From Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters

Translated by Paul Schmidt

A new theatre piece directed by Mark Jackson & Beth Wilmurt

March 21–May 4, 2019


A newly devised theatre piece inspired by Chekhov’s Three Sisters. Live music, movement, and text creates an original exploration of Chekhov’s lasting themes of memories fading, revolutions looming, and visions of the future beckoning. There will be laughter through tears, a gun in act one, and the end of an era.

Run time is 2 hours without an intermission.


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Who are the Debbie Downers?

The title is enigmatic, ironic, and provocative. The answer to the question “who are the Debbie Downers?” will be different for each of us. A Debbie Downer rains on your parade.

A Debbie Downer stops you from being who you want to be. If you’re a conservative, then the liberals are Debbie Downers. If you’re a liberal, then the conservatives are Debbie Downers. When we tell ourselves we’re not good enough, or shouldn’t try, we are our own Debbie Downers.

The answer to the question: “But why kill them?” may be found in the reactionary, violent strain of discourse that is unfortunately pervasive in our society today. And in the fact that Debbie Downers view change as an enemy, not an ally.

Why are we doing this play?

Patrick Dooley

I've been a devoted fan and supporter of Mark Jackson and Beth Wilmurt’s work for over 25 years. While I can say a lot about the rigor and passion they bring to their work, what really sticks out for me their fierce determination to reach for something new. They remind me of that restless young theatre-maker Konstantin Gavrilovich Treplev in Chekhov’s The Seagull who famously says:

“We need new forms, and if we can’t have them, we’re better off with no theatre at all!”

If you’re anything like me, your first impulse might be to resist new forms. Change is disorienting. But it can also be the impulse that leads to new sensations, discoveries, and innovations.

Prepare yourself to experience this play the way you would take in an abstract painting. Allow yourself to be a willing participant on the journey even as you also gently interrogate your sensations of resistance. Trust that you are in the hands of veteran theatre makers who are as thoughtful of their choices as they are curious about your reactions!

—Patrick Dooley, Shotgun's Founding Artistic Director

Read more about KILL THE DEBBIE DOWNERS! on our background page.