MRT Celebrates The Holidays With THE WICKHAMS: CHRISTMAS AT PEMBERLEY
Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) will celebrate the holidays with the imaginative and radiant The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley, a new companion piece to last season's Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley - both based on the characters from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, according to Executive Director Bonnie J. Butkas and Interim Artistic Director Terry Berliner.
The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley, written by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon and directed by Shana Gozansky, will delight families from November 26 to December 22 at the Nancy L. Donahue Theatre at Liberty Hall. For tickets, contact the Box Office at 978-654-4678 or visit MRT.ORG.
Berliner said, "Christmas has arrived at Pemberley and the preparations downstairs reflect the abundance upstairs. A large fir tree, 20 hens, 20 quail, 50 pounds of ham, apples, raisins, and more sugar than you can carry. I can't wait to celebrate the holidays with my favorite family!"
Last season's Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, described as "beguiling, loaded with wit and heart" by The Boston Globe, became the bestselling show in MRT's 40-year history. This year three of the same characters return to the stage with an entirely new holiday tale. As the events of Miss Bennet unfold upstairs at Pemberley, the servants below find themselves in the midst of a scandal; an unwelcome visitor has stumbled into the kitchen in the middle of the night - Mr. Darcy's nemesis and Lydia's incorrigible husband: Mr. Wickham. "Impossible to resist! Epistolary complications, empire-waist dresses, scheming female relatives, and romance - both sparked and thwarted by pride," according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
At the end of Pride and Prejudice, heroine Lizzie invites her sisters to spend the holidays at her new home, Pemberley. Gunderson (I and You, Silent Sky at MRT) and Melcon used that invitation as a springboard to create the sequels - "something that has a holiday uplift, something that families can share," said the playwrights.
Director Gozansky, whose production of The Book Club Play by Karen Zacharias is currently playing to rave reviews at Boston Playwrights Theatre, directs. Gozansky has recently directed at Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Gloucester Stage Company, and Trinity Repertory Theatre.
The cast includes Alexis Bronkovic (Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley at MRT) as Elizabeth Darcy; Philana Mia Gnatowksi (The Pain and The Itch at Company One Theatre) as Cassie; Katie Grindeland (Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley at MRT) as Lydia Wickham; Ed Hooperman (Macbeth at Actors' Shakespeare Project) as George Wickham; Laura Latreille (The Wolves at Lyric Stage Company) as Mrs. Reynolds; Paul Melendy (The 39 Steps at Gloucester Stage Company) as Brian; Lewis D. Wheeler (Pass Over at SpeakEasy Stage Company) as Fitzwilliam Darcy.
In addition to Gozansky, the creative team includes Apollo Mark Weaver (Slow Food at MRT) as Scenic Designer; Miranda Giruleo (Native Gardens at MRT) as Costume Designer; Brian J. Lilienthal (Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley at MRT); and David Remedios (Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley at MRT) as Sound Designer. Maegan Conroy serves as Production Stage Manager.
Circle Health serves as the 2019-20 Season Sponsor. For Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, the media sponsors are WBUR/Boston's Public Radio, Merrimack Valley Magazine, and WCAP Radio.
Single tickets range in price from $24 to $66. Season Subscriptions for six plays start at $127, with student subscriptions at $60. Four-show packages start at $87. To purchase, visit www.mrt.org or contact the MRT Box Office at 978-654-4678.