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St. Mark’s Gamers makes comedian comeback in ‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’

It’s time for humor, time to snort, and time to reconnect. Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is a contemporary tackle Anton Chekhov’s themes. A dark-humor take, at that. Each character within the play is known as after a Chekhov character. Sisters Vanya (Randall Kish), Sonia (Heather Cipu), and Masha have a reunion of types when Masha (Carole Preston) arrives for an surprising go to. The house the sisters grew up in, in a small city in Pennsylvania, is the place we first meet Vanya and Sonia. Profitable and self-centered sister Masha then arrives along with her youthful, assured boyfriend, Spike (Caroline Adams). The play, which gained a Tony for greatest play in 2013, is now being introduced in DC by St. Mark’s Gamers.

Vanya (performed by Randall Kish) and Cassandra (performed by Jordan Coscia) have fun the success of current pranks performed on different characters within the present, in ‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.’ Photograph by Mark Alan Andre.

This local people theater manufacturing of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike has been within the works since March 2020. “I utilized to be a director again then,” says first-time director Mary Patano, who picked out the play then as she needed to strive her hand at directing. “That is their first in-person present because the pandemic,” she tells DCTA of the St. Mark’s Gamers manufacturing. The unique play by Christopher Durang appealed to her as it’s an exploration of the extremes that may occur inside tight household relationships. “All the characters have this angle of ‘woe is me.’ I see myself mirrored in a few of these characters,” says Patano. Though the problems within the play might at occasions appear heavy, the therapy is comedic all the way in which. “I needed one thing with comedic components,” Patano says concerning the play, “nevertheless it has taken a complete new which means now because the pandemic.” Certainly, the added layers of which means — of trying ahead to the longer term whereas being nonetheless terrified of the previous — is one thing Patano pertains to and affords as one of many many resonant components of this manufacturing.

Spike (performed by Caroline Adams) gazes longingly at a pond, about to go in for a dip in ‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.’ Photograph by Mark Alan Andre.

This manufacturing is a testomony to the ability of theater to convey neighborhood collectively. With a principally volunteer forged and crew, Patano finds there have been many individuals who’ve stepped up all through casting, rehearsals, and tech. “Our assist methods are stay and right here,” she mentions “I’m so grateful for everybody who has had a hand in making this manufacturing go on,” she continues.

Director Mary Patano

With the elevated motion of individuals up to now couple of years, St. Mark’s Gamers continues to be a mainstay, and the forged is made up of about half newcomers and half individuals who had been beforehand engaged with the corporate. The casting course of itself turned out to be a possibility to attach with totally different folks. Patano mentions they had been very intentional about being inclusive by way of casting. As an illustration, a lady performs Spike, who’s initially scripted as a person. “Spike is a younger stud who could be very free and comfy together with his physique,” Patano explains, “however Caroline was so assured when she got here in to strive for the play, we requested her to learn as Spike and it was good.” This contemporary take brings out one of the best of neighborhood theater; the power to offer a welcoming expertise the place folks can join and share a real love for the performing arts.

The present manufacturing of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is a high-quality comeback for St. Mark’s Gamers. Their cautious strategy to COVID-19 meant that opening day was delayed since a few the actors examined optimistic. “I used to be able to go on stage,” says Patano, who had even been fitted for a fancy dress and was in rehearsals as an understudy. Nevertheless, all forged members are actually within the manufacturing, which opened formally to the general public on October 8 and can proceed by way of October 22.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike performs by way of October 22, 2022, introduced by St. Mark’s Gamers acting at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 301 A Road SE, Washington, DC. Tickets ($20, basic admission; $18, college students with ID) could be bought on-line.

COVID Security: COVID vaccination is required to attend performances of this present and masks have to be worn by viewers members when within the theater.

Vanya: Randall Kish
Sonia: Heather Cipu
Masha: Carole Preston
Spike: Caroline Adams
Nina: Allegra Hatem
Cassandra: Jordan Coscia



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