McCarter Theater Center stood center stage at this year’s Tony Awards when American playwright Christopher Durang’s McCarter-commissioned comedy, “Vanya And Sonia And Masha And Spike,” took the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play.
The play, featuring well known actors Sigourney Weaver and David Hyde Pierce, had its world premiere McCarter in Princeton September, 2012, and moved to Lincoln Center in October for a three-month run. Since March it has been playing at the Shubert organization-owned John Golden Theater on 45th Street.
In accepting the award on the nationally televised Tony Awards on Sunday, June 9, McCarter Theater artistic director Emily Mann said, “From the moment that McCarter Theater commissioned Christopher Durang to write ‘Vanya and Sonia,’ it’s been nothing but a blessing.”
Mann credited the McCarter’s staff — citing managing director Tim Shields and producing director Mara Isaacs — as well as the theater’s scene shop, the trustees, donors, and Princeton University, where the theater company is in residence. She called her relationship with Lincoln Center’s artistic director Andre Bishop and executive director Bernie Gersten a “dream partnership.”
A moved Durang accepted the award by saying, “I am very thrilled to win this. I wrote my first play in second grade in 1958. It is now 2013. It’s been a very long road.” The award is the Montclair native’s first Tony Award.
“Vanya And Sonia And Masha And Spike” is a contemporary American comedy that pays homage to 19th-century Russian playwright Anton Chekhov. Created as part of McCarter’s New Play Development Program, it has also garnered the New York Drama Critics Award for Best Play and the Drama League Award for Outstanding production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play.