Cambrian: Arts & Events

Chekhov-inspired comedy takes the stage in Cambria

Jill Turnbow and Oz Barron are among the stars in the ensemble cast of 'Vanya and Sonia andâMasha and Spike,' opening with a preview show Friday, Oct. 16, at Cambria Center for the Arts Theatre.
Jill Turnbow and Oz Barron are among the stars in the ensemble cast of 'Vanya and Sonia andâMasha and Spike,' opening with a preview show Friday, Oct. 16, at Cambria Center for the Arts Theatre.

Christopher Durang’s comedy “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” takes the stage at Cambria Center for the Arts starting this weekend as the final production for the theater’s 2015 season.

The play, which derives elements — including the names of the first three title characters — from the works of Anton Chekhov, won the Tony Award for Best Play in 2013.

The Cambria production is under the direction of longtime Cambria resident Nancy Greene, who has served as the CCAT’s executive/artistic director for the past six years.

It is set on the family home with a small cherry orchard, and focuses on three middle-aged siblings. Vanya and Sonya live in the home with their cleaning woman, Cassandra. Their lives are disrupted with the return home of their sister, Masha, whose fifth marriage has recently ended and who brings her lover Spike — an attractive but dimwitted actor whose career has failed to take off.

Oz Barron, who portrays Vanya in the CCAT version of the play, is an accomplished musician who has taken part in “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Something’s Afoot” at the theater.

Jill Turnbow steps out of the director’s chair she occupied for “Something’s Afoot” and will be onstage this time out as Sonia.

Susie Fulton, as Masha, has appeared locally in productions of “Beyond Therapy,” “Sisters Rosensweig,” “Daughters of the Lone Star State,” “Man from Nebraska” and “Mrs. Cratchet’s Wild Christmas Binge.”

Rounding out the list of title characters is Wade Tillotson as Spike, a veteran of numerous SLO Little Theatre productions, including “The Music Man” and “Oklahoma.”

Also in the six-member cast are Priscilla McRoberts as Cassandra and Katie Gucik as Nina. McRoberts has 38 years of experience as an actor in locales ranging from New York City and Boston to Minnesota and the Central Coast. She has also been directing theater for the past two decades.

Gucik is company manager of the Pacific Conservancy Theater and previously worked for the Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

“Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike” debuts with a preview performance Friday, Oct. 16, followed by 7:30 p.m. performances Friday and Saturday, and a 3 p.m. Sunday matinee. The show continues on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Nov. 8.

Tickets are available online at brownpapertickets.com, by calling 800-838-3006 or at the Cambria Center for the Arts Gallery, 1350 Main St., from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Seats are $20 for adults; $15 for Allied Arts members and students with ID; or $5 for students with IDs. Contact Cambria Center for the Arts at 927-8190 or online at www.cambriacenterforthearts.org

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