Christopher Durang to Star as Vanya in His Own Play VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE
Playwright Christopher Durang - who won his first Tony Award in 2013 for his comedy VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE on Broadway - will make his debut in the role of Vanya when the play is presented at Bucks County Playhouse (70 S. Main St) in New Hope, PA. From July 17 to August 10, it has been announced by the Playhouse's newly-appointed producing team -- Producing Director Alexander Fraser, Executive Producer Robyn Goodman and Producers Stephen Kocis and Josh Fiedler.
The cast of the play - which is set in Bucks County - will feature Mr. Durang (in the role performed on Broadway by David Hyde Pierce), and Marilu Henner, the beloved actress best-known for the long-running TV series TAXI. In VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE, Ms. Henner plays an actress whose narcissism exceeds her accomplishments as a B-movie star, and Mr. Durang plays her brother. Additional casting to be announced.
The production is directed by Sheryl Kaller, director of Terrence McNally's MOTHERS AND SONS, which had its world-premiere at Bucks County Playhouse prior to its Broadway debut on March 24, 2014. MOTHERS AND SONS is the first play in over 40 years to debut at BCP prior to a Broadway transfer: others include Neil Simon's COME BLOW YOUR HORN and BAREFOOT IN THE PARK, and Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy in THE FOUR-POSTER.
Both a writer and an actor, Mr. Durang is not the first playwright to perform in his own work at Bucks County Playhouse: he follows in the inestimable footsteps of Thornton Wilder, who made his acting debut in his landmark play OUR TOWN 75 years ago when the theater first opened.
Along with this starry production of VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE at Bucks County Playhouse, Mr. Durang's play is expected to be one of the most produced new plays in the U.S. this year, with other productions set for theaters large and small from City Theater, Pittsburgh to Asolo Rep in Sarasota, Phoenix Theater in Indianapolis, Berkeley Rep, Trinity Rep in Providence, Fusion Theater in Albuquerquee and Santa Fe, The Philadelphia Theater Company, and at the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles in a production directed by David Hyde Pierce. The BCP production is the first and only one scheduled to star the playwright.
Christopher Durang has written numerous plays including SISTER IGNATIUS EXPLAINS IT ALL FOR YOU, LAUGHING WILD, BEYOND THERAPY and THE MARRIAGE OF BETTE AND BOO. He has performed frequently on film and television, as well as on the stage including in his own works THE MARRIAGE OF BETTE AND BOO and LAUGHING WILD.
The Durang play is the 3rd production in the Bucks County Playhouse 75th anniversary season, which kicks off with a Gala Evening benefit at the theater (70 S. Main St, New Hope, PA) on Saturday evening, May 3rd with a concert starring Tony Award-winning actress Betty Buckley, under the musical direction of Christian Jacob.
Other productions this season at Bucks County Playhouse include Neil Simon's CHAPTER TWO, directed by the Oscar-nominated actress Marsha Mason (May 22-June 15); DEATHTRAP by Ira Levin, directed by Evan Cabnet (June 19-July 13); the Tony Award-winning musical AIN'T MISBEHAVIN' (August 14-September 7) directed by Hunter Foster with choreography by Lorin Latarro, and a fifth production, to be announced.
For additional information about Bucks County Playhouse, visit www.bcptheater.org or call 215 862 2121
ABOUT BUCKS COUNTY PLAYHOUSE
Bucks County Playhouse celebrates its 75th anniversary with a return to its roots as an incubator for Broadway with the opening March 2013 of Terrence McNally's MOTHERS AND SONS starring Tyne Daly, which received its world premiere at BCP in the summer of 2013.
Located 90 minutes from New York City, Bucks County Playhouse opened in 1939 on the site of a gristmill dating from the late 18th century. The structure was in danger of demolition, but the local community rallied to save the building and re-opened it as a theatrical venue, which quickly became one of the country's most famous regional theaters. Its stage has been home to a veritable Who's Who of American theatrical royalty including Helen Hayes, Kitty Carlisle, Colleen Dewhurts, George C. Scott, Shirley Booth, Lillian Gish, Grace Kelly, Robert Redford, Walter Matthau, Angela Lansbury, Bernadette Peters, Rob Reiner, Alan Alda, Tyne Daly, Mike Nichols, Liza Minnelli and Audra McDonald. Bucks County Playhouse, a nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization, is committed to providing the finest in theatrical entertainment for visitors and residents of New Hope and Bucks County area. The mission of Bucks County Playhouse is to present first class professional entertainment and regain the Playhouses's historic place in the national theatrical landscape; and to stimulate, support, inspire and celebrate the performing arts in New Hope and Buckk County via our involvement with community programs, partnerships and arts education.
Photo Credit: Stephen Sorokoff