“Water is one of the elements that make up our planet and I love water, I love the sight of lakes and rivers…. In this show I used water as a dynamic element, counter-conventional; the water became an integral part of everything that happens in the show: all the characters immerse themselves, sometimes throw themselves in, sometimes play their instruments in the space occupied by water. This Play Without a Name could be defined as an ‘aquatic’ show.”

Lev Dodin

Play Without a Name is based on the first, unperformed play of Chekov, written when he was 21. The original work is enormous, containing in it the seeds of Chekov’s later classics, filled with dramatic – even melodramatic – incidents, characters and themes. Mr. Dodin and the actors concentrated on the characters and their philosophies.
By focusing on the characters and a few of the many narrative lines, they created a piece that has a vitality and subtlety not inferior to those later classics.

As often with the works of Mr. Dodin and his company, music plays a very important part in this piece. A fan of jazz since his childhood, Mr. Dodin encouraged his actors, most of whom did not play musical instruments when they began the long rehearsal process, to study an instrument and begin to use this in addition to their voices, music in addition to text in the development of the piece.

The physical element of water is constantly present, and the action itself often takes place in the water. The company of some 30 actors appears in this show “on a stage that is seen through a water-veiled space of projections and death.”
Kunstfest Weimar
4 – 12 July 1999
St-Petersburg, Russia
September 1997
Milan, Italy
Piccolo Teatro
10 – 13 December 1999