Ibsen’s themes are universal, his people are Norwegians: through them we see the universal, we make the application. So with Chekhov: his people are Russian, we see their counterparts, their unproductivity in our South, in our selves. The actors must create Norwegians, Russians, etc. To turn them into contemporary Americans violates the structure of the play, its cadences, its rhythms, its organic whole and therefore study national traits and their origins in the land itself. The Scotsman is economical in speech, in movement, in emotion, in business because he learned to be so from conflict with a soil, not too productive -- a matter of self-preservation. The Norwegians comes of Viking stock -- Each land produced its own mythology -- leprechauns, trolls, women-in-green, Valkyries, etc. Predominant religions developed.
Occupational trends, art trends vary -- why are the emotional French devotees of the classic form? -- and the English produced Shakespeare. What vocal, physical patterns develop from this natural environment? What thought and emotional patterns? to the French cooking is an art and so one gies a meal full attention, one savours food, recognizes seasoning -- one does not discuss business over food nor make love etc. Mking love has its place, sex is part of life, given its proper place, etc. Study traits, attitudes, of other countries.