Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

By Christopher Durang

Directed by Nicholas Martin

Originally produced at McCarter Theatre Center, Princeton, NJ.

September 7, 2012 through October 7, 2012



About the Premiere Production

It’s a lovely day at Vanya and Sonia’s farmhouse in Bucks County, PA. But instead of spending the morning strolling through their cherry orchard, these wacky siblings have their hands full with a prophetic cleaning woman, a neighborhood costume party, and a surprise visit from their movie-star sister Masha and her studly new boy-toy, Spike. Comic genius Christopher Durang (Miss Witherspoon, Beyond Therapy) makes a spectacular return to McCarter Theatre with this hysterical world premiere that turns Chekhov on its head. Durang’s signature blend of neuroses and absurdity has never been more endearing...or relentlessly funny.



Artistic Statement

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is Durang at his satiric best—witty and wacky and surprising—while at the same time filled with the pathos and emotional truth characteristic of the plays of Chekhov. It is this infusion of Chekhovian style that separates this play from Chris’ earlier work, allowing him to first poke fun at, but ultimately embrace Chekhov’s lyric imagery. What I love most about the play is how funny it is. The first time I heard it out loud, I (and everyone around me) was hysterical with laughter. The power of the humor lies in its truthfulness, and I’m afraid that each of us can find a piece of ourselves in this play. Chris manages, in the most sophisticated way, to use comedy to probe the human condition. In doing so, he delivers a play of great insight, beauty and humor. He draws upon Chekhovian themes (longing, effects of social change, frustrated hopes and wasted lives) along with his own experience as an artist in middle age to create a play that is funny and deeply personal.

-Mara Isaacs, McCarter’s Producing Director



Grant Statement

Because this production will likely include several high-profile actors, the primary rehearsal challenge we face is scheduling. As with any new play, an extra week of rehearsal will give us the much-needed ability to learn from the actors and continue to finesse the play. Comedy is an especially elusive form to understand without the performers in the room together, and there is only so much work a writer can do without actors. There is no replacement for that time in any process, and especially in the creation of a world premiere comedy. This extra week of rehearsal would play a significant role in helping our cast become comfortable with both the idiosyncratic humor of the piece and the rich details of the relationships that exist among the characters.



Director: Nicholas Martin

Set Design: David Korins

Lighting Design: Justin Townsend

Sound Design: Mark Bennett

Costume Design: Emily Rebholz

Casting Director: Daniel Swee

Cast: David Hyde Pierce, Kristine Nielsen, Sigourney Weaver, Billy Magnussen, Shalita Grant, Genevieve Angelson

Award Wins and Nominations

Tony Award®

Best Play
2013 Winner
Produced by Joey Parnes , Larry Hirschhorn , Joan Raffe & Jhett Tolentino , Martin Platt & David Elliott , Pat Flicker Addiss , Catherine Adler , John O'Boyle , Joshua Goodman , Jamie deRoy/Richard Winkler , Cricket Hooper Jiranek/Michael Palitz , Mark S. Golub & David S. Golub , Radio Mouse Entertainment , ShadowCatcher Entertainment , Mary Cossette/Barbara Manocherian , Megan Savage/Meredith Lynsey Schade , Hugh Hysell/Richard Jordan , Cheryl Wiesenfeld/Ron Simons , S.D. Wagner and John Johnson ; Produced in association with McCarter Theatre Center (Emily Mann, Artistic Director; Timothy Shields, Managing Director; Mara Isaacs, Producing Director) and Lincoln Center Theater (André Bishop: Artistic Director; Bernard Gersten: Executive Producer)
Written by Christopher Durang
 
Best Performance By An Actor In A Leading Role In A Play
2013 Nominee
David Hyde Pierce
 
Best Performance By An Actress In A Leading Role In A Play
2013 Nominee
Kristine Nielsen
 
Best Performance By An Actor In A Featured Role In A Play
2013 Nominee
Billy Magnussen
 
Best Performance By An Actress In A Featured Role In A Play
2013 Nominee
Shalita Grant
 
Best Direction Of A Play
2013 Nominee
Directed by Nicholas Martin


Drama Desk Award

Outstanding Play
2013 Winner
Produced by Joey Parnes , Larry Hirschhorn , Joan Raffe & Jhett Tolentino , Martin Platt & David Elliott , Pat Flicker Addiss , Catherine Adler , John O'Boyle , Joshua Goodman , Jamie deRoy/Richard Winkler , Cricket Hooper Jiranek/Michael Palitz , Mark S. Golub & David S. Golub , Radio Mouse Entertainment , ShadowCatcher Entertainment , Mary Cossette/Barbara Manocherian , Megan Savage/Meredith Lynsey Schade , Hugh Hysell/Richard Jordan , Cheryl Wiesenfeld/Ron Simons , S.D. Wagner and John Johnson ; Produced in association with McCarter Theatre Center (Emily Mann, Artistic Director; Timothy Shields, Managing Director; Mara Isaacs, Producing Director) and Lincoln Center Theater (André Bishop: Artistic Director; Bernard Gersten: Executive Producer)
Written by Christopher Durang

Theatre World Award
2013 Recipient
Shalita Grant



Subsequent Productions

Goodman Theatre

Chiacgol, IL

Spring/Summer 2015

 

Weston Playhouse

Weston, VT

July 17, 2014 - July 26, 2014

 

Bucks County Playhouse

Bucks County, PA

July 17, 2014 - August 10, 2014

 

B Street Theatre

Sacramento, CA

April 20, 2014 - June 1, 2014

Alley Theatre

Houston, TX

May 23, 2014 - June 15, 2014

Gable Stage

Coral Gables, FL

May 17, 2014 - June 15, 2014


The Old Globe

San Diego, CA

May 17, 2014 - June 22, 2014


Philadelphia Theatre Company

Philadelphia, PA

March 21, 2014 - April 20, 2014


Kansas City Repertory Theatre

Kansas City, MO

March 14, 2014 - April 6, 2014


Tennessee Women's Theater Project

Nashville, TN

February 28, 2014 - March 16, 2014


Uptown Players

Dallas, TX

February 14, 2014 - March 9, 2014


Red Barn Theatre

Key West, FL

January 28, 2014 - March 1, 2014


Asolo Repertory Theatre

January 22, 2014 - April 12, 2014


Trinity Repertory Company

Providence, RI

November 21, 2013 - December 22, 2013


City Theatre Company

Pittsburgh, PA

October 12, 2013 - November 3, 2013


FUSION Theatre Company

Albuquerque, NM

September 5, 2013 - September 28, 2013


On Broadway at the John Golden Theatre

New York, NY

March 5, 2013 - August 25, 2013


Lincoln Center Theater

New York, NY

October 25, 2012 - January 13, 2013

 

News

Goodman Theatre Will Present Christopher Durang's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike in 2015

Playbill.com

April 8, 2014

 

Theater review: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

Philadelphia City Paper

April 3, 2014

 

Christopher Durang to Star in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at Bucks County Playhouse

Playbill.com

March 30, 2014

 

Main Line director helms Tony Award-winning play 'Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike'

Mainline Media News

Match 24, 2014

 

Best Play: 'Vanya And Sonia And Masha And Spike' Wins At 2013 Tony Awards

Huffington Post

June 9, 2013

 

Sigourney Weaver loves playing a self-centered, over the hill movie star

Oregon Live

April 26, 2013

 

Laugh Out Loud With Sigourney Weaver and Snow White

Advocate.com

April 28, 2013

 

‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’ Moving to Broadway

The New York Times

January 29, 2013

 

'Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike' is delightfully daffy

NorthJersey.com

December 6, 2012

 

"Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike”

WNYC

November 29, 2012

 

'Vanya & Sonia' & Yale

Variety

November 15, 2012

 

It’s All in the Family: Durang Offers Up a Charmingly Neurotic Take on Chekhov

The New York Observer

November 14, 2012

 

Chekhov mashup speaks to our times

USA Today

November 13, 2012

 

Review: David Hyde Pierce, Sigourney Weaver channel their inner Chekhov

The Salt Lake Tribue

November 13, 2012

 

Chekhov for chuckles in the US

The New York Post

November 13, 2012

 

Insecure Namesakes With a Gloomy Worldview

The New York Times

November 12, 2012