Meet the “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” cast: Ben Jacoby gets to show off his physical fitness on stage

From now until opening night on Feb. 24, The Livingston Post will be profiling cast members of the Hartland Players’ production of “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.”

Hartland Players kicks off the 2018 year with “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” winner of the 2013 Tony award for Best Play. The hilarious blockbuster from noted playwright Christopher Durang begins Saturday, Feb. 24, and runs for four performances.

Set in Bucks County, Penn., adult siblings Vanya and Sonia reside in their old family home, mourning their lost dreams and missed opportunities. When their often-wrong, fortune-telling maid warns of impending dangers, and their movie star sister, Masha, arrives unexpectedly with young, sexy, boy toy Spike, the family is launched into a rollicking weekend of one-upmanship, exposed nerves, and a lot of broken mugs. If you’ve ever had a competitive sibling, this play should resonate with you.

Ben Jacoby grew up in Hartland, graduating from Hartland High School in 2011. He went to Grand Valley State where he studied Social Work/LGBTQ Studies. He has been singing and performing since he was 9 years old, even recording music that he personally wrote and performing in local competitions. He moved to New York in 2014 and became a nanny while simultaneously working on a career in vocal music. He moved back to Michigan in late 2017 after 3-1/2 years because he missed his family and friends. His biggest passions in life are helping the LGBTQ community and those who struggle; singing; and staying in shape.

Ben Jacoby plays Spike.

Here’s a closer look at Ben Jacoby:

How did you get involved with the Hartland Players and what shows have you been involved with in the past? What are some of your favorite roles from the past, either with the Hartland Players or other groups?

I got involved with the Hartland players because I am friends with Savannah, our director, and she needed someone comfortable enough to run around on stage in their underwear. I have not done another show with the Hartland Players, but who knows what the future holds.

What do you most enjoy about doing shows with the Hartland Players?

I love working with the Hartland Players because of the wonderful cast and the energy everyone brings, especially since I haven’t done a show since high school. Everyone has been so warm and welcoming!

What’s been your favorite part of the “Vonya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” experience?

My favorite part of the show is obviously running around on stage more than half naked! Ha-ha, no, I love the fact that I get to work with so many actors of all different ages and backgrounds.

What can audience members expect when they see the show?

Audience members can expect to see a ton of laughs, maybe a few uncomfortable moments (all in good fun), and did I mention, ME IN MY SKIVVIES!

The Hartland Players’ production of “Vanya and Sonia and Mosha and Spike” takes the stage Feb. 24-25 and March 3-4 at the Hartland Music Hall, 3619 Avon St., Hartland, 48353. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday each weekend.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for students and seniors, available online at, at the Cromaine Library, or by calling (810) 632-5849.


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The Livingston Post is the only locally owned, all-digital information and opinion site in Livingston County, Mich. It was launched by award-winning journalists who were laid off from the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus by Gannett Co. Inc. in 2009.