So near and yet so far: The titular siblings of Anton Chekhov’s “Three Sisters” yearn to escape the mundane stasis of Russia’s rural provinces for the excitement of Moscow. In Chekhovland, dreams don’t usually come true. So it goes with siblings Masha, Irina and Ólga, whose lives are defined by dreams forever deferred in the playwright’s 1901 drama.

Moscow may be in reach within the span of a carriage ride or two, but for Irina, Masha and Olga, it might as well be the moon. Directed for Invictus Theatre Company by founding artistic director Charles Askenaizer, Chekhov’s three-hour classic (translated by Paul Schmidt) serves a turbulent sea of curdled ambitions lined with slivers of desperate, futile optimism. The latter holds sway when soldiers arrive at the home that Irina (Ellie Duffey), Masha (Katherine Schwartz) and Ólga (Maria Stephens) share with their brother Andrey (Michael B.

Woods), a gambling addict. While Andrey drives the family toward financial ruin, his sisters engage with giddy joy when the troops come calling. In the soldiers, the women see an escape, be it geographical, romantic or simply in the form of gossip from the beloved city they recall from their childhoods.

The soldiers are a somewhat interchangeable lot on stage, but Invictus mostly succeeds in creating a world where the very air feels thick with desire and regret, the two inextricably knotted together. The story is intensely dialogue-driven, save for a blazing metaphor of an off-.

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