The place is the country estate of the Islayevs, a wealth Russian family, the time the middle of the nineteenth century. It is summer, and the lives of the family and their entourage reflect the bored indolence so characteristic of the aristocracy of the time. However conflict arises when Natalya, the lady of the house, conceives an infatuation for Belyayev, her young son's tutor, and finds herself in competition with her ward, Vera, who is also smitten with the engaging, if ingenuous, young man. Moved by her emotions, but fearful of compromising her position, Natalya nevertheless manages to upset the others in the household: her husband; her mother-in-law; her lovelorn admirer, Rakitin; and her ward. Only the village doctor, a self-made man whose cynical observations provide a telling counterpoint to the actions of the others, seems to be removed from their problems. In the end, of course, the crisis ebbs, the tutor departs, tangled relationships are sorted out, and lives resume the gentle ease from which they had been stirred by this brief and unlikely flicker of passion.
A critical and popular success both in London and New York, where Tammy Grimes and Farley Granger were featured in the cast, this masterful translation captures all the subtle humor and bittersweet poignance of Turgenev's classic play. "…his lines have the rueful wit of a man who has seen much of the world and who shakes his head compassionately over how rarely any of its inhabitants achieve a finish worthy of their beginnings." —The New Yorker. "What a remarkable play!…It has all the freshness, that thrust of a new century's thought, which we associate with Chekhov or Gorky." —NY Post. "A MONTH IN THE COUNTRY is a jewel of a play…" —NY Times.