Opening Soon: New season at CSU kicks off with story of siblings, a movie star and her boy toy
Columbus State University’s Theatre Department opens their second production of the season this week.
“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” is a comedy that explores sibling relationships and challenges the audience to consider the intellectual side of relationships in a new way.
Larry Dooley, CSU’s department chair of theatre, is looking forward to seeing his students bring the play to life.
“‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’ is the type of play we’re always hoping to produce,” he said.
Nominated for six Tony Awards in 2013, it won for Best Play. Dooley said the playwright, Christopher Durang, is a familiar name to many theatre lovers for his sense of dark comedy.
“His plays are quirky, funny, off-the-beaten track and very clever,” he said. “In this one, Durang starts with the idea of characters in a Chekhov play, then launches into his own take on sibling relationships.”
Director Molly Claassen said the production will feature several talented CSU students.
“The cast is made up of an ensemble of six actors,” she said.
Vanya, Sonia, and Masha are played by students Russell Bugg, Kate Jacoby and Addie DeVelvis, respectively. The supporting roles of Cassandra, Spike and Nina are played by Indya Bussey, Ethan Hall and Kaleigh Blessard, respectively.
Claassen pointed out the demands and challenges “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” presents to the cast.
“The language in the script is dense and the action is relentless,” she said. “The actors all get quite a workout physically and mentally performing this play. It’s been a fun challenge putting the pieces together.”
In addition to looking forward to the play, Dooley is proud of the program overall.
“CSU Theatre is always an eclectic mix,” he said. “We try to do classics and new works, tragedies and comedies, and everything in between. Interestingly, I’m pretty certain we have not produced a Durang play before. It’s time. The students enjoy getting their hands on something this smart and fresh, and I feel certain audiences will enjoy it as well.”
If you go
What: ‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’
Showtimes: Sept. 30, Oct. 1, 6-8 at 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 2 at 2 p.m.
Where: Riverside Theater, Bay Avenue and 10th Street