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Brace Up! Brace Up! Brace Up! Brace Up!

Brace Up!

directed by Elizabeth LeCompte

from Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters

Wooster Group
New York and Touring
1989-1994, 2002-2003
Played the role of Natalya Ivanovna, Andrei’s fiancée, later his wife


    The New Yorker, Reality Theater by Hilton Als
  • “As Natalya, the social-climbing rube who tries to break through the sisters’ stifling decorum, Anna Köhler (rejoining the company after an absence of nine years) provides the show with its emotional center. She makes us see how Natalya, by marrying Andrei, has fallen into a trap—the trap of his family’s snobbery. The sisters’ cruelty—’A green belt, darling, that just isn’t done,’ Olga says when Natalya first visits—breaks our hearts only because Kohler’s Natalya feels it. The sisters make fun of her, like girls in the schoolyard, but it’s Natalya, with her doll’s face and womanly figure, who comes alive.”
  • “This is theatre as play. It is also theatre as memory. Despite the continuous stimulation, technological and otherwise, the company’s aesthetic leaves enough holds for the viewers to bring their own reflections to the piece. There is Kohler as Natalya, but the image is super imposed on the memory of her building her craft at the Red Bar, in the East Village, which no longer exists. That, in turn, is superimposed on the thought of the late Ron Vawter, the brilliant Vershinin of the 1991 production, who, like Kohler, made Chekhov’s illusion movingly real.”