Hugh Hysell, the writer-director whose The All-Male Importance of Being Earnest closes a popular three-month run in Greenwich Village Jan. 30, is doing to Anton Chekov what he did to Wilde: Reconceiving.
Three Sis-tahs is Hysell's upcoming gay take on Three Sisters, the classic Russian drama of siblings longing for a different life and looking for it in the military men who visit their father's estate.
The adaptation will be set on the U.S. east coast, Hysell told Playbill On- Line Jan. 28, "where these brother characters all want to get out of where they are -- and they do it through military men."
Since the subject of gays and lesbians serving in the military is still in the news, Hysell said, the play will be "very topical."
Hysell is hoping for a reading by spring 1999 and perhaps a summer production in New York City. The All-Male Importance of Being Earnest played the New York International Fringe Festival in summer 1998 and had a commercial run at the Duplex in Greenwich Village Nov. 5, 1998-Jan. 30, 1999.
Hysell's Wilde rewrite set the 1895 play in Manhattan's gay Chelsea district and in the Hamptons, on Long Island, changing genders and names of the original play.
The script has been licensed to producers in Toronto, Houston and San Diego for productions in 1999.
-- By Kenneth Jones