Park Square Offers A Progressive Look At Jane Austen's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
Park Square Theatre rings in the winter holidays with its first ever production of a Jane Austen novel with the regional premiere of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (Nov 15 - Dec 22, 2019) adapted from the classic by Kate Hamill (SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, LITTLE WOMEN) and directed by Lisa Channer in her Park Square debut. This clever comedy offers a decidedly progressive take on the trials of Lizzy, Mr. Darcy, and the whole Bennet clan, with a few dance breaks thrown in for good measure.
"I love it because of the emphasis on the actor and the emphasis on theatricality," says Park Square Theatre Artistic Director, Flordelino Lagundino. "Many of the actors play multiple roles and there is a sense of joy and abandon. Like the original Austen, it also gets to the depths of what it means to really fight for love and family."
Many consider Austen to be one of the early feminist writers. To fully mine the gender politics of Austen's most famous story, Hamill has constructed the role doubling in such a way that some characters have to be played by an actor of the opposite gender. Neal Beckman, for example, plays both Mr. Bingley and Bennet sister Mary, while McKenna Kelly-Eiding, who delighted audiences as Sherlock Holmes in Ken Ludwig'S BASKERVILLE, plays the bumbling Mr. Collins and the dastardly Wickham.
Hamill also plays on the idea of the "perfect match," by constructing the action like a game and or military strategy. "As I was writing, I started thinking about when you meet someone and you fall in love or something happens that changes your life beyond your control, and I wanted a way to make that more tangible. So, I thought bells are things you can't ignore-church bells, wedding bells, alarm bells, door bells-they let us know something has changed, and I wanted to incorporate those in the script. So, every time something happens beyond the character's control, something happens with a bell."
Channer sets this decidedly frolicsome world as a play within a play. The entire proscenium stage will be open to the back wall with no side curtains, allowing the audience to see the actors preparing "offstage" for their next time in the "ring" which serves as the playing space.
The cast includes Sara Richardson (Jane, Miss De Bourgh), China Brickey* (Lizzy), Kiara Jackson* (Lydia/ Lady Catherine), Paul Rutledge (Mr. Darcy), McKenna Kelly-Eiding (Mr. Collins, Wickham), Neal Beckman (Mr. Bingley, Mary), Alex Galick* (Charlotte, Mr. Bennet), George Keller* (Mrs. Bennet).
The Production team includes: Jaya Robillard (Assistant Stage Manager), Ruth Coughlin-Lencowski (Vocal Coach), Annie Rollins (Scenic Designer), Sonya Berlovitz (Costume Design), Dan Dukich (Sound Designer), Karin Olsen (Lighting Designer), Josephine Everett (Properties Designer), Ricardo Beiard (Park Square Theatre Directing Fellow), Akiem Scott (Park Square Theatre Sound Design Fellow). *Member, Actors Equity Association
Ticket prices: Previews: $27-$37. Regular Run: $40-$60. Discounts are available for students, seniors, military personnel, those under age 30, and groups. Tickets are on sale at the Park Square Ticket Office, 20 W. Seventh Place, or by phone: 651.291.7005, (12 noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday), or online at parksquaretheatre.org. #PSTAusten SEASON TICKETS are on sale now. Subscription package prices begin at $66.