On March 12 Broadway put aside the industry adage “The show must go on,” and suspended all plays in the wake of the spreading coronavirus. At the Ojai Art Center Theater plans for the opening of “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” spun into limbo, landing on postponement.
Almost two years later Christopher Durang’s multi-award-winning comedy finally hits the OACT stage through February 13.
In his day job Peter Schreiner, who plays Vanya, works as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for Ventura County so he knows how people develop this type of interdependence on each other.
Calamity comes in the form of Masha, Vanya and Sonia’s flamboyant movie star sister. Masha, played by Tracey Williams Sutton, blows in to first invite them to a fancy party, then informs them she plans to sell the house.
“This crisis of potentially losing the house has been thrown in their laps and somehow they manage to navigate through the whole thing,” said Peter. “That’s part of the comedy of the brilliant Christopher Durang, showing how Vanya and Sonia weave their way through the problem to make a leap in their personal growth.”
Vanya’s character manifests his transformation through a tirade about the shallowness of today’s world, how so many things exist but come and go so quickly. He mourns a sense of shared experiences, like laughing at an episode of Ozzie and Harriet when televisions only aired three channels, instead of 785 on contemporary TVs. Plus, “We licked postage stamps!”
Plus, for the first time ever patrons get to choose their seats when they buy tickets.
The Ojai Unified School District unanimously voted to give 60 days notice to terminate an agreement with a developer who planned to build a hotel.
Unhappy with how the developer handled relations with Ojai that overwhelmingly objected to a plan to develop on school district property, school trustees said they will end the district’s exclusive pact with SVS Dev LLC to build the hotel.