Arlington Friends of the Drama

How great is THIS?

The producer of “Vanya” reports this great news: Hey guys, these are the two painters who spent almost all of today at AFD painting the field stone fireplace for Vanya. Isn’t it magnificent! They did an amazing job.

Huge thanks to the talented Fred Seager and Susan Fiorello.
So much goodness going into this production. Opens NEXT FRIDAY!!



Opening in two weeks!

We’re getting super excited about the wonderfulness of this one — funny and sharp, well acted and directed. Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. GET YOUR TICKETS!

It’s almost here! Excited and laughing and ready and more!

by the lovely Nancy Rogier…

Arlington Friends of the Drama presents the hilarious comedy Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike June 3–12. Performances are Friday, June 3 and June 10 at 8 PM; Saturday, June 4 and June 11 at 8 PM; and Sunday, June 5 and June 12 at 4 PM. A talk-back with the cast and production crew will follow the June 5 matinee performance.

Tickets are $20 and may be purchased online at the AFD Theatre’s website at AFD Theatre’s box office can be reached at 781-646-5922. All phone messages are checked and returned by volunteers.

Written by the critically-acclaimed Christopher Durang, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike won the Tony Award in 2013 for Best Play. This delightful comedy of ill manners portrays middle-aged Vanya and his adopted sister Sonia, who live a quiet, mundane life in the Pennsylvania farmhouse where they grew up, while their glamorous sister Masha travels the world as a movie star.

Vanya and Sonia’s daily existence is enlivened by the aptly-named Cassandra, the cleaning lady who issues routine warnings about terrible events in their future. Just after Cassandra’s latest predictions, Masha returns for an unannounced visit with her 20-something boyfriend Spike in tow. So begins an unforgettable weekend that builds to a fever pitch of rivalry, regret, and racket.

Mixing Chekhov sensibilities with cringe-worthy flair, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is a delightfully off-kilter summer romp that critics have hailed as “a sublime state of hilarity” and “a zany joy.”

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is being directed by Mary Fitzpatrick. The cast includes Jon Nuquist as Vanya, Jenny Gutbezahl as Sonia, Nancy Finn as Masha, and Noah Tobin as Spike. Sophia Milas plays the role of Cassandra and Nicole Williams is portraying next-door neighbor Nina.

The town of Arlington is well represented in this production. Director Mary Fitzpatrick and cast member Sophia Milas are Arlington residents. Production crew members from Arlington include Gareth Williams on set tech, Jeaneen Barletta on hair design, and Charlotte Kelley on props and set dressing.

Don’t miss it!!

Let’s put on a show!

AFD is seeking interested stage, musical directors and choreographers for suggestions on a show on their bucket list? One they would love to see come to fruition?

Should you or know of someone with a favorite play/musical please send it to Program Director Jim Grana at

At the same time include a concept of your choice along with a resume and a ball park financial idea that keeps with your concept. Should your selection be one of the final presentations chosen, you will then be invited to our Open Interviews for all directors.

Your kind response is appreciated by June 12th. All plays/musicals are being considered for our 2017/18 season.


Wonderful rehearsals, and a bit of news

When a cast and crew continue to laugh out loud at lines in a play even after weeks of rehearsals, you know something is going right…

AFD’s production of the Durang farce “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” promises to be in the words of one critic, “a zany joy!” Fast and funny, and full of allusions to Chekhov, it’s a pleasure.

As for news: while we’re sad to report that John Fogle had to step down as director, we’re delighted to welcome Mary Fitzpatrick to fill his shoes. Producer Evelyn Corsini Alcorn says, “John made many valuable contributions to the show, and he and Mary have collaborated on the transfer.”

We’re looking forward to the opening on June 3!!

“Spelling Bee” Auditions! June 2016

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee 

Stage Director & Choreographer: Justin McCoubry, Musical Director: John Eldridge

Audition dates: Monday June 20, 7PM, Saturday June 25, 1PM

Please bring two contrasting songs that show vocal and character range – emphasis on character! They should be in the style of the show (contemporary musical) but not from the show. There will be an accompanist. You will also be asked to read scenes from the show.

Please bring your resume and headshot.
Please fill out this form and bring a copy: Spelling Bee audition form

Groups of actors will be scheduled in one-hour blocks.

 Callbacks: Sunday June 26, 1PM

You will be asked to read for the specific character you are being called back for, and sing through songs from the show (you’ll know ahead of time which songs so you can prepare). There will also be a short movement piece.

Rehearsal dates:

Rehearsals will begin the end of June, and throughout the summer will only be on weekday evenings so you can have your summer weekends free!

Production dates:

Sept 9-11, Sept 16-18, Sept 23-25. Performance times are 8PM on Fri and Sat, 4PM on Sunday

Actors and actresses of all age ranges, races, shapes and sizes are encouraged to audition. The directing team is open to casting roles in unconventional and unexpected ways.

Questions? Want to schedule a time slot? Contact Judy Weinberg, production manager, at, or leave a message on the theatre’s voice mail, 781-646-5922, Ext. 1.


LOGAINNE SCHWARTZANDGRUNENIERRE: At ten years old, Logainne is the youngest and most politically aware speller, often making comments about current political figures. “SCHWARTZY” is driven by internal and external pressure, but above all by a desire to win to make her two fathers proud. She is somewhat of a neat freak, speaks with a lisp, and will be back next year.

RANGE: A3 – F5
Requires a strong comedic character actress, with strong vocal and harmonizing skills.

MARCY PARK: A recent transfer from Virginia, Marcy placed ninth in last year’s nationals. She speaks six languages, is a member of all-American hockey, a championship rugby player, plays Chopin and Mozart on multiple instruments, sleeps only three hours a night, hides in the bathroom cabinet, and is getting very tired of always winning. She is the poster child for the OverAchiever, and attends a Catholic school called “Our Lady of Intermittent Sorrows.” She is also not allowed to cry.

RANGE: C4 – E5
Requires a strong comedic character actress, with strong vocal and harmonizing skills. Also requires strong movement skills – strange talents and tricks are welcomed!

OLIVE OSTROVSKY: A newcomer to competitive spelling. Her mother is in an ashram in India, and her father is working late, as usual, but he is trying to come sometime during the bee. Having found comfort in its words and vastness, Olive made friends with her dictionary at a very young age, helping her to make it to the competition. She starts enormously shy, and shyly blossoms.

RANGE: B3 – F5
Requires a strong comedic character actress, with strong vocal and harmonizing skills.

CHIP TOLENTINO: An athletic Boy Scout and champion of the Twenty-Fourth Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, he returns to defend his title, but he finds puberty hitting at an inopportune moment. One of the oldest in the bunch, Chip is overconfident and a bit of a show off.

RANGE: C4 – B5

Requires a strong comedic character actor, with very strong vocal and harmonizing skills.

LEAF CONEYBEAR: The second runner-up in his district, Leaf gets into the competition on a lark and finds everything about the bee incredibly amusing. He is home-schooled and comes from a large family of former hippies. He has severe Attention Deficit Disorder and spells words correctly while in a trance.

RANGE: A3 – A5
Requires a very strong comedic character actor, with strong vocal and harmonizing skills.

WILLIAM BARFEE: A Putnam County Spelling Bee finalist last year, he was eliminated because of an allergic reaction to peanuts and is back for vindication. His famous “Magic Foot” method of spelling has boosted him to spelling glory, even though he only has one working nostril and a touchy, bullying, nerdy personality.  He develops a crush on Olive despite is focus on the win.
RANGE: E4 – B5
Requires a very strong comedic character actor, with strong vocal and harmonizing skills. Some movement ability is a plus.


RONA LISA PERETTI: The number-one realtor in Putnam County, a former Putnam County Spelling Bee Champion herself, and the returning moderator. She is a sweet woman who loves children. Her interest in the competition is unflagging and drives it forward. She is a show-woman – polished and poised.

Requires a strong comedic character actress, with great improv skills. Also very strong vocal and harmonizing skills.

MITCH or MADGE MAHONEY: The Official Comfort Counselor. An exconvict, Mitch/Madge is performing community service with the Bee, and hands out juice boxes to losing students. He/She has no idea how to offer comfort, but does find him/herself wishing he/she could find a way to make the kids feel better.

RANGE: E4 – A5
Requires a strong comedic character actor/actress, with very strong vocal and harmonizing skills.

DOUGLAS PANCH: The Vice Principal of Putnam Middle School. Frustrated with his life, he finds the drive of the young spellers alien to him. After five years’ absence from the Bee, Panch returns as judge. There was an “incident” at the Twentieth Annual Bee, but he claims to be in “a better place” now, thanks to a diet change.

Requires a strong comedic character actor, with great improv skills. Some singing required.


Sunday, April 17! If you’re coming to Oz, please beware of the parade

Hey Friends,

We just learned that Arlington is hosting the Patriot’s Day Parade on Sunday, 2-4pm. This will bump right up to the matinee performance of “Boy from Oz” at 4pm.

We will be starting on time, and we advise you to leave some time to get to the theater and find parking. Mass Ave will be blocked off until 5pm. You can approach Academy Street from other directions, and park on side streets or in the Town Hall parking lot.

Thank you!

The town web site notes the following:

Road Closures and Parking Restrictions

  • Beginning at 8am, there will be no parking on Mass Ave. Lowell St., Forest St., Acton St. and Appleton St. will be closed to through traffic.
  • Beginning at 12pm, Mass Ave between Park Ave and Pleasant St. will be closed to all traffic.
  • Beginning at 1pm, Mass Ave between Pleasant St. and Linwood Ave will be closed to all traffic.
    All closures and restrictions will be lifted at by 5pm.

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