First rehearsal photos: 'Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike'


The cast of the Theatre Company’s upcoming production of Christopher Durang’s “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” gathered Tuesday for their first rehearsal. The play opens Oct. 10. Photos by John Moore.
Click here to go to a link of our gallery of first-day rehearsals.

Vanya_Rehearsal_4You know you have a great job, Director Jenn Thompson says, “when your daily task is to either read a Chekhov play, or a Durang play …  which is what I’ve been doing for the past two months.”

Thompson (pictured at right) is helming the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company’s upcoming production of Christopher Durang’s Tony Award-winning comedy, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.

The play marks the first time the DCPA has staged a Durang play in its 36-year history. He’s known mostly for absurdly funny (and hilariously titled) comedies such as Beyond Therapy, The Actor’s Nightmare, Sister Mary Explains It All For You and Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is a chaotic Chekhovian mash-up, but it stands on its own as a very funny look at adult sibling relationships.

The story takes place in the Bucks County countryside of Pennsylvania. Siblings Vanya and Sonia, who were named by their eccentric parents after Chekhov characters, are wiling their adult lives away without much purpose. (Sound familiar?). They live at their childhood home off the largess of their Hollywood star sister, Masha.

When Masha and her boy-toy, Spike, arrive unannounced, the residents of the normally quiet household are thrown into comic  upheaval as they confront issues of sibling rivalry, regret, lust, love, and of course … purpose.

“This has been a special project, even in just researching it,” Thompson told the cast, crew and guests who attended Tuesday’s first rehearsal.

“I have had a wonderful time with this design team. We wanted to find a really cool way to incorporate this whole Chekhovian themes of the  play, so we looked at a lot of Russian countryhouses, the Russian countryside, and a lot of classic sets from Chekhov plays to draw an influence from.”

While the play is laced with Chekovian undertones, you don’t need know the Russian master to approciate Durang’s sublime sense of humor on its own, Thompson added. 

“It’s a jumping off point,” she said. “It’s just a way to have fun with that whole theme of the play.

Click here to go to a link of our gallery of first-day rehearsals.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike: Ticket information

Oct. 10-Nov. 16
Ricketson Theatre
303-893-4100, or go to the Denver Center’s web site at

Cast list

Vanya Sam Gregory
Sonia: Amelia White
Masha: Kathleen McCall
Spike: Eddie Lopez
Nina: Lesley Shires
Cassandra: Socorro Santiago

Insider Perspectives: 6 p.m., Oct 10, The Jones
Talkback: 3:30 p.m., Oct 19, Ricketson Theatre
Page to Stage Discussion: Noon, Nov. 4, Colfax Tattered Cover
Higher Education Advisory Council Talkback: 3:30 p.m. Nov 9,
Theatre & Theology: 8:30 p.m., Nov 11
Book Club Discussion: 5:30 p.m., Nov. 12, Colfax Tattered Cover
Theatre Thursday: 5:30 p.m., Nov 13, Ricketson Theatre
Events information: Click here

DCPA newcomer Eddie Lopez plays boy-toy Spike. Photo by John Moore. Click here to see more photos from the first day of rehearsal.