Tennessee Shakespeare Company Presents Regional Premiere Of MISS BENNET: CHRISTMAS AT PEMBERLEY
Tennessee Shakespeare Company will host the regional premiere of the romantic holiday comedy "Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley" on its Owen and Margaret Wellford Tabor Stage, located at TSC's permanent residence at 7950 Trinity Road in Memphis.
One of the most popular plays in America, the new work by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon is an imagined sequel to Jane Austen's celebrated novel "Pride and Prejudice." Directed by TSC's Stephanie Shine, the production runs Dec. 6-22, with previews on Dec. 4-5. It is sponsored anonymously in memory of Hutchison teacher and TSC founding member, Barry Gilmore.
"Miss Bennet" is set two years after Austen's novel ends, continuing her story with bookish middle sister, Mary, as the unlikely heroine. As Christmas 1815 approaches on the grand estate of Mr. and Mrs. Darcy, TSC audiences will be invited into the Pemberley library - complete with a large, new seasonal item: a Christmas tree. Mary has grown tired of her role as the dutiful sister in the face of her sisters' budding romantic escapade. As the family gathers for the seasonal celebration, an unexpected guest sparks her hopes for independence, an intellectual match, and possibly even love.
"This lovely play explores the generosity of a family that dares to see each other in a new light," Shine said. "Each of the Bennet sisters has a new journey, and we get to focus on middle sister, Mary, often overshadowed by her splendid siblings. She begs us all to consider, 'Can one live a large life in mind alone?' For those who love 'Pride and Prejudice,' this is a special treat. Imagine meeting these beloved literary characters and finding them even more delightful in their maturity - and as witty and kind as ever."
TSC's professional cast features Boston's Lydia Barnett-Mulligan as Mary Bennet, who played Helena in TSC's 2015 production of "All's Well That Ends Well." Also starring Marion Claire Hayner as Jane Bingley, Merit Koch as Elizabeth Darcy, Tyler J. Vernon as Charles Bingley, Dean Coutris as Mr. Darcy, Joe Leitess as Arthur De Bourgh, Lauren Gunn as Lydia Wickham, and Emily McCormick as Anne De Bourgh.
The design team includes: scenic designer, Brian Ruggaber; costume designer, Alexandria Perel-Sams; lighting designer, Jeremy Fisher; sound designers, Eric Sefton and Jason Eschhofen; and properties designer, Lindsay Taylor. The production stage manager is Leanna Keyes, and Alison Letsos will work as assistant stage manager.
Tiered seating tickets to "Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley" range from $15-39 and are available by visiting www.tnshakespeare.org or calling the TSC box office at 901-759-0604. TSC will host Free Will Kids' Night for Thursday performances. Parents may bring up to four children ages 17 years and younger to attend for free with the purchase of one adult ticket. Free Will tickets are limited based on availability and must be purchased in person at the TSC Box Office.
"Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley" was originally produced by BJ Jones and Timothy Evans of the Northlight Theatre in Chicago. TSC's production is presented by a special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc. in New York.