ACT Theatre closes out its 2014 Mainstage season with Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, winner of the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play. The hilarious Broadway blockbuster from three-time Obie Award-winner Christopher Durang begins previews October 17 and is directed by ACT Theatre artistic director Kurt Beattie. An all-star cast of Seattle favorites including Pamela Reed (ACT's Other Desert Cities; Seattle Rep's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf; TV & Film Parks and Recreation, Kindergarten Cop), R. Hamilton Wright (ACT's Middletown, The Pillowman, One Slight Hitch) and Marianne Owen (ACT's Assisted Living, Middletown, Seattle Rep's Hound of the Baskervilles) take on Durang's hilarious Chekhov inspired siblings.

Siblings Vanya and Sonia live languidly off their family's money in a country home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, spending their days doing nothing but lamenting their rather Chekhovian lot in life. When Masha, the third sibling (who is a movie star funding their lazy brand of hedonism) returns home with a beautiful albeit very, very young and dull boyfriend Spike, the status quo of Vanya and Sonia's lives is suddenly turned on its head.

"Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is full of weird, witty, wonderfully incisive, and ultimately fun characters; just as one might expect from the satirical mind of Christopher Durang but this play is different," says Artistic Director Kurt Beattie. "While he skewers our modern celebrity culture, under the surface we see the compassion and longing of people who just need some attention. These characters strive for something human we can all relate to, the values of home and family and the need for kindness and hope. Durang has found a way to visit with Chekhov, and as the play reveals its heart-still mad and absurd in a recognizably Durangian way-I think we can feel them, companionably and compassionately, smiling together."

"Deliriously funny...The theater erupts in booming gusts of laughter" - New York Times

"This is a work by a mature playwright taking stock and illuminating countless universal truths... He also demonstrates the enduring currency of Chekhov's themes, showing that for all our supposed progress in the era of mass connectivity, despair and disappointment are as present as ever." - Hollywood Reporter

"Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is brainy and witty and clever and cute...In this hilarious mash up, classic themes of existential loss and longing are given both a modern spin and endlessly inventive comic twists." - Variety

Christopher Durang's work has appeared on Broadway, off Broadway, across America, and around the world. His many plays include The Actor's Nightmare, Baby with the Bathwater, Betty's Summer Vacation (Obie Award), Beyond Therapy, For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls, Laughing Wild, The Marriage of Bette and Boo (Obie Award), Media Amok, Miss Witherspoon (Pulitzer Prize finalist), Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge, Sex and Longing, Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You (Obie Award), and Why Torture is Wrong and the People Who Love Them. Durang earned a Tony nomination for Best Book of a Musical with A History of the American Film and also wrote the book for Adrift in Macao. He co-wrote The Idiots Karamazov with Albert Innaurato, and co-wrote and performed the cabaret Das Lusitania Songspiel with Sigourney Weaver. He was recently inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame, and his other honors include the Dramatists Guild Hull Warriner Award, the Harvard Arts Medal, and the PEN/Laura Pels Award for a Master American Dramatist.

Photo by Chris Bennion

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