Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike

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When Masha reveals plans that will upend the family, long-repressed
resentments bubble over in a weekend full of wild costume parties,
voodoo dolls, and surprise romance.
Christopher Durang's Tony Award-Winning play comes to Citadel
after successful runs in New York and Chicago.



Previews:  Tuesday, April 25, 2017 @ 7:30pm and Wednesday, April 26, 2017 @ 7:30pm

Press Opening:  Thursday, April 27, 2017 @ 7:30pm

Schedule:  Friday, April 28th - Sunday, May 28th


Christopher Durang (Playwright)  Mr. Durang’s plays have been produced on- and off-Broadway, around the country and abroad.  Among his plays: Beyond Therapy, Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, Baby with the Bathwater, Laughing Wild, A History of the American Film, Betty’s Summer Vacation, and Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge.  He has written 40 one-act plays, including The Actor’s Nightmare, For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls, Naomi in the Living Room, and ‘dentity Crisis.  Christopher also acts and sings.  He’s had small but fun parts in a number of movies, and acted in some of his own plays.



Mark Lococo (Director)  Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike marks Mr. Lococo’s third directorial role at Citadel Theatre.  He also directed Other Desert Cities in 2015 and Educating Rita in 2016. Mark has served as Loyola University’s Director of Theatre since 2007, during which time he has directed Spring Awakening, Lost in Yonkers, Urinetown, Measure for Measure, Pippin, As You Like It and Mnemonic on Loyola’s stages. He also directed The Gifts of the Magi at the Porchlight Music Theatre in 2012, A Chorus Line at the Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre in 2010 (Joseph Jefferson Award Nomination for Best Director of a Musical), and The Producers at Milwaukee’s Skylight Theatre in November 2008. Until 2007, Dr. Lococo was Associate Professor of Communication and Theatre Arts at the University of Wisconsin in Waukesha  In 2004, he directed Trumbo featuring noted author and Chicago personality Studs Terkel for Steppenwolf Theatre’s Traffic Series.  He was the director of the theatre arts division of the National High School Institute of Northwestern University (Cherub Program) from 1992-1997. In July of 2007, he participated in a Roundtable at Oxford University on the divide between the humanities and sciences. Dr. Lococo was Vice President for Conference Planning 2012 for the Association of Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE). Professor Lococo is a 2013 graduate of the SITI Company Theatre Intensive in Saratoga Springs, NY.



Billy Minshall (Vanya)  Billy makes his first appearance at Citadel as Vanya. He can also be seen as Father Mark in the ongoing production of Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding at Chicago Theatre Works. Billy has worked with Northlight Theatre, Victory Gardens, Steep Theatre, and ShawChicago. Television: Chicago PD. Billy earned his Bachelor of Science in English-Writing from Northwestern University.



Ellen Phelps (Sonia) Co-Founder and actor at Citadel Theatre, Ellen’s past productions include ‘Til The Fat Lady Sings, Prisoner of 2nd Avenue, Something’s Afoot, Sirens, Other Desert Cities, and A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum. Other theatre credits include Company, Rumors, The Boy Friend, and The Glass Menagerie. Ellen would like to thank her husband, Scott, for supporting her first Citadel Theatre directing debut. Also hugs and kisses to granddaughters Layla and Mila for bringing such joy to our lives! 





Susie Steinmeyer (Masha)  Susie is thrilled to be back on the Citadel Stage! Past Citadel credits include Lend Me A Tenor, Jakes Women, God of Carnage and Murder in Green Meadows. Other Chicago area productions include The Clean House (Bluebird Arts); Carnegie Hill (Clockwise Theatre); It’s a Wonderful Life (Oil Lamp); and Noises Off (Big Deal Productions.) Thanks to all family and friends for your continued support.





Colin Morgan (Spike) is happy to be working with Citadel Theatre for the very first time. Chicago credits include Wit (The Hypocrites), Sense and Sensibility, Pericles, Short Shakes! Twelfth Night, Shakespeare's Greatest Hits (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley  (Northlight), The Jungle, No Beast So Fierce, Romulus (Oracle Productions); Explorers Club (Windy City Playhouse) Bellboys, Baggage, and Bears (Redmoon), and regionally. Colin is from Sioux City, IA and graduated Iowa State University a long while ago.




Lizzie Schwarzrock (Nina) is delighted to work with Citadel. Previous Chicago credits include: High Fidelity (Refuge Theatre Project), Miss Bennet (Northlight Theatre u/s), Plastic Revolution (The New Colony), Marble, GA (Duplicity Ensemble), Rudolph and Caged Dames (Hell in a Handbag). She is a proud alum of the Actor’s Theatre of Louisville apprentice program.  Lizzie graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University. Thanks to mom, dad, and John.



Judy Lea Steele (Cassandra) last appeared at Citadel as Silda Grauman in Other Desert Cities, (2015 Broadway World Nominee “Best Revival of a Play). Other stage work includes roles at theatres such as Raven, Jackalope, City Lit, Remy Bumppo, Northlight, Fleetwood-Jourdain, Haven, Promethean Theatre Ensemble and Porchlight Music Theatre. She is a Northwestern University alumna, represented by Big Mouth Talent. More at




Lynn Baber (Casting Director) is currently the Casting Director at Northlight Theatre in Skokie where she also manages the intern program and assists the Artistic Director. For 19 years she was the Theatre Arts Division Director of the National High School Institute at Northwestern University (the Cherub program). She was the Co-Founder/Artistic Director of the Econo-Art Theatre Company (1983-90), where she produced and appeared in an array of world-premieres, including works by Joel Drake Johnson (Rasheeda Speaking, End of the Tour, Fall to Earth) and Peter Hedges (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?, About A Boy, Dan in Real Life). As a Casting Director, she has cast shows in collaboration with many directors including Jon Jory, Mark Lococo, Steve Scott, Peter Amster, Doug Peck, BJ Jones, Stephen Schwartz and Amy Morton. She is a member of CSA (Casting Society of America), Actors Equity, and Screen Actors Guild/AFTRA.

Sandie Bacon (Scenic Artist) is a versatile fine artist known for both her paintings and murals/ set design. She shows her artwork nationally and recent local shows include 33 Collective and 4Art Chicago, the Dandelion Gallery in Waukegan and AOB Gallery in Lake Forest. She painted the stage earlier this season for The Birds and A Christmas Story, and her murals grace the Lake Bluff train Station, The Warren-Newport Public Library, Lake Forest Place and over 125 other residential and corporate environments. She holds an MFA from Maryland Institute Graduate School of Painting. To see her artwork or consult with Sandie about murals and painting commissions see: and/or SandieBaconfinearts on Facebook.

Bob Boxer (Sound Designer) is happy to be working with Citadel Theater Company on this production of Upright Grand. Previously this season, Bob designed sound for Citadel’s productions on Elemeno PeaA Christmas Story, The Birds as well as Women, Politics and Murder for Clock Theater. Other recent productions include Funny Girl and Sweet Charity for Madkap Productions, and Music Man for Footlighters Theater Company. Bob has also worked with the Buffalo Grove Arts Commission, Symphonic Band and Parks Department as well as theater companies in California and New York. In his other life, he is a radio engineer, specializing in remote broadcasts of sports and special events. Bob sends his love and thanks to his wife Lori for her continuing support.

Jamie Karas (Properties Designer) is excited to be working with Citadel and is also the Prop Shop Supervisor at Loyola University. Jamie also freelances around Chicago at theatres like American Theatre Co., Steep, Griffin, House, Rivendell, Haven, and Windy City Playhouse.

Michael Lewis (Scenic Designer) is thrilled to be designing at Citadel for the first time! He received his B.A. from Emory University and has worked for the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Hope Summer Repertory Theatre, and PCPA-Pacific Conservatory Theatre. In Chicago, he has designed for Rasaka Theatre Company, Tympanic Theatre Company, BoHo Theatre, Black Button Eyes Productions, The Comrades, Emerald City Theatre Company, and ChiArts High School.

Emma Magrady (Lighting Designer) is a Chicago based lighting designer and a recent graduate of Columbia College Chicago. Previous designs include Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Getting Out, and Never the Sinner. This is her fsecond show with Citadel Theatre. 

Tessa Schultz (Master Carpenter) is thrilled to be joining Citadel Theatre again with Upright Grand! As a Jill-Of-All-Trades, she can be found running back and forth as a scenic & properties designer, charge artist, stage manager and all-around technician. She received a Bachelor of Arts in both Studio Art and Theatre from Hope College in 2015. Recent design credits include: Arsenic & Old Lace, Crazy For You, The Children’s Hour, Incomplete, and Middletown.  Other credits include: Elemeno Pea (Citadel Theatre), The Dutchman, Waiting for Godot, Urinetown, As You Like It, A Serpent’s Tale, and The Faith Project.

Samantha Tink (Stage Manager) is the resident Stage Manager for Citadel Theatre this season and is so excited to be working on this wonderful show. Samantha is a graduate of the Carthage College and the East 15 Acting School in which she holds an MFA in Directing. Samantha has directed such shows as The Rose and The Ring, Life Under Water, and Seussical the Musical. Samantha is also a classical trained singer and has been in such productions as Phantom (Chorus), Music Man (Tilly Squires/Pick-a-Little Lady), and Pirates of Penzance (Mabel).

Alexa Weinzierl (Costume Designer) is excited to return to the Citadel Theatre. Regional costume design credits include Captain Blood (First Folio), First Lady Suite (Circle Theatre Chicago), and The Birds (Citadel Theatre). Recent collegiate design credits include Hamlet, Giant, A Lie of the Mind, F2M, and Matt and Ben. Alexa has worked in the costume department with Marriott Lincolnshire, The Writers Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and Music Theatre Works. She holds her B.F.A. in Theatre Design and Technology from Illinois Wesleyan University. Alexa would like to thank her family, friends, colleagues, and mentors for their never-ending support and encouragement.

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