Jane Austen's SENSE AND SENSIBILITY Opens South Coast Repertory's 55th Season

Southern California audiences will be able to get lost in Jane Austen's elegant, Regency era romantic classic, Sense and Sensibility, next month. The production opens South Coast Repertory's 55th season. British playwright Jessica Swale adapted Austen's story and the show is directed by Casey Stangl on the Segerstrom Stage, Sept. 1-29. Tickets are available online at www.scr.org.

"When I first read Jessica's [Swale] adaptation, I was delighted, energized and excited," Stangl said. "She beautifully captures Jane Austen's humor and heart and tells the story in a fast-moving and delightful way."

Austen's 1811 story follows the Dashwood sisters-practical Elinor and impulsive Marianne-who are of good social standing and marriageable age. When their father dies and their half-brother skimps on their inheritance, the sisters are forced to leave their grand estate for a tiny, cold cottage. Just as life seems its bleakest, a handsome stranger arrives on horseback and the sisters are convinced their futures are secured.

Swale is a writer, director and the artistic director at Red Handed Theatre Company. Her plays include Nell Gwynn, All's Will That Ends Will, Far from the Madding Crowd, The Secret Garden and Blue Stockings. As a director, her credits include Fallen Angels (Salisbury Playhouse) and Bedlam (Shakespeare's Globe). She has directed a number of Shakespeare plays in the Balkans and the Marshall Islands for Youth Bridge Global. She is currently directing her feature film debut-Summerland- from her own screenplay, with Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Courtenay and Penelope Wilton, and executive-produced by Gemma Arterton.

Swale told The Arts Shelf that Austen has been a favorite writer of hers for years and that the classic writer's enduring legacy was "her ability to draw real life so convincingly in words, and the job of adapting it for stage has been both a thrilling and intimidating process."

The Wiltshire Gazette & Herald, at the time of the play's 2014 United Kingdom premiere, said "Sense and Sensibility is like a much-loved coat. Its familiarity is a goodly part of its charm, and you know it will wrap you in warmth, making you feel good."

The diverse cast includes Preston Butler III, Rachel Charny, Nike Doukas, Joel Gelman, Desirée Mee Jung, Abigail Marks, Rebecca Mozo, Josh Odsess-Rubin, Matt Orduña, Dileep Rao and Hilary Ward.

The design team creating the Regency era setting includes François-Pierre Couture, set design; Maggie Morgan, costume design; Anne E. McMills, lighting design; Martín Carrillo, sound design; David Murakami, projection design; and Joanne DeNaut, CSA, casting. Joshua Marchesi is the production manager and Bree Sherry is the stage manager.

Sense and Sensibility has generous support from Honorary Producer Sandy Segerstrom Daniels. The Corporate Honorary Producer is U.S. Bank and the media sponsors are 89.3/Southern California Public Radio and Orange Coast magazine.

Tickets start at $23. Discounts are available for full-time students, patrons 25 years of age and under, fulltime educators, seniors and groups of 10 or more. For complete information, visit: www.scr.org.

Related Information for Sense and Sensibility

Tickets: May be purchased online at www.scr.org, by phone at (714) 708-5555 or by visiting the Box Office at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa. Performances run Sept. 1-29. Ticket prices start at $23. Low-priced previews run Sept. 1-6.

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