Get ready for “an absurd comedy by Christopher Durang,” said Sandra Karas, the director of “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” the third production of Savannah Repertory Theatre’s 2019-2020 season.
“I’m excited to introduce our audience to the work of Christopher Durang,” added Karas. “Durang is a prolific, award-winning playwright who won the 2013 Tony award for this comedy.”
The story follows two siblings living on a family homestead in rural Bucks County Pennsylvania just outside Philadelphia as they prepare for the upcoming arrival of their movie star sister.
“My favorite part about the show is that it’s all of Anton Checkov’s plays sort of permeated together,” said Bash Halow, who plays Vanya in the groups production. “I’m no scholar but I think a lot of what Checkov was concerned with was what happens to people when they’re sort of stuck halfway in the past with the future in front of them and they don’t seem to be moving either way. The characters seem to be cursed and blessed by their loves or their past, certainly the two siblings are who’re in the opening part of the show. They’re stuck into the life that they’ve always had and the arrival of their glamorous movie star sister is imminent.”
”I call it a screwball comedy,” added Karas, ”it has those sensibilities of character and features situations that seem incongruous but end up being all connected. I think it’s a comedy about people who can’t seem to communicate with one another, and can’t figure out how to make the connections, and what results is hilarity in absurd and sometimes outrageous ways.”
“I’m really looking forward to sharing these characters with the audience and being among that resulting laughter,” said Halow. “I think people are going to fall in love with them, and being on stage and being the source of that will be great.”
Karas says she’s most looking forward to offering local audiences a balanced roster of both local performers and visiting cast members.
“Bash and I are both based in New York,” said Karas, “but we’re happy to say that there are a lot of local performers included in this production. I believe half of our cast is local, and one of them is a local equity actor, so there’s a lot of professional talent to be mined here in Savannah. We’re really happy to be able to hire locally when we can, because it’s important to build the theatre that way, and it’s important to the community to know that we’re here to spread the love, the wealth, the artistic and creative embrace all around.”
”It sounds simplistic but I just want the viewers to have a good time, get a good laugh and watch people whose lives are not so different from their own,” said Karas.
“Really good art reflects what people are, and who they are, and while the audience might be going out for a night of entertainment, they‘ll also catch sight of themselves a little bit and I think they’ll be surprised at what they see. I just want everyone who comes to ’Vanya’ to see that we have a story about people they know and love.”
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