The Theater Department of Ohio University Eastern will present Christopher Durang's comedy "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" April 19, 20, 21, 22 in the Shannon Hall Theater. Wednesday and Thursday evenings the play begins at 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday evenings the play begins at 8 p.m.
Winner of the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play, the story revolves around middle-aged siblings Vanya and Sonia, who share a home in Bucks County, PA, where they bicker and complain about the circumstances of their lives. Suddenly, their movie-star sister, Masha, swoops in with her new boy toy, Spike. Old resentments flare up, eventually leading to threats to sell the house. Also on the scene are sassy maid Cassandra, who can predict the future, and a lovely young aspiring actress named Nina, whose prettiness somewhat worries the imperious Masha.
For fans of Durang's comedies, "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" is a venture into a kinder, gentler realm. The many Chekhov allusions would seem to recall the Russian playwright's characters trapped in misery and ennui, but the play remains a comedy. Durang's wit is still keen and his humor still scathing but his tone is ultimately hopeful. The New York Times remarked, "... there's something deeply comforting about Mr. Durang, of all people, delivering Chekhov's lost souls from their eternal misery, if only for one night."
The play has six characters and each character has a hilarious show-stopping monologue. The comedy is spread broadly, about the play, and among the cast. Audiences are cautioned that the play contains strong language.
OUE Theatre Director Dennis Fox leads the cast playing the role of Vanya. "I've wanted to play the role of Vanya ever since I saw the show several years ago," said Fox. "Christopher Durang is one of my favorite playwrights and I've been extremely fortunate to assemble a great cast." Playing Sonia is Audrey Dillon, of Barnesville. Dillon's last role with OUE Theatre was Mrs. Kirby in "You Can't Take It With You." Ohio University Sophomore Carly Greiner, also of Barnesville, has the role of Cassandra. Greiner was last seen as Romaine Patterson in "The Laramie Project." Playing Masha is Melody Meadows, of Wheeling. Meadows was last seen as Reggie Fluty in "The Laramie Project." In the role of Spike is Derek DeMattio of Richmond. DeMattio recently received his Bachelor's Degree in Communications from Ohio University and now returns to OUE Theatre as an alumnus. He was last seen on the OUE stage as Ed in "You Can't Take It With You." St. Clairsville resident Jamilyn Helms, a freshman at OUE has the role of Nina. This is Helms' first role on the OUE stage.
"Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" is co-directed by Megan Simcox, of Colerain. Simcox is an alumnus of OUE Theatre and a theater graduate of The Ohio State University. She has appeared on stage in many OUE Theatre productions and co-directed both "Foxfire" and "The Laramie Project."
The Theater Department of Ohio University Eastern will present "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" April 19, 20, 21, 22 in the Shannon Hall Theater. Wednesday and Thursday evenings curtain is at 7pm, Friday and Saturday evenings curtain is at 8pm. Wednesday and Thursday evenings all tickets are $5. Friday and Saturday evenings General Admission tickets are $7 and Student and Senior Tickets are $5. For more information or to make reservations contact Fox at (740) 699-2340 or firstname.lastname@example.org.