Settlement Players to stage American comedy Vanya And Sonia And Masha And Spike in Nov. Audition dates announced

(Part of) York Settlement Community Players’ poster for Christopher Durang’s play Vanya And Sonia And Masha And Spike

YORK Settlement Community Players’ autumn production will be Christopher Durang’s  Broadway hit comedy Vanya And Sonia And Masha And Spike.

Directed by Jim Paterson, this amateur premiere will run at Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, from November 3 to 5.

Rehearsals will run from Sunday, September 4 an average of three times a week: two on weekday evenings and one daytime session at the weekend, building momentum to the production week starting on October 31.

Premiered in 2012, Durang’s play revolves around the relationships of three middle-aged single siblings, two of whom live together, and takes place during a visit by the third, who supports them.

“Playing with classic Chekhovian situations but taking them in humorous new directions that anyone can enjoy, the play tells the story of Vanya and Sonia, who live a quiet life in the Pennsylvania farmhouse where they grew up,” says Settlement stalwart Helen Wilson.

“But their peace is shattered when their movie-star sister, Masha, returns unannounced with her twentysomething toyboy Spike. A weekend of rivalry, regret and raucousness begins.

“This is a in a brilliantly funny play, with six very different roles that are a treat for comic actors who enjoy scratching past the surface to find the sadness underneath.”

Here are the characters up for grabs at auditions at Southlands Methodist Church, Bishopthorpe Road, later this month:

Vanya (male, 50s):  resigned to his life, more or less, at least by comparison with Sonia;
Sonia (female, early 50s): Vanya’s adopted sister, who lives with him. Discontented, upset, regretful;
Masha (female, 50s): Their sister. Glamorous and successful globetrotting actress;
Spike (male, 20s): Aspiring actor, sexy, self-absorbed. Masha’s new companion. Actor playing this role will need to be physically fit and comfortable in underwear on stage;
Nina (female, early 20s): Lovely, sincere, would-be actress. Starstruck and energetic;
Cassandra (female, any age): Cleaning lady and soothsayer. Odd, very odd.

Those auditions will be held on Thursday, July 14, 7.30pm to 9.30pm; Sunday, July 17, 1pm to 4pm, and Tuesday, July 19, 7pm to 9.30pm.

“You do not need to prepare a monologue,” advises Helen. “We’ll ask you to perform an extract from the play with a partner, which will be supplied in advance. The play is set in Pennsylvania, and you will need to be able to perform – or have the ability to learn – a decent American accent. We will provide you with a half-hour audition time slot.”

To register your interest, please email with details of your name, the part you are interested in, a brief overview of your previous acting experience, and any commitments that would make you unavailable during rehearsal and performance times. Please specify too if you are unable to make any of the audition dates.

You must join the Settlement Players to be part of the cast.