Playwright Christopher Durang's comedy "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" will open the Virginia Tech School of Performing Arts' 2015-2016 Mainstage Theatre series on Sept. 21 with 13 performances.  

The 2013 Tony Award winner introduces middle-aged siblings Vanya and Sonia who have never worked a day. They share a home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where they bicker and complain about their lives. Unexpectedly, their movie-star sister, Masha, who has kept the household running for years, swoops in for the weekend with her new twenty-something boy toy, Spike. As the family attends a costume party dressed as Snow White and some of the dwarfs, hilarity ensues.

The roles are based on characters in Chekhov's plays. Director Gregory Justice calls the play "mashed-up Chekhov," referring to the idea that Durang put each of the characters in a blender for the outcome. Theatre-goers don't need any previous exposure of Chekhov's works to enjoy and understand the play, but for Chekhov fans, there is even more fun in store.  

"Even if you've never read a word of Chekhov, you're likely to find plenty to make you laugh," The New York Times wrote.

The play will showcase the talents of four theatre faculty members: director Patricia Raun, David Johnson, Natasha Staley, and Susanna Rinehart. Rounding out the cast are students Sanam Hashemi of Herndon, Virginia, a senior double majoring in theatre and international studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, and Mitchell McKenna of Fredericksburg, Virginia, a senior majoring in theatre in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. 

This show marks the 50th play Justice has directed at Virginia Tech. "I could not think of  better play," Justice said.  “I feel so honored to work with the faculty and staff on this production. It is a joy to work with my colleagues on this.” He is excited that it will give the theatre students a chance to watch professional actors ply their craft, as all faculty members of the cast are, or have been, members of Actors' Equity. Faculty members Randy Ward, scenic designer, and Jane Stein, costume designer, provide equal years of experience.

Performances are Sept. 21-26, Oct. 5-8, and Oct. 10 at 7:30 p.m. and Sept. 27 and Oct. 11 at 2 p.m. in Theatre 101, a venue that will allow for an intimate and up-close theatre experience. The show contains adult language and content.

Tickets are $12 general and $10 for seniors and students. Tickets may be purchased online. Tickets may also be purchased at the Student Centers and Activities Ticket Office on the first floor of Squires Student Center, or by calling 540-231-5615. Tickets will also be available at the Theatre 101 box office beginning one hour prior to the performance.

Theatre 101 is located at 200 College Avenue on the campus of Virginia Tech. Free parking is available on weekends and after 5 p.m. weekdays in the Squires Lot, located at the corner of College Avenue and Otey Streets, in the Architecture Annex Lot on Otey Street, and the Perry Street/Prices Fork lots. Find more parking information online or call 540-231-3200. Alternative parking is available in the Kent Squires parking garage and the Farmers Market metered parking lot, both located on Draper Road. Additional downtown Blacskburg parking information is available online.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please email Susan Sanders or call 540-231-5200 during regular business hours.

The 2015-2016 School of Performing Arts Mainstage Theatre series will present "The Trojan Women" Nov. 10-15; "Boeing Boeing" by Marc Camoletti Feb. 23-March 1; and the musical "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" April 29-May 1.



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