Christopher Durang's Tony Award-winning Comedy Runs October 20th through November 12th
Season 58 at Costa Mesa Playhouse continues with Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by American playwright Christopher Durang. Winner of the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play, Durang's wildly funny comedy centers on the reunion of glamorous film star Masha with her two middle-aged siblings, Vanya and Sonia, at the family homestead, where old tensions arise. The production is being directed by Jeff Paul.
“Durang is a master of character-driven absurdist comedy,” remarks Paul. “This play in many ways is a modern twist on the drawing-room comedy of the old days, with eccentric characters who lament their state of unfulfillment; they dream of something better that they can't articulate. So, the key to this comedy is grounding the characters in reality and reflecting the full depth of the human condition.”
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike marks Paul’s second time helming a production at Costa Mesa Playhouse following his critically-acclaimed 2015 production of The Marriage of Bette and Boo, also penned by Durang.
“What both of these plays have in common is, at their core, they're about the family dynamic,” adds Paul. “Durang is not afraid to show our casual cruelty toward each other, but in a comedic way. And I must add, I've truly been blown away by the productions at Costa Mesa Playhouse over the last couple of seasons – the kinds of plays they're choosing, the subject matter, the performers, and the directors have all been top-notch – so I am thrilled to reunite with them and carry the torch.”
The sale of the family's countryside estate is a crucial plot point in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Here, working closely with set designer Antonio Beach, Paul has skillfully integrated the home as a character in the story. Beach has crafted an open and airy sunroom with a minimalist aesthetic that leans towards realism, with cozy furniture and windows views of the natural surroundings adding to the ambiance.
“Theater enthusiasts will appreciate the show's self-awareness of the theater and performance world, especially with the recurring echoes of Anton Chekhov's plays and characters for which Durang has become known,” concludes Paul. “But this show genuinely caters to a wide range of audiences, inviting people from all walks of life to laugh and connect with Durang's comically exaggerated portrayal of siblinghood.”