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Hudson Classical Theater Company Presents EMMA Adaptation Beginning This Week

Emma opens on June 30 to July 24, Thursdays to Sundays, at 6:30pm in Riverside Park.

Hudson Classical Theater Company Presents EMMA Adaptation Beginning This Week

Hudson Classical Theater Company continues its 19th season with a new adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma. Unlike their previous Jane Austen adaptations, this one takes place in the 1950's in Newport, Rhode Island.

Emma opens on June 30 to July 24, Thursdays to Sundays, at 6:30pm in Riverside Park. Writer/Assistant Director Susane Lee says, "We just finished producing Pride & Prejudice this past March, set in the Regency period, so it was fun to shake things up a bit and set Emma in the 1950's. Our previous Austen adaptations were indoor productions so it was a real treat to bring Emma outdoors, to our summer stage, a natural setting for picnics and summer walks."

Director Theresa Sagan says, "This adaptation of Emma transports us into the 1950s world of a socialite society in their Newport, Rhode Island homes. This setting allowed us to work within the constraints of the "ideal" family, while also lending a rich backdrop with gorgeous music and costumes to play with."

Ms. Lee adds, "One of my favorite things when adapting any work is bringing in so many elements to the piece: my own research, writing scenes that happen "off-stage," and creating whole scenes not in the book that I know will drive and deepen the story. While this adaptation has a lot of fun, I also wanted it to be impactful. Even in this lighthearted setting, the stakes are high when relationships are tested. I have a terrific cast that brings this story to life, plus a hardworking production team. Cailin Anne, our Dance Choreographer, did an amazing job choreographing all the dance scenes, dances from the 1950's, that really added an exciting and nostalgic atmosphere."

The play opens with Emma Woodhouse (Deborah Bjornsti) and Mr. Woodhouse (Greg Horton) returning from the wedding of Emma's former nanny. Mr. Knightley (Jun Kim) joins them and Emma proclaims she made the match between the now Mrs. Weston (Karen Collazzo) and Mr. Weston (Adam Kee). Emma believes she has a talent for matchmaking and schemes to make a match for the Reverend Mr. Elton (Scot Cahoon).

Miss Bates (Shana Mahoney) introduces Harriet Smith (Harley Seger) to the Woodhouses and Emma immediately takes the young woman under her wing. Emma discourages Harriet's attachment to Robert Martin (Victor Torres) and instead convinces Harriet Mr. Elton is her match. But Mr. Elton is in love with Emma and, when he is rejected, marries quickly to Augusta Hawkins and parades his new wife, Mrs. Elton (Marie Dinolan) around Newport. Meanwhile, the Westons are excited to introduce their New York City son, Frank Churchill (Mark Ashin) to their friends, not knowing he has an ulterior motive for visiting: Jane Fairfax (Cecelia Auerswald).

Production Team: Production Stage Manager: Helen Thornton; Costume Designer: John-Ross Winter; Assistant Costumer: Brandon Darcel; Assistant Stage Managers: Violent Woundy and Sydneii Colter; Dance Choreographer: Cailin Anne; Props Master: Grace Terdoslavich.

Hudson Classical Theater Company is a nonprofit theater company that the New York Times recommended for its "intimate Shakespeare performances." Hudson Classical Theater Company received a Proclamation from the City of New York for "strengthening our community with vibrant, relevant, and engaging outdoor theater for all." The company has been nominated for six New York Innovative Theater Awards, including for best revival, costumes, and acting.

Partnering with Riverside Parks and Riverside Parks Conservancy, HCTC is proud to be a part of their "Summer on the Hudson" programming.

Performances: June 30 - July 24, 2022

All shows are Thursdays to Sundays at 6:30pm.

No Reservations: Just show up by 6:15pm for a good seat! They provide cushions.

No tickets in advance, but they do pass a basket after the show so audiences can "pay what you can." Audience donations help pay for artists stipends and production costs.

Actors' Equity Association's Safety and Health COVID-19 regulations means all audience members are required to wear masks at all times. Audience members will also be required to show proof of vaccination.

Subways: Take the 1 to West 86 or West 96, or take the 2 to West 96. Walk west towards Riverside Park. You can enter the park at West 89th street or take the entrance at West 91st Street. You will see the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. Head towards the north patio, the performance space behind the monument.

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