The Prozorov sisters live in their family home in the countryside, a year after their father has died. Olga is the oldest, a schoolteacher. Masha is the middle sister, a moody woman trying to avoid her simple-minded husband Kulygin. Irina is the youngest, full of hope, longing for her family to move back to Moscow, and escape dull country living. Other characters include Andrei, their brother, Natasha, a local girl that Andrei is courting, Chebutykin, a 60-year-old doctor and sometimes-drunk, Tuzenbach, a baron who is in love with Irina, and Solyony, a soldier also in love with Irina.