FCT takes on Chekhov with a Penn­syl­va­nia twist

The Southern Berks News - - RELIGION - From Fleet­wood Com­mu­nity Theatre

Fleet­wood Com­mu­nity Theatre is pre­sent­ing the Tony Award-win­ning com­edy “Vanya and So­nia and Masha and Spike” by Christo­pher Du­rang. This six char­ac­ter play, di­rected by Tara Sands, has all the great com­edy el­e­ments and will take the stage in Fleet­wood at 5 West Arch Street for one week­end only start­ing May 4.

We’re not in Rus­sia any­more! Du­rang has in­tri­cately wo­ven the plots and char­ac­ter of the 3 most well known Chekhov ti­tles into this mod­ern day com­edy. Vanya and his adopted sis­ter So­nia are still liv­ing at the fam­ily’s homestead in BuckS County, Penn­syl­va­nia. They use to spend their days car­ing for their ag­ing par­ents, but now they spend their days be­moan­ing their lack of a life.

Vanya is an in­tro­verted ho­mo­sex­ual male, por­trayed by Stephen Miller (Fleet­wood). Vanya is in his late fifties and has never re­ally had the need to get out of his pa­ja­mas. He is the quiet yet prac­ti­cal peace­maker. Miller has the right dead­pan de­liv­ery, sooth­ing tones, and ex­pres­sions to bring Chekhov’s Un­cle Vanya into the 21st Cen­tury.

So­nia is equally bored with her life now. She is the con­stant thinker and is ar­tis­ti­cally acted by LeAnne Zet­tle­moyer (Kempton). So­nia’s daily pleas­antries con­sist of bring­ing Vanya his morn­ing cof­fee and watch­ing for the blue heron’s ap­pear­ance at the

pond. This par­tic­u­lar morn­ing, Vanya has dis­rupted her rou­tine by get­ting his own cof­fee, and the heron didn’t come to visit ei­ther. This starts the self- de­pri­va­tion angst (not un­like Nina in The Seag­ulls)

So­nia’s woes are put on hold long enough to an­nounce the visit of their movie star sis­ter. Masha breezes in and com­mands the room like many celebri­ties do. Cathy Leibensperger (Shoe­mak­ersville) re­turns to the Fleet­wood stage as the cen­ter- of-at­ten­tion yet in­se­cure old­est sib­ling. Masha left the fam­ily home years ago to be a fa­mous ac­tress. Her claim to fame is a se­ries of movies ti­tled “Sexy Killer.” And while these films brought her the fame she de­sired and the for­tune to pay for the care of the fam­ily home and her par­ents – they did noth­ing about find­ing her true hap­pi­ness. She has brought a guest with her dur­ing this visit home, her much younger boyfriend, Spike.

Joey Lovello, (son of Brandywine Bul­lets wrestling coach Sam Lovello) is the stereo­typ­i­cal mil­len­nial play­boy, Spike. An as­pir­ing ac­tor, Spike is very aware of how to cap­ture the at­ten­tion of his au­di­ence. Lovello brings a play­ful, con­fi­dent, and witty at­ti­tude to Spike who is not up­tight about his body like the “older gen­er­a­tion.” After strip­ing down to his shorts and wad­ing in the pond, he re­turns with the neigh­bors’ niece, Nina. Sa­man­tha Moore (Oley) is mak­ing her de­but as Nina, the op­ti­mistic dreamer.

The fi­nal char­ac­ter is Cas­san­dra – Vanya and So­nia’s house­keeper. Cas­san­dra lives up to her Greek god­dess name­sake in that she has the gift of fore­sight but is cursed that no one ever be­lieves her pre­mo­ni­tions to be plau­si­ble un­til its too late. Cas­san­dra is played by Melissa Kopicz (Blan­don). Kopicz has been show­ing her comedic skills on the FCT stage for 15 years and will not dis­ap­point as the soothe-say­ing, spunky clean­ing lady who warns of Hootie Pie, a Greek with Tro­jans in his back pocket, and So­nia and Vanya walk­ing to the poor­house.

That night the sib­lings and their guests are to at­tend a neigh­bor’s cos­tume party. Masha de­cides ev­ery­one’s cos­tume needs to go with the theme of hers. And while ev­ery­one par­tic­i­pates ac­cord­ing to her wishes – So­nia has put a per­sonal spin on her cos­tume that out­shines the star­let. To bring con­trol of the sit­u­a­tion back to her, Masha an­nounces right as they are leav­ing for the party that she is plan­ning to sell the fam­ily home.

The sib­lings each have an epiphany be­fore the end of Act 2 that can change all of their lives.

Fleet­wood Com­mu­nity Theatre is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) vol­un­teer or­ga­ni­za­tion of theatre lovers cur­rently in their 30th An­niver­sary sea­son. FCT is com­mit­ted to the ed­u­ca­tion and devel­op­ment of their mem­ber­ship within the theatre arts pro­gram by of­fer­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to all ages both on-stage and be­hind the scenes. As an out­let of qual­ity musi-

cal, dra­matic and en­sem­ble pro­duc­tions, it en­cour­ages and sup­ports lo­cal youth to pur­sue per­form­ing arts op­por­tu­ni­ties through school, church, col­le­giate or other lo­cal pro­duc­tions.

Per­for­mances are May 4,5, & 6 at 7:30 p.m. and May 6 & 7 at 2:30 p.m.

Tick­ets are $15 in ad­vance - or $18 at the door. ($2 fee per ticket for Credit Card pur­chases)

As­signed seat­ing for all shows so get your tick­ets early to as­sured a good seat. Call 484- 637-7067.

For more in­for­ma­tion on Fleet­wood Com­mu­nity Theatre please visit our web­site www.fleet­wood­com­mu­ni­tythe­atre.com or like us on Face­book at www.face­book.com/Fleet­woodTheatre

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Shown here is the cast of Fleet­wood Com­mu­nity Theatre’s pro­duc­tion of “Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike.”

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