Theatre Memphis Presents EMMA
Timeless storytelling, classic wardrobe and authentic period set design and props will grace the Theatre Memphis Lohrey Stage with the Jon Jory adaptation of Jane Austen's novel Emma, October 7 -23, 2011. The combination of all of the technical elements along with the availability of seasoned director John Rone are reasons TM decided to produce the enduring play about a young matchmaker, Emma Woodhouse, placed in the early 19th century.
The young self-appointed matchmaker Emma sets out to bring happiness and marriage to those around her but her meddling blinds her to the dangers of her actions and she is often mistaken about the meanings of other actions. Having played matchmaker for her long-time nanny, vivacious Emma Woodhouse is determined to find her newest "project", sweet and modest Harriet Smith, an impressive suitor in spite of her lack of social standing. But Emma becomes entangled in the romantic lives of her friends and acquaintances and unwittingly falls in love herself in this lighthearted tale of gossip, matrimony, and misunderstanding.
Director Rone's popular production of Austen's Pride and Prejudice in the Theatre Memphis Next Stage during the 2008-09 season was such a successful effort that it led to the decision to produce Emma in the larger proscenium Theatre Memphis Lohrey Stage space this year. Volunteer Theatre Memphis Board Member Kristin Rapan says, "We always try to give our patrons a variety within our season ... and the season selection committee really felt that we wanted a classic piece in this time slot to balance the high energy and eclectic shows that we were placing around this time period. John's handling of this type of material is just flawless and we knew he was the right person to bring Emma to the stage". Rone admits he has a thing for Jane Austen's material. He claims, "Jane Austen's civilized writing features irony and insights that make for great stories. I love bringing her timeless characters to life."
Playing the lead character, Emma Woodhouse, is Theatre Memphis newcomer Morgan Harriman whose local recent experience includes Footloose at Playhouse on the Square and Annie at Harrell Theatre for Performing Arts. Other cast characters are played by Brian Everson, Jacob Wingfield, Lauren Yates, Kinon Keplinger, Emily Chateau, Mary Buchignani, John Hemphill, Jo Lynne Palmer, Jason Spitzer, Melissa Walker Moore, Jeff Posson, Chelsea Robinson and Christian Binford.
Performance dates for Emma are October 7-23, 2011. Shows are at 7:30 pm Wednesday, October 19, and Thursdays, 8pm on Fridays and Saturdays with matinees on Sunday at 2pm. Tickets are $23 for adults, $15 for students with a valid ID and $10 for children under 12. Call 901.682.8323 to purchase tickets or go online to www.theatrememphis.org.