Meet the “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” cast: Community theater vet Stephanie Heslip excited for first outing with Hartland Players

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.

Stephanie Heslip, who plays Cassandra, is excited to join in the fun that is the Hartland Players. She has been involved with the Pinckney Players for the last 16 years and has a true love for the theatre. She enjoys detailed paint by numbers, hanging with her friends and anything chocolate. She has two sons and has been married for 27 years.

Stephanie Heslip as Cassandra.

Here’s a closer look at Stephanie Heslip:

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 saw this show a couple years ago and thought it was hilarious, so when I saw that Hartland Players was bringing this to Livingston County, I had to audition.

What are some of your favorite roles from the past, either with the Hartland Players or other groups?

My favorite roles have been with the Pinckney Players. They include the Stepmother in “Cinderella,” Hunyack in “Chicago,” The Giantess in “Into The Woods” and being in the chorus for “Children of Eden,” one of the most beautiful musicals of all time.

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

I enjoy meeting a new set of theatre family. Everyone involved with this show has a unique story that is so much fun to experience.

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

Getting to play an ethnic character. It’s always fun to do an accent that brings fun and meaning to a character.

What can audience members expect when they see the show?

Laughter will ensue as the audience will see a sweet yet volatile relationship between siblings, a crazy but caring housekeeper and, of course, Spike’s legs.

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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