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Jane Austen's PRIDE & PREJUDICE Comes to The Long Beach Playhouse

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For its second show of the season, the Long Beach Playhouse presents an engaging new adaptation of Jane Austen's classic novel Pride and Prejudice. In Jon Jory's reworking, all of the wit and romance of the novel comes to life in a fast-paced, humorous, and engaging production. Like mothers and daughters everywhere, Elizabeth Bennet and her mother do not see eye-to-eye on many of life's big questions. In their case, Elizabeth's disinterest in finding a husband is in opposition to her mother's fervent matchmaking on her daughter's behalf. Still, when a handsome and enigmatic bachelor, Mr. Darcy, comes on the scene Elizabeth's resolve to not let her feelings override her good sense is threatened. Will his pride or her prejudice doom the romance or will the chemistry between them win the day?

"Pride and Prejudice is nearly 206 years old; the Playhouse is just shy of 90. And this is the first time we're doing the play," said Madison Mooney, Executive Director for the Long Beach Playhouse. "I love that two classics - a great story and a wonderful community theater - are finally going to spend some time together!"

Sean Gray, Artistic Director, works with the artistic production committee to curate a season that offers a range of subjects and various types of shows. Gray said it was Jon Jory's light touch in adapting the novel that convinced him it would be a good choice for the Playhouse. He also saw the staging of the show as a good match for Mainstage Theater's configuration with its seating on three sides of a long stage which thrusts into the audience.

Gray noted that dancing was an important part of the social scene and courtship in the era, adding "Our stage is perfect for the three ballroom scenes and the spirited regency dances that were popular at the time. I felt the show and the actors would benefit from a choreographer. I chose 'Phie Mura for the job. She's given classes in movement and dance and has a natural grace. She's excellent at teaching others the techniques that will infuse that same grace and spirited movement to their dance scenes."

Another benefit of a show like Pride and Prejudice is that it gives Donna Fritsche the perfect canvas for her stunning costume designs. Her shop is an explosion of brocades, ribbons and lace that will float across the stage as costumes for the actors and actresses.

The show's director is Aurora Culver. She is making her Playhouse debut in the director's chair bringing with her experience from several other theaters and acting troupes. Culver said Jory's adaptation made her feel as though she was sitting with Jane Austen in her drawing room listening to her read the novel to her friends. Culver also noted, that despite being 200 years old, the play is essentially about the qualities that make us human and the ways we become better people over time.

The 14-member cast is a mix of debut performances and returning actors. Those making their debuts are Kimberly Connolly, Chaz R. Bright-Haup, Augusta Abene, Kaitlyn Smith, and Kerry Laughren Hedley. Returning actors are Amara Phelps, Dakota Sioux, Maria V. Oliveira, Micah Lee, David Clark Hutchison, Michael Kaye, Russell Malang, John Phelan and Jill Cary Martin.

The show opens November 3 and runs through December 1, 2018. Jane Austen's PRIDE & PREJUDICE Comes to The Long Beach Playhouse


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