SENSE & SENSIBILITY To Open At The Armory

SENSE & SENSIBILITY To Open At The Armory

Portland Center Stage at The Armory brings Kate Hamill's hit adaptation of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility to Portland in a vivacious production originally created by renowned New York Theater company Bedlam. Hamill's fresh take on female-centered classics made her one of the most-produced playwrights across the country for the past two season.

In keeping with that spirit of re-invention, Bedlam's production combines a traditional regency setting with a fast-paced, kinetic, theatrical staging that fills Austen's iconic romance with warmth, wheels, and one or two surprises, leading The New York Times to call it an "enchanting romp of a play ... furniture is being constantly rearranged (often at dizzying speed) to denote not only changes of place but also of emotional temperature." As The Boston Globe put it, "Jane Austen is alive and well and rolling on casters."

Eric Tucker, who directed the award-winning world premiere of Hamill's Sense and Sensibility at Bedlam, directs a cast that includes Portland favorites Danea C. Osseni (The Color Purple) as Elinor Dashwood and Quinlan Fitzgerald (The Humans at Artists Repertory Theatre) as Marianne Dashwood. They are joined by Lisa Birnbaum, Kelly Godell, Lauren Modica, Chris Murray, Violeta Picayo, Darius Pierce, Ryan Quinn, and Jamie Smithson.

"I wrote Sense and Sensibility because I believe so deeply that the classics belong to everyone," Hamill said. "I think its popularity is a testament to how many people - like me - are hungering for female-centered stories."

Bursting with humor and bold theatricality, this charming and wildly inventive staging of Jane Austen's classic romance follows the adventures of the Dashwood sisters - and a whirlwind of snippy town gossips - after their sudden loss of fortune. Playwright Kate Hamill and director Eric Tucker of New York's acclaimed theater company Bedlam took audiences by storm in New York and Boston. Their celebrated production will be revived in Portland. As Theater Mirror wrote, "Kate Hamill's spirited and very funny adaptation of Jane Austen's Sense & Sensibility, puts it on wheels (quite literally), and produces a rollicking version of the romantic classic that is as intricately choreographed as any musical."

Four cast members from previous productions of Bedlam's Sense and Sensibility come to Portland: Lisa Birnbaum who appeared in the Bedlam production at American Reparatory Theater and Folger Theatre; Violeta Picayo who appeared in the world premiere at Bedlam and at American Repertory Theater; and Ryan Quinn and Jamie Smithson who appeared in the Bedlam production at American Repertory Theater. Birnbaum will play Mrs. Dashwood/Anne Steele/Mrs. Ferrars; Picayo will play Margaret Dashwood; Quinn will play Colonel Brandon/Thomas/Lady Middleton; and Smithson will play Edward/Robert Ferrars/Lady Middleton. Quinlan Fitzgerald (The Humans at Third Rail Repertory Theatre, Ordinary Days at Broadway Rose Theatre Company) will make her debut at The Armory as Marianne Dashwood. Returning to The Armory are Lauren Modica (Twist Your Dickens, Our Town) as Mrs. Jennings, Chris Murray (Major Barbara, Astoria: Part One and Two) as John Willoughby/John Dashwood, Danea C. Osseni (The Color Purple) as Elinor Dashwood, and Darius Pierce (Twist Your Dickens, The Santaland Diaries) as Sir John Middleton/Servant/Doctor.

Regular tickets range from $25 to $87 and are on sale now. Tickets may be purchased at www.pcs.org, 503.445.3700, or in-person from the box office (128 NW Eleventh Avenue, Portland, OR). Rush tickets are $20. Active duty or veteran military personnel and their families; students; and patrons who are 30 or younger get 50% off tickets in seating areas 1-3. $5 tickets are available for Oregon Trail Card holders through the Arts for All program. Prices vary by date and time, and are subject to change.



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