Maria Sergeyevna Kulygina (Masha)
The middle sister, she is 25 at the beginning of the play. She married her husband, Kulygin, when she was 18 and just out of school. When the play opens she has been disappointed in the marriage and falls completely in love with the idealistic Lieutenant-Colonel Vershinin. They begin a clandestine affair. When he is transferred away, she is crushed, but returns to life with her husband, who accepts her back despite knowing what she has done. She has a short temper, which is seen frequently throughout the play, and is the sister who disapproves the most about Natasha. In performance, Masha’s directness often acts as tonic to the suffering in the play, and her wit comes across as heroic. Her vitality provides most of the play’s surprisingly plentiful humour. The artist in the play, Masha was trained as a concert pianist.