Russian writer Anton Chekhov was a master of the modern short story and a leading playwright of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Through plays such as The Seagull and Uncle Vanya, he explored the depths of human nature, the hidden significance of everyday events and the fine line between comedy and tragedy. Chekhov wrote many of his greatest works in the last few years of his life, when he concentrated primarily on mood and characters, showing that they could be more interesting than were the plots. His characters’ stories are very specific, painting detailed pictures of pre-revolutionary Russian society; they are also timeless. From the late 1890s onward, Chekhov collaborated with Konstantin Stanislavski and the Moscow Art Theatre on productions of his plays, including his masterpieces The Seagull (1895), Uncle Vanya (1897), The Three Sisters (1901) and The Cherry Orchard (1904).