The action takes place in the house of the Prozorov, it is a sunny day in the hall the table is laid waiting for the guests. Irina, the youngest of the sisters is celebrating twenty years, they all are full of hopes and expectations of change for the better. In the autumn family plans to move to Moscow, Andrei's sisters predict him a great future, they are confident that he will go to university and become a scientist. Olga dreams of moving from a provincial city to Moscow, because she is tired of the work at school and dreams of marriage.
Masha is not pleased with her family life, but she also wants to move and change the situation. Irina wants to realize herself in work, she does not want to live in idleness. When in the evening Vershinin comes to visit, a commander who is located in an artillery battery, the sisters are showing keen interest to him, especially after learning that he came from Moscow. Andrei is in love with a local lady Natasha, who has absolutely no taste and dresses vulgarly. Guests make fun of them, Natasha flees from the table, Andrew goes after her, speaks words of love and proposes.
Andrei and Natasha are married, they already have a son, Bobby. Natasha is completely immersed in the economic concerns that gradually ousting all the inhabitants of the house, in the interests of her child. Andrew is appointed as a secretary of the local district council, now of a career scientist, he can only dream. Masha completely got disappointed in her husband. She complains about her life Vershinin, and he tells her about the bad character of his wife. Irina works in the Telegraph, is very tired and began to get irritated over trifles, she still dreams of moving to Moscow, scheduled for the beginning of summer. Olga still works at the school, she hates her job and wants to leave.
The action starts at night, in the first quarter there was a fire, many fire victims huddle in the Prozorov house. Olga manages to give some of their items to fire victims. There is a conflict between Natasha and Olga. Natasha wants to send an eighty-year-old nurse Anfisa away to the country, and the last begs not to expel her at such an old age. Olga takes the protection of the nurse, and Natasha tells her not to interfere and to command in her school. At the same time, Natasha covers the interests of children because they already two (daughter Sofochka was born) and curries favor with Olga. Masha has an affair with Vershinin, and her husband Kuligin seems to be the only one who does not notice it. Mary says to her sisters about how their brother has changed. Andrei loses a lot of money and mortgaged the house, which rightfully belongs to four of them. The money he gave to Natasha, whom he trusts and considers her a decent person. Natasha began an affair with the head of her husband Andrey Protopopov and the entire town laughs about him. Irina and Olga worry that spend their lives in vain, both are not satisfied with the work, they do not believe that will leave, but still dream about moving to Moscow. Learning that military brigade is transferred from the town, the sisters get even more upset.
The military part is transferred from the city, and officers Fedotikand Rode come to say goodbye to the family of the Prozorov. Vershinin came to say goodbye as well, Maria was crying, he kisses her, and says farewell. Kuligin enters who he is the only one who is happy that the officers leave. Kuligin loves Masha and forgives her infidelity, hoping that now they will live differently. Irina agreed to marry Tuzenbach, and the wedding day is already appointed. They plan to go together to Moscow. Irina passed the exam as a teacher, and her husband is promoted to the factory. Between Solonyi and Tuzenbach there happened a quarrel, resulting in a duel appointed, of which nobody knows. Olga became the head of the school, received a service apartment and lives there with an old nanny. Andrew suffers, knowing how deep he had fallen, he disgusted his wife, who lives only with petty-bourgeois interests and constantly commands him. He grieved that lives as everyone else does not dream of anything more. From a distance came the sound of a gunshot. Tuzenbach is killed. Irina takes a serious decision to leave alone. The sisters support each other and believe that one day the time will come and everyone will be happy, but probably it will not be with them.