Stage West to Present Christopher Durang's VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE

"Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in." Especially when you're the one paying the bills. It might not make for a joyous reunion, though, as we discover to hilarious effect in Christopher Durang's 2013 Tony-winning Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, beginning its 6-week run on Thursday, June 4.

Vanya and his adopted sister Sonia put their own lives on hold in order to care for their aging parents, now deceased. They have now settled into a Chekhovian sort of existence, drinking their coffee, watching life go by, and longing for...more. And then their other sister, Masha, who left home for Hollywood and fame, returns with her latest boy-toy Spike in tow, and life begins to go off the rails. Old resentments are combined with the arrival of a lovely young aspiring actress, a housekeeper who spouts prophecies, a party requiring Disney costumes, and an impending sale of the farmhouse. It's an explosive recipe, and the results are pricelessly funny to watch.

And no knowledge of Chekhov is required!

Christopher Durang was born in Montclair, N.J., and received a BA in English from Harvard and an MFA in Playwriting from Yale School of Drama. His plays include The Idiots Karamazov (coauthored with Albert Innaurato), A History of the American Film (Tony nominee), Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You (Obie Award), Beyond Therapy (off and on Broadway), Baby with the Bathwater, The Marriage of Bette and Boo (Obie for playwriting; Dramatists Guild Hull Warriner Award), Laughing Wild, For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls, Betty's Summer Vacation (Obie for playwriting), Miss Witherspoon (2005 Pulitzer finalist), Why Torture is Wrong and the People Who Love Them, and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (2013 Tony Award for Best Play). He has won the Harvard Arts Medal and the PEN/Laura Pels Award for a Master

American Dramatist, and was inducted in the Theatre Hall of Fame. For 18 years he and Marsha Norman have been co-chairs of the Juilliard Playwriting Program, and he is a member of the Dramatists Guild Council.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is being directed by noted area director and TCU Theatre Chair Harry Parker. Three cast members have previously appeared in productions of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike: Nadine Marissa as Cassandra (Uptown Players), Haulston Mann as Spike (Oklahoma City Rep), and Wendy Welch as Sonia, who appeared in both those productions. Joining them will be Baylor University Professor Steven Pounders, most recently seen as Felix in Mistakes Were Made (Circle Theatre), as Vanya, and Shannon J. McGrann, lauded for her multiple roles in Stage West's Intimate Exchanges, as Masha. Rounding out the cast as the lovely Nina is Amber Marie Flores, who appeared as Luciana in Trinity Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors.

The set will be designed by Dennis Canright, with lighting by Michael O'Brien and sound by Dana Schultes. Costume design will be handled by Michael Robinson and Dallas Costume Shoppe with props and set décor by Lynn Lovett.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike will preview Thursday, June 4 at 7:30 and Friday, June 5 at 8:00, and will run through Sunday, July 12. Performance times will be Thursday evenings at 7:30, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00, with Sunday matinees at 3:00. The opening night reception will be Saturday, June 6. The July 4 performance will be at 3:00 in order to allow audience members time to attend fireworks and celebrations.

Ticket prices range from $30 to $34, with discounts for the preview performance, and for students, seniors, and military. Food service is available 90 minutes prior to performances (reservations are necessary), and the Friday Prix Fixe special (dinner and show for $42) will be available beginning June 12. Reservations and information are available through the Box Office (817-784-9378), or on the website, www.stagewest.org.

Photo Credit: Wendy Welch, Steven Pounders, Shannon J. McGrann, Haulston Mann. Stage West



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