Spring brings another play into full bloom at downtown Fargo’s Theatre B next week – Christopher Durang’s “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” a modern farce speckled with family tension.
Loaded with laughs and offering a look into sibling rivalries and caring for aging parents, “Vanya” offers plenty for audiences looking for entertainment, escape or introspection.
“If it’s not reason enough to come out and spend the night laughing until your gut hurts, (it is) to see really some of the best actors and actresses in the Fargo-Moorhead area,” director Darcy Bakkegard said.
Theatre B regulars like Pam Strait, Missy Teeters and Carrie Wintersteen are here, as well as past players Hardy Koenig and Taylor Schatz.
Together Koenig, Strait and Wintersteen form the sibling trio of Vanya, Sonia and Masha, while Schatz steps in as Spike, Masha’s boy toy who is the aging actress’s last grasp at youth. As Vanya and Sonia care for their elderly parents, their resentment toward Masha boils over for contributing nothing but her money toward their parents’ care.
“(A)t the core is this beautiful, yet tense relationship between two sisters and their brother,” Bakkegard said. “It’s a lot about the ties that bind them as well as the challenges that push them apart.”
Finding humor in such family tension may be hard for some, but with a writer like Durang behind this piece of theater, Bakkegard assures this show is a home run.
“If you’ve ever read or seen anything by Christopher Durang, he is witty, he is goofy and this play lives up to all of the Durang greatness.”
“Vanya” also comes at a great time for Theatre B; last month, the company was given a $100,000 grant from the Bush Foundation to participate in the organization’s Community Creativity Cohort.
One of 16 organizations selected from the tri-state area, Theatre B will participate in the one-time program “to both recognize and learn from exemplary organizations that meaningfully engage people in the arts and integrate the arts into public life.”
“This is such an honor for Theatre B,” Wintersteen, Theatre B co-founder, said in a press release. “It’s a testament to the passion and craft of our Ensemble and guest artists, as well as to the mission that Theatre B has been advancing for almost thirteen years.”
And “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” continues that mission of Theatre B’s, to engage audiences with new, relevant and striking theater.
Bakkegard agreed, and she suggested that anyone interested should purchase tickets in advance, as this show is one that’s sure to be a hot hit.
“If no one has seen a Durang play, this is a great opportunity to see something that is fresh, current, to see something that is going to be very enjoyable, but also see a touch of what Durang does with being able to mix this great sense of humor with real contemporary issues.”
“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike”
7:30 p.m. every Thu.-Sat., April 16-May 9; 2 p.m. Sun., April 26
716 Main Ave.
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