please call the CBT Box Office at 865-974-5161 or visit us online at Stay Connected to the Clarence Brown Theatre on Facebook (Clarence Brown Theatre), follow us on Twitter (@ClarenceBrown) (#CBT1718Season) and view Clarence Brown videos on YouTube (Clarence Bro).

Source: Submitted by Robin Ann Conklin