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Theatre Wesleyan production leaves audience laughing

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike will run through February 19 at the Thad Smotherman Theatre. Photo courtesy of Jacob Sanchez.

Audience members will have a good laugh watching Theatre Wesleyan’s third production of the 2016-17 season, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, which opened on Thursday to a sold-out Thad Smotherman Theatre.

Vanya, written by Christopher Durang and directed by associate professor of theatre Jeanne Everton, is a comical yet insightful play that gives audiences the opportunity to listen to the cruel conversations of siblings Vanya, Sonia and Masha.

The play is set in modern day Bucks County, Pa., where Vanya and Sonia (played by Colton Mallory and Kimberly Owens) bicker and complain about the circumstances of their lives.

The third sibling, movie star Masha (Jasmine West), comes to visit with her young boyfriend Spike (Tristen Brown) to tell Vanya and Sonia that she plans to sell the home since she is the rightful owner.

“Masha is selling the house!” Sonia explodes. “And she says ‘Let’s go enjoy the party.’”

The three siblings infuriate each other and leave young Spike to fend for himself.

The stage was built in the round, so audience members could touch the actors; the intimacy made it feel as if you were actually in the home.

The audience could sense the sibling rivalries as they rekindled their relationships through forced family bonding. Vanya is hilarious and had audience members on the edge of their seats to see what outrageous activities the siblings would be up to next.

West and Mallory indisputably fulfilled their roles as Masha and Vanya and are undoubtedly forces to be reckoned with. West’s portrayal of Masha was one of an over-the-top diva; Mallory’s Vanya seemed like the underdog of the family with his passive-aggressive personality, which definitely made the play more relatable to anyone that has ever been part of a sibling rivalry.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike runs through Feb. 19. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. except for Feb. 19, when there will be a 2 p.m. matinee. All performances are at the Thad Smotherman Theatre. Tickets are $10 general admission and $5 for Wesleyan faculty and staff, as well as seniors, and available at 817-531-4211 or via the Theatre Wesleyan website. All Texas Wesleyan students can receive free tickets through the Student Theatrical Experience Fund (STEF).

Buttons are available for purchase at the ticket booth. Photo by Guadalupe Sanchez.
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Theatre Wesleyan production leaves audience laughing