Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Casting Announced for VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE at Citadel Theatre

Citadel Theatre's 2016-17 season concludes with Christopher Durang's Tony Award®-winning Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Durang's comedy, an updating and mash-up of characters, plot devices and themes from Chekhov's four major plays, won the Tony for Best Production of a Play in the 2013 Tony Awards. Replacing the traditional Chekhovian country estate is the play's setting in a Bucks County, Pennsylvania farmhouse, complete with a cherry orchard of sorts. Vanya and his adopted sister Sonia, named for characters from Chekhov plays by their late professor parents, are living in the family home now owned by their actress sister Masha, who pays the bills.

Like Chekhov's "Uncle" Vanya and Sonia, Durang's brother and sister characters live a rather colorless, static life out in the country. When Masha arrives with her latest lover, a much younger and handsome, though dimwitted, actor Spike, conflict begins. Later another interloper arrives - the young actress Nina, who attracts Spike's interest and incites jealousy in Masha. The show runs April 28 - May 28, 2017 at Citadel's West Campus Theatre at 300 S Waukegan Road, Lake Forest. The Press Opening is Friday, April 28 at 8:00pm.

Playing the title characters are Billy Minshall as Vanya, Ellen Phelps as Sonia, Susie Steinmeyer as Masha and Colin Morgan as Spike. Lizzie Schwarzrock will be the young actress Nina and Judy Lea Steele will play the housekeeper Cassandra.

Mark Lococo, Director of Theatre at Loyola University Chicago, will direct Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. In addition to directing many shows at Loyola, he has also helmed productions at theatres across Chicagoland, including Marriott Theatre (A Chorus Line), Porchlight (The Gifts of the Magi, Once on this Island), Northlight (The Miser) and Citadel (Other Desert Cities, Educating Rita). Lococo explains what attracted him to Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.

"I teach Chekhov's work regularly at Loyola University of Chicago and I love the many Chekhov references throughout the play. Chekhov always asserted that his works were comic, while the great interpreter of his work, Stanislavski, contended they were tragic. Certainly, in Durang's hands, these Chekhovian themes, characters and ideas are treated comically-so I think we can assume that Chekhov would be pleased by the homage. And, the source of the play's comedy - the obliviousness of the younger generation to the concerns of the middle-aged Vanya, Sonia and Masha - is incredibly recognizable to those of us, let's say, of a certain age."

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike will run April 28 through May 28, 2017 with performances Thursdays at 7:30, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 3pm. Additional matinees have been scheduled for Wednesdays April 3 and 17 at 11am. Citadel Theatre (300 S. Waukegan Rd) is a 144-seat venue with a thrust stage and comfortable stadium seating. Tickets are available online at or over the phone by calling the Citadel Theatre box office at 847.735.8554. Tickets are $35 Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and $38 Saturdays and Sundays. Discounts are available for seniors, students, theatre industry professionals and groups.

Christopher Durang (playwright) is one of America's most prolific comic playwrights, known for works of outrageous and often absurd comedy. His plays have been performed nationwide, including on Broadway and Off-Broadway. His works include Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You, Beyond Therapy, Baby With the Bathwater, The Nature and Purpose of the Universe, Titanic, A History of the American Film, The Idiots Karamazov, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, Laughing Wild, 'Dentity Crisis, The Actor's Nightmare, The Vietnamization of New Jersey, Betty's Summer Vacation, Naomi in the Living Room, Adrift in Macao, Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge, Miss Witherspoon, Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, and a collection of one-act parodies meant to be performed in one evening entitled Durang/Durang that includes "Mrs. Sorken", "For Whom The Southern Belle Tolls" (a parody of The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams), "A Stye Of the Eye", "Nina in the Morning", "Wanda's Visit", and "Business Lunch at the Russian Tea Room".

Durang has performed as an actor for both stage and screen. He first came to prominence in his Off-Broadway satirical review Das Lusitania Songspiel, which he performed with friend and fellow Yale alum Sigourney Weaver. Later he co-starred in one of his own plays as Matt in The Marriage of Bette and Boo, as well as Man in the original production of Laughing Wild.

Related Articles View More Chicago Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You