Meet the Actors: Vanya

June 17th, 2015

Come behind the scenes of this must-see play, VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE, to meet the actors of this dynamic, hilarious, and moving ensemble show.

Bill waiting to go onstage as Vanya

Bill about to go onstage as Vanya

First revealed in a nightshirt, Vanya is described in the script as “50’s, living in Bucks County.  Resigned to his life, more or less, at least compared to Sonia.”  Vanya often finds himself in charge of maintaining the tenuous peace between his sisters.

Meet Bill Murphey, fresh off his celebrated run as Colonel Pickering in My Fair Lady at Georgia Ensemble Theatre, we are tickled to have him as our Vanya…

What was one major inspiration for how you approached this role initially?  Vanya says early in the play that he marches to a different drummer. He means one thing specifically when he says it, but it can be universally applied to his character. He and Sonia have lived alone (with each other) for so long in this house, there’s sort of a Galapagos   feeling to them. They do things their way, and are sometimes at odds with the rest of society. There are no rules. We love, we scream, we make up. It’s family!

What trait or feeling do you share most with your character?  Vanya has strong feelings for the past and is not a fan of change. I understand his feelings though I’m not so vehement about them. I’m of that age where I’m remembering the way things were, and missing them. I also share his strong family ties.

Without spoilers, is there a moment in the play that you struggled with initially?  Why?  Without spoilers, it’s kind of hard.  There’s a line that I have toward the end of the play that’s sort of long and convoluted and covers many topics, is sometimes contradictory, and runs a wide range of emotions.  I no longer struggle with it as much, but I DO find new things in it each night that I have the privilege of saying it.  For better or worse, it’s never once been the same.  On the other extreme, there are several times in the script where my character is onstage, but Durang doesn’t give him any lines for several pages – he just listens.  My fellow actors are so engaging that I sometimes forget that I need to be listening as VANYA and not as BILL

Favorite line of the week?  How could I possibly narrow that down!  Most of my favorite lines are delivered by other actors.  I love watching Tess and Lala interact with each other.  They’re such pros.  They nail it every time.  Even lines that will only get laughs from theatre people, I love their commitment to them.  I am the luckiest actor in town right now.

For Tickets, click HERE!