Three Sisters from Brazil

What if they went to Moscow?

Christiane Jatahy

You are looking at a performance from our archive

Although they’ve been away for years, the three sisters Olga, Masha and Irina still yearn for the life they used to live in Moscow. All three of them in some way are stuck in the past, unable to take control of the future. As in Strindberg’s Miss Julie, director Christiane Jatahy transports Chekhov’s original (Three Sisters) to a contemporary setting in her native Brazil. The play’s live performance is filmed, and screened live in a second auditorium. The audience can opt to see either the live performance first, followed by the film, or the other way around. By showing the audience a live performance and a film version – the former exploring life issues the sisters share, the latter focusing on the individual afflictions – and by involving the audience directly, Jatahy breaks down the walls between fiction and reality, and between the present and the past. She provides the sisters with a real chance to break the deadlock and take their first step towards change.


See also:

light snack & diner

During the interval a light snack is available in the Frascati café. On Sunday 14 June Brasserie Harkema (next to Frascati) offers a special dinner. Vouchers for the snack and dinner are available during the pre sale only. When ordering your tickets online, these vouchers are offered at the end of the ordering procedure. 

Light snack: Mediterranian wrap.
Theater dinner (water and wine included):
• Tuna tartar with wasabi mayonnaise
• Ribeye with chips and salad
• Coffee / tea


What if they they went to Moscow? is Brazilian film and theatre director Christiane Jatahy's original take on Chekhov's Three Sisters. Moving the action to contemporary Brasil, she has created an inventive new version of the original play, connecting theatre and cinema in a refreshing way to tell Chekhov's classic story. Part of the audience will watch the actors performing the piece live on the main stage of Frascati 1, the other part will be watching the film version in Frascati 2, which will be shot live in Frascati 1 with the use of multiple cameras. In this set-up, the two art forms, film and theatre, co-exist simultaneously, impacting on each other. The audience watch both the film and the live performance of What if they went to Moscow? They can choose which they want to see first.

With camera crew walking to and from sets being moved from one place to another, all parts of the space available in the main auditorium, Frascati 1, are used. The set is built up from elements of a large apartment with bathroom behind it and a large dining table, musical instruments and bottles of booze. The actors move around and behave like modern Brazilians of various generations, open-minded people talking, dancing, laughing, crying, singing and discussing political, social and personal issues.

The question which fascinated Jatahy and her team in Chekhov's Three Sisters was why do people of all generations have the desire now and then to get away from it all. Why do people dream of moving to another country? Moscow serves as this Utopia in the performance, the place we wish we were, the place we fantasise about, but will never move to. Everyone has their own Utopia. With her actors and collaborators Jatahy researched what people dream of in Paris, Frankfurt and São Paulo, interviewing citizens from different backgrounds, cultures and histories. This led to a documentary, material which is also used in What if they went to Moscow?

While this footage is being screened the principal characters on the main stage – Olga, Macha and Irina (played by Isabel Teixeira, Stella Rabello and Julia Bernat) - are asking how they could move to another place or change the place where they already are; whether change, personal as well as political, is at all possible.


Christiane Jahaty (Rio de Janeiro, 1968) is an author as well as a film and theatre director, who from 2000 has been experimenting with new theatrical forms in her work, combining the various possibilities of film and theatre. In her trilogy Uma cadeira para a solidão, duas para o dialogo e três para a sociedade (One chair for the solitude, two for the dialogue and three for the society), she explores the boundaries between reality and fiction, actor and character, theatre and film. The first part, Conjugado (2004), is a mix of documentary and performance; the second part, A Falta Que Nos Move ou Todas as histórias são ficção (2005), was filmed by Jatahy in thirteen uninterrupted recordings of one hour each; part three, Corte Seco (2009), played with live edited footage from security cameras around the theatre.

In 2011, Jatahy integrated all the possibilities of film, camera, sound recording and theatre in her piece JULIA, a theatrical and filmic version of August Strindberg's play Freule Julie. The production toured Brazil as well as many European festivals, including KunstenfestivaldesArts in Brussels, the Vienna Festival and the Festival Temps d’Images in Paris. In the Netherlands, JULIA was performed at the festival De Keuze in Rotterdam and at the Noorderzon Performing Arts Festival in Groningen. Jatahy was awarded the Premio Shell for Best Director for JULIA. In 2012, Jatahy led the Rio Occupation London project, a residency of thirty artists from various disciplines creating new work at the London 2012 Cultural Olympics. During this period, Jatahy also worked on the In the Comfort of your Home project, which allowed British people to offer their homes to participating artists. The resulting performances were filmed and subsequently screened as part of a filmic installation in London. In 2014, her next production, What if they went to Moscow? premiered, an adaptation of Chekhov's Three Sisters. This further extends and enhances her explorations in combining film and theatre. The production has been on an extensive international tour.


Christiane Jatahy
featuring the characters from
De drie zusters van Anton Tsjechov
Isabel Teixeira, Julia Bernat, Stella Rabello
adaption, script and live editing
Christiane Jatahy
cooperation on script
Isabel Teixeira, Julia Bernat, Stella Rabello, Paulo Camacho
photography and live camera
Paulo Camacho
set design
Christiane Jatahy, Marcelo Lipiani
art director and scenery
Marcelo Lipiani
Antonio Medeiros, Tatiana Rodrigues
Domenico Lancelotti
light design
Paulo Camacho, Alessandro Boschini
sound design
Denilson Campos
musician and video operator
Felipe Norkus
sound operator
Pedro Montano
sound mixer cinema
Francisco Slade
light operator and technical director
Judicael Montrobert
stage manager
Thiago Katona
tour manager
Henrique Mariano
Cia. Vértice de Teatro
Cia. Vértice de Teatro wordt gesponsord door Petrobas
Le Centquatre Paris
SESC – Serviço Social do Comércio
Zürcher Theater Spektakel