Three performances of ‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’ at Jubilee

Sandra ClarkArts 865, Powell

Dinner theatre has returned to Powell.

Free Spirit Theatre will present “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” today and tomorrow, July 26-27, at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 28, at 1 p.m. at Jubilee Banquet Facility. Tickets are available here.

The play is a comedy, written by Christopher Durang, debuted in 2012 at McCarter Theatre in Princeton, N.J. It won the Tony Award for best play in 2013 and several other awards. The story revolves around the relationships of three middle-aged single siblings with themes from Anton Chekhov, including discussion of whether their nine cherry trees constitute an orchard.

Founders of Free Spirit Theatre are Jill and Gary Bergeron.

Jill Stapleton Bergeron is the artistic director. Now a professor at the University of Tennessee, she has taught at Maryville College and holds a doctorate in theatre from Louisiana State University. She has an arm-long list of acting and directing experiences.

Gary Bergeron is the technical director. An engineer by day, he is an avid theatre lover at heart. He is handy with carpentry and functions as stage manager as well. “Without his technical expertise, Free Spirit Theatre’s productions would not come to life on stage, says his wife.

The actors for this weekend’s play are:​

  • Sam Waycaster as Vanya
  • Carol Luther as Sonia
  • Freddi Birdwell as Masha
  • Trevor York as Spike
  • Windie Wilson as Cassandra, and
  • Cecilia Lovelace as Nina.

This is Birdwell’s fourth show with Free Spirit Theatre, where she last appeared as Karen Nash in “Plaza Suite.” She has also appeared with Theatre Knoxville Downtown, Tennessee Stage Company and, most recently, Tellico Community Players.

Waycaster is returning to the FST stage to portray the sweet character of Vanya. He also spent eight years working with Sevier County Theatre Guild where he directed “Vanities” and “Love Letters,” and served the board of directors as vice president.

Luther goes back to undergraduate school with Jill Beregon, but this is her first time to work with Free Spirit Theatre. Carol has worked in outdoor drama, educational theater and community theater as an actor, costumer and director. Off-stage, she is a published author and an English teacher who recently retired from Pellissippi State Community College.

York was last seen in “Plaza Suite.” In 2017, he received a bachelor’s degree in theatre arts from Maryville College. His past credits include performances at the Clayton Center for the Arts. Trevor also enjoys the off-stage side of theatre and recently spent time as the technical director at KCT.

Wilson performed with Free Spirit Theatre in “How I Learned to Drive” in fall 2018. She has numerous local acting credentials including work with Theatre Knoxville Downtown, The WordPlayers, Tennessee Stage Company, Tiger Lily, Flying Anvil and others.

Lovelace is an upcoming junior and all-around theatre lover. This show is her second performance with Free Spirit. She had dual roles in “Plaza Suite” as a waitress and Mimsy.

Learn more about Free Spirit on Facebook or the theatre’s website.

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