In a semester of great productions all over campus, perhaps the big feature event of the fall begins Nov. 7 when University Theatre presents a stage verison of the Jane Austen classic, Pride and Prejudice:
Director and associate professor in the department of theatre and film studies George Contini brings us a fresh new take that captures the novel’s wit and fire. He describes the play as a Regency “rom-com,” and observes that Austen originally wanted to title the novel “First Impressions.” “I’ve always felt that was the stronger title,” Contini said. “It’s one way this story still resonates with modern audiences. Vanity, hypocrisy, pride, and prejudice all continue to play out in our lives as technology offers even more ways for us to wear masks in our interpersonal relationships and social settings.”
Contini sees another modern parallel in the story’s focus on characters’ desire to marry the person they love. “It's an especially relevant theme in the light of recent court decisions broadening the ranks of those allowed access to the institution of marriage. The struggle to balance love and practical matters in marriage also still resonates. And putting on airs to impress others is only amplified in our age of social media.”
And the production is paired with a great panel discussion,
“Lizzie Bennett Then and Now: Adapting Pride and Prejudice for Theatre, Film, and the Web” Tuesday, October 29 at 5pm in the Miller Learning Center. Panelists include: Alexandra Edwards, Emmy award winner for Web Series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, PhD candidate in the department of English; Dr. Roxanne Eberle, author of Chastity and Transgression in Women's Writing, 1792-1897 and associate professor in the department of English
Another component unique to our university theate environment, the panel discussion is terrific opportunity to get inside the transition of the much-loved 19th century novel to the stage, and screen(s). Don't miss these events. Get your tickets now.
Image: Production photo of University Theatre's Pride and Prejudice, (from L-R): Emerald Toller as Elizabeth Bennet, Aaron Klein as Mr. Bingley, Sara Chamberlain as Jane Bennet, and Connor Brockmeier as Mr. Darcy. Photo by Kristyn Nucci.