BWW Previews: VANITY FAIR at UCSB Department Of Theater And Dance
After seeing Westmont's recent production of Pride and Prejudice, I've developed a strong enthusiasm for the theatric adaptations of playwright Kate Hamill. Hamill's plays offer a contemporary, feministic view on the antiquated social roles of classic novels, with a subversive undercurrent of commentary on how these archaic functions of gender and class have persisted into the modern day. Hamill's work comes alive in Santa Barbara again this month with UCSB's production of Vanity Fair, directed by Tom Whitaker.
Based on William Makepeace Thackery's mid-19th century novel, Vanity Fair follows the adventures in adulthood of two young women from different backgrounds. Whereas Amelia comes from a wealthy family, her friend Becky has learned to depend on charm and wiles to secure a comfortable future for herself. Becky tries to snag a rich husband before a less-than-glamorous destiny as a governess comes to fruition. UCSB's production of Vanity Fair will be one of the first to be mounted since the play premiered last year in New York.
Vanity Fair is a story of friendship and social competition that features characters of wild foibles and ambitions that land them in outlandish comedic situations. Hamill's work demonstrates a devotion to the details of the original texts, while maintaining a modern voice that frames the characters' actions in a self-aware manner. In a world that values the lives and demands of wealthy men over everyone else, Vanity Fair offers a view of humanity that comments on both the past and the present with a bold feminist voice.
By Kate Hamill
Directed by Thomas Whitaker
UCSB Performing Arts Theater
November 9-10 & 13-17 / 8 pm
November 10 & 17-18 / 2pm
Tickets and more info at theaterdance.ucsb.edu