Asheville – A Broadway production, which won a Tony Award for best play in 2013, will be on stage here in Asheville from March 22 through April 16. Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is a delightful comedy that is reminiscent of a Chehkov play (perhaps Uncle Vanya or The Cherry Orchard). Middle-aged siblings Vanya and Sonia share a home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where they bicker and complain about the circumstances of their lives.
Suddenly, their movie star sister, Masha, swoops in with her new boy toy, Spike, to upset the apple cart.This comedy was written by award-winning Christopher Durang, who is a prolific playwright as well as an accomplished actor for film and TV productions. Since 1994, he has been co-chair with Marsha Norman of the playwriting program at the Juilliard School in Manhattan.
Once again, the audience gets to see the talented Equity actor Scott Treadway performing on stage. In February, Treadway brought to life the heartbreaking comedy Every Brilliant Thing, a life-affirming play based on depression and finding hope in the small miracles of life. In this play, he will be acting with Callan White, an Equity actor who also starred in a number of the hilarious Jeeves productions with Treadway. Callan has a distinguished career and is a theater professor at Western Carolina University. Other actors in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike are Jane Bushway, Laurie Carter Rose, Jenna Gilmer, and Brad Mills.
The NC Stage Company is known for its artistic excellence with its off-Broadway style and use of professional Actors’ Equity Association actors. Charlie Flynn McIver, the artistic director, and his wife Angie, the producing director, have been producing thought-provoking plays at 15 Stage Lane in downtown Asheville for the last 20 years. Mike Wiley, a North Carolina-based actor and playwright whose compelling works of documentary theater yield rich and powerful journeys to milestones and turning points of the African American experience, has visited many times.
In One Noble Journey, A Box Marked Freedom Wiley recounted the daring and miraculous quest for freedom of Elizabeth Craft and her husband William, who were born into slavery in Georgia. He brought to life the recollections of author Tim Tyson surrounding the 1970 murder of Henry “Dickie” Marrow in Oxford, NC, and the events that followed in “Blood Done, Sign My Name.” These were all shown at the NC Stage Company. In addition, many of the P.J. Wodehouse stories about Bertie Wooster and his valet Jeeves were produced by the NC Stage Company: Jeeves Intervenes, Jeeves at Sea, and Jeeves Saves the Day. Margaret Raether’s adaptations of the satirical 1920s Wodehouse series feature Jeeves, a competent valet tasked with solving the absurd predicaments that the rich playboy Londoner Bertie Wooster stumbles into. These British farces have highly amused NC Stage audiences over the years.
The COVID shutdown tested the Stage Company’s mettle for survival. During the lockdown for COVID19, all those involved in the performing arts— actors, producers, stage managers, cast members, and audiences— had to suffer the consequences of no “live” theater. No one was able to enjoy the stimulating topics, musicals, or comedies that were brought to the stage by theatre productions. Using the technology of Zoom or YouTube, NC Stage Company managed to schedule some intriguing productions, which were streamed online, such as the holiday production of “It’s a Wonderful Life 2020” and “The Book Club Play” by Karen Zacarias in March. Now live stage can be shown; however, please be aware that, as of 3/2023, masks are optional in the lobby,but NC Stage is still requiring masks of all staff, audience members, and volunteers in the theater during the performances. By purchasing a ticket, you are agreeing to this policy, and the masks must be worn in the theater at all times.
Bargains during Preview Week
The opening week of each new show at North Carolina Stage Company is “Preview Week”. Don’t miss our next opening week for our upcoming production of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Wednesday, March 22 through Saturday, March 25. First Wednesday: Every first performance of a show is Pay What You Can Night! For a minimum of $6. First Thursday: Thursday brings 50% off tickets! First Friday: Get tickets for the first Friday of a performance and receive 30% off the cost of tickets as well as a special look into what goes into a production with the First Friday Talkback following the show! Stay to chat with actors and the show’s director and get the chance to ask your own questions.First Saturday: This is the official opening night! Arrive early to the theater for complimentary concessions from the concessions bar, and stay after the show for a brief champagne toast with the cast and crew.
The show runs from March 22 through April 16th, with evening performances at 7:30 PM Wednesday through Saturday and a matinée on Sunday at 2:00 PM. Parking is conveniently located near two city-owned parking garages: the Rankin Avenue garage and the Civic Center garage. Regular ticket pricing with reserved seating is $26–46; student tickets are $10. Prices vary by selection. Go to www.ncstage.org online for tickets or call 828 239-0263.