Savannah’s first equity theatre company performs ‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’


SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The Savannah Repertory Theatre is gearing up for their last show of the season.

The theatre opened in 2017 as the first equity theatre company in Savannah.

As a nonprofit organization, the Savannah Repertory Theatre operates with the Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

“We pay everybody. That is super important to us,” Managing Director Jenn Bishop said. “We feel like everybody should be paid for what they do and learning how to act is great work and training and a lot goes into figuring out your craft. It’s just like any other fine art. That’s our biggest mission.”

Their goal is to present quality theatrical performances to entertain and educate the diverse population of one of America’s great literary and artistic cities.

“We always kind of try to have a variety of stuff,” Bishop said. “And ‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’, we researched and did our best to see if anybody else in the area had done it so we were like, ‘this will be great!’ Because the community will totally gravitate to it.”

The theatre works to maintain sustainable, affordable productions.

“We started off with some random shows that we played throughout the city just to kind of get the vibe since most of us have never been here before or lived here before,” Bishop said. “We throw ideas onto a pile on the table and we kinda go, ‘what fits each other?’ And we always try to do something newer and more modern.”

They say they hope to help bring Savannah to the forefront of the American theatrical community in both art and education.

Their production of “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” is a part of the repertory theatre’s third official season. The show won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play.

It’s described as “a comedy about relationships that can’t quite find the right connections and explores the themes of quietude, loneliness, regret, unrequited romance and the importance of an ancestral home. Absurdity ensues in this screwball comedy as each character explores his and her own longings to hilarious result.”

“Underneath all the hilarity I think she’s very human and I think that the play takes that journey with her,” Actor Meg Kelly Schroeder, who plays Masha, said. “It’s a quick journey, it’s just a day, but she makes some real realizations.”

Schroeder says they’ve had a great response from the audience for the first couple of shows and hope to continue to sell out the rest of the performances.

“It’s hilarious, it’s really funny. It’s quality work,” Schroeder said. “And they’re just going to have an amazingly fun time.”

For more information about the Savannah Repertory Theatre and to see their latest production of “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” visit their website.

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