Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike Post-Show Conversation with Playwright Christopher Durang and WBUR's Robin Young

1/6/2015 Avenue of the Arts / BU Theatre

Playwright Christopher Durang (“one of the funniest dramatists alive”) will speak with WBUR’s Robin Young, co-host of the nationally-broadcast “Here & Now,” after the Tuesday, January 6 performance of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.  Hear from the playwright himself about his encounters with Anton Chekhov’s work, his relationship with the late Nicholas Martin, and the inspiration for Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.





Christopher Durang is the author of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (2015) (Tony Award for Best Play), The Idiots Karamazov, co-authored with Albert Innaurato, A History of the American Film (Tony Award nomination), Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You (Obie Award), Beyond Therapy (Broadway and Off Broadway), Baby with the Bathwater, The Marriage of Bette and Boo (Obie Awards for Playwriting, Direction, and Ensemble Performance; Dramatists Guild of America’s Hull-Warriner Award), Laughing Wild, For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls, Betty’s Summer Vacation (Obie Awards for Playwriting, Direction, and Performance), Miss Witherspoon (2006 Pulitzer Prize finalist), and Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them. His cabaret credits include Das Lusitania Songspiel, co-authored and performed by Sigourney Weaver and Mr. Durang (Drama Desk Award nominations for both performers) and Chris Durang & Dawne (Bistro Award for Mr. Durang and cohorts John Augustine and Sherry Anderson). He has won the Harvard Arts Medal and the PEN/Laura Pels Award for a Master American Dramatist, and he was recently inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. For 18 years he and Marsha Norman have been co-chairs of The Juilliard School’s Playwriting Program. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild Council.

(As of December 2014)

Robin Young brings more than 25 years of broadcast experience to her role as host of “Here & Now.” She is a Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker who has also reported for NBC, CBS, and ABC television and for several years was a substitute host and correspondent for “The Today Show.” Ms. Young received several Emmy Awards for her television work, as well as cable’s Ace award, the Religious Public Relations Council’s Wilbur Award, and the National Conference of Christians and Jews Gold Award. She has also received radio’s regional Edward R. Murrow award. As an independent documentary filmmaker, she produced and directed the opening film for Marion Wright Edelman’s White House Conference on Children and followed the rise of then unknown filmmaker John Singleton in the film Straight from the Hood. Her documentary The Los Altos Story, made in association with the Rotary Club of Los Altos, CA, won the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award and is now the backbone of a worldwide HIV/AIDS awareness initiative. She has had an eclectic career in broadcasting, serving as second director on Boston Bruins and Red Sox telecasts, was one of the first hosts on the groundbreaking television show “Evening Magazine,” and she’s pretty sure she’s the only Peabody Award-winner who has also hosted a cooking game show! Ms. Young was born on New York’s Long Island, attended Ithaca College in upstate New York, and has lived and worked in Manhattan, Washington, DC, and Los Angeles, but Boston is her hub.


About Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

In this wickedly wonderful Chekhovian mashup from master of comedy Christopher Durang (Betty's Summer Vacation), Vanya and Sonia's quiet, bucolic life is hilariously upended when their glamorous movie star sister arrives for the weekend with her brawny boy toy in tow. A Tony Award-winning Broadway sensation, this rollicking and touching new comedy pays loving homage to Chekhov's classic themes of loss and longing.

Approximate run time: 2 hours and 10 minutes, including one 10 minute intermission


"I'll never forget the experience of sitting among an audience overcome with the explosive laughter elicited by this hysterical riff on the work of the world's great playwrights. The brilliant Christopher Durang has written a clever and creative play, and I know our smart, Chekhov-savvy audience will find much to recognize and relish. I look forward to welcoming Christopher back to the Huntington." — Peter DuBois
"In my 20s, I read Chekhov's plays and loved them. My impetus for Vanya... was the realization that I am now the age of Chekhov's older characters. And I found myself wanting to write a comic play — not a parody, but its own thing. Set in Bucks County (PA) in the present. So I took themes and characters from Chekhov, and put them into a comic blender."— Christopher Durang

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