by Kate Hamill
based on the novel by Jane Austen
directed by Amanda Berg Wilson
You’ve never seen Jane Austen quite like this! With the heart of this masterful love story still very much intact, Kate Hamill’s farcical take on this time-honored staple of English literature has never been more captivating. Austen’s Mr. Darcy, Lizzy Bennet, and all the red-coated officers are still the classic characters you remember, but with a fresh energy and zest that’s both stunning and unexpected.
World premiere production co-produced by Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival and Primary Stages; June 24, 2017, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival (Davis McCallum, Artistic Director; Kate Liberman, Managing Director). November 19, 2017, Primary Stages (Andrew Leynse, Artistic Director; Shane D. Hudson, Executive Director). Pride and Prejudice received a presentation as part of The Other Season at Seattle Repertory Theatre 2016-2017. Pride and Prejudice is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.
Director – Amanda Berg Wilson
Scenic Design – Lindsay Fuori (Terrence and Polly Jones Scenic Designer)
Costume Design – Amy Sutton
Lighting Design – Kristof Janezic
Sound Design – Jacob K. Harbour
Original Music – Jacob K. Harbour
Assistant Director – Brade Bradshaw
Stage Manager – Victoria Esquibell*
Asst. Stage Manager – McKenna Warren
Asst. Stage Manager – Caroline Castleman
Mr. Bingley/Mary – Kate Berry*
Darcy – Dustin Bronson*
Mr. Collins/Wickham/Miss Bingley – Nicholas Caycedo
Lydia/Lady Catherine – Katrina Michaels*
Mrs. Bennet/Servant – Ben Newman*
Lizzy Bennet – Caitlin Wise*
Jane/Miss De Bourgh – DeAnna Wright*
Charlotte Lucas/Mr. Bennet – Bill Lawrence
Understudy – Brittni Shambaugh Addison
Charles and Karen Nearburg
Marti and Steve Kiely
San Juan Sports
Smokin’ Johnnys BBQ
*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.
Amanda Berg Wilson
I think each time we revisit a classic, we have to ask ourselves why – why this story again? And also how – how are we shedding new light on a tale that has many iterations, many of them beloved?
I grew up loving romantic 19th century British tales like Pride and Prejudice. As a girl, I was enchanted by how, in spite of their initial difficult interactions, Elizabeth and Darcy end up in love. What teenage girl, with her teenage heartaches, doesn’t want to believe that love triumphs?
As a woman, I find myself still intrigued by Lizzy as proto-feminist. Her refusal to be taken, quite literally, into a marriage arrangement on anything but her own terms. I’m also heartened by the lessons she must learn about herself–that her judgement isn’t always spot on, that she can be wrong about people, even as she is sure of herself.
So yes, the why this story again (and now!): Pride and Prejudice is a great proto-feminist tale to revisit in a time where we are aware more than ever of how the battle to recognize women as equals, for who they are, is not yet won. It feels good to look of this early assertion that a woman should be her own person, rather than a property to be married away, and to see how this is widely accepted as fact (at least in our country). It’s a good reminder of how far we’ve come. But is also is good to think as we watch it: what attitudes towards women today will feel as antiquated as some of those in Pride and Prejudice in the next 150 years?
But how to tell it so that something new is discovered? When I first read it, I was delighted by how decidedly unstuffy this adaptation is. It’s a wonderful revisiting of a classic tale if your only remembrance of Pride and Prejudice is high school English class. It leans into the story’s strong beating heart of English humor and wit, then gives it a contemporary kick. And I’m so excited to do it here at CRT, whose actors–with their late night Boomtown romps, brilliant musical theatre training, and general mountain town joie de vivre–can really bring the rip roaring comedy of it to life.
I hope you revel in our Pride and Prejudice’s sense of discovery and transformation–without giving too much away, we intend to have great fun with the way the people in the story are not who they seem, how an initial impression of something can quickly transform, how this story is both of another time but still has a contemporary spirit.
In this way, we hope to remind you that our ideas of who others are are always swirling, swishing, changing, and being played with. And that love changes our perceptions of people once and twice and then again. Love is is endlessly surprising, revealing. Even for self-certain proto-feminists.
Now that is a story worth telling again.