Professional Nonprofit Theater on Martha's Vineyard
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24 Church Street, Box 2452, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568 | 508-696-6300
Patricia Neal Stage

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

by Christopher Durang
directed by MJ Bruder Munafo
Opening Night: Tuesday, July 16
Production Stage Manager: Christine Lomaka
Lighting Design: Ernest W. Iannaccone
Set Design: Sean Roach
Costume Design: Cynthia Bermudes
Winner of the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play. A wonderfully absurd comedy about three eccentric siblings. Vanya and Sonia are watching wild turkeys in the cherry orchard at their family home in Bucks County when Masha, their movie-star sister, comes to visit with her latest boy-toy. Add a psychic cleaning lady and a star-struck neighbor and anything goes. No familiarity with Chekhov is required! "Durang at his absurdist best - unhinged, hilarious, and heartwarming!" (Carol Rocamora)

Stephan Amenta (Spike)

Stephan is excited to be making his Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse debut! He is based in NYC, and a graduate of NYU Tisch. Many thanks to the cast and crew, as well as his friends and family. Select credits include -- Off Broadway: Frankenstein (Write Act Repertory), Lili Marlene (Write Act Repertory). Regional: A Great Wilderness (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Dear Evan Hansen (Arena Stage), Good Boys and True (Retro Productions). Film/TV: PLANT: The Second Coming (Amazon Prime Video), On The Case With Paula Zahn (Investigation Discovery), and Rough Night (Sony Pictures). www.stephanamenta.com

Ellie Brelis (Nina)

Ellie is a New York and Boston based actor and is thrilled to be returning to the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse. Ellie’s Playhouse credits include: Hamlet (Player Queen) Julius Caesar (Portia/Octavius Caesar), Much Ado About Nothing (Hero). Ellie has been seen in Boston performing with Central Square Theater, Underground Railway Theater, Boston Playwrights Theater, Newton Nomadic Theater Company, and many other Boston based theater companies. New York City credits include: Or, What You Will (Maria) with New York Stage and Film, Seawife (Show host) with Naked Angels, Privileged Life of Cats (Juliet) at Powerhouse Theater. Ellie received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from Emerson College.

Cate Damon (Sonia)

Cate is very pleased to be making her MVP debut with VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE. Most recently, she appeared as Martha in WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF with New Century Theatre in Northampton, MA. Cate has worked regionally, off-Broadway, and in Europe but her theatrical home base is western Massachusetts where she has appeared in over 50 shows with NCT and the Majestic Theater. In addition to her stage work, she has appeared in commercials, films and does voice over work. Cate is proud mom to the actor Molly MacLeod and the writer Aaron Damon-Rush and is a long time member of the professional actors’ unions AEA and SAG-AFTRA.

Shelagh Hackett (Masha)

Shelagh Hackett is excited to be back on the MVP main stage. She recently appeared at the Playhouse this spring, starring in the premiere of “Kiss Me I’m Irish”, a one-woman show she also wrote. Shelagh played Gertrude in Hamlet this past summer, and the title role in Julius Caesar the summer of 2017. She also played Emilia in Othello on the summer stage in 1995. Shelagh was an original member of the island improv group WIMP, and is one of the founding members of the Fabulists. She is a graduate of NYU Tisch, where she studied Chekhov and other classics with Stella Adler. Shelagh did some cool things in NYC a long time ago...a couple of favorites are the original Edward Gorey musical “Tinned Lettuce” and a production of “Three Sisters”, directed by John Rubenstein. Shelagh has a long history with the Playhouse. Notable MVP productions include the Snow Queen, Dancing at Lughnasa, All in the Timing, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well..., and Noises Off. Shelagh thanks MJ and the cast and crew and of course, her husband and children for their support and love.

Mona Hennessy (Cassandra)

Mona is thrilled to be performing in her first MV Playhouse production, after moving to Martha’s Vineyard full-time two years ago! For the past two years, she served as props coordinator for most of the Playhouse summer season productions. A proud member of Actor’s Equity for over thirty-five years, Mona worked primarily in NJ/NY regional theaters. She counts among her favorite roles Winnie in Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days, Mrs. Alving in Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts, Katharine in Terence McNally’s A Perfect Ganesh and Virginia Woolf in Eileen Atkin’s Vita and Virginia. She was part of the four-part vocal group, Et Al, for three years and performed with them in various NYC cabaret clubs. Mona also toured for many years with the award-winning children’s theater company, Pushcart Players, singing and acting in original productions throughout the NY/NJ/PA/CT area - and even performed on the White House lawn and in the Czech Republic!. She taught Creative Drama classes for Pushcart Players and Essex Youth Theater, as well as Scene Study and Drama at a small private school in NJ. In collaboration with Luna Stage (West Orange, NJ)’s founding Artistic Director, Jane Mandel, Mona co-developed and co-directed an original theater piece called The American Project (“What it means to be an American”), which toured high schools in NJ. Heartfelt thanks to MJ and all the wonderful people at the Playhouse - such a pleasure being part of this group! Mona thanks, as always, to her precious family for their love and support!

Brandon Whitehead (Vanya)

Recent credits include Sir William Stanley in Richard III, Boyet in Love's Labour's Lost, and Fool in King Lear with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company. Herr Fahrenkopf in Night of the Iguana, Amiens in As You Like It, and Oscar Wilde et al in The Importance of Being Earnest at the GAMM Theater. Also Matthew Harrison Brady in Inherit the Wind and Mike Francisco in Breaking Legs at Ocean State Theater Company as well as Mr. Mushnik in Little Shop of Horrors with Tantrum Theatre (Ohio). Before moving to Massachusetts, Whitehead spent nearly twenty years working professionally in Seattle performing with ACT (A Christmas Carol, Joe Egg, Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde), Seattle Repertory Theater (Twelth Night, The Imaginary Invalid), Intiman (Paradise Lost), Seattle Shakespeare Company, Book-It Repertory Theater, Village Theater, and many others. Some of his film and television credits include Castle Rock, 21 And Over, and Leverage.

Read the reviews in the Vineyard Gazette and MV Times

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