Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
Adapted by Melissa Leilani Larson
Directed by Suann Pollock
February 24–27; March 2-5, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
February 28; March 5-6, 2016 at 2:00 p.m.
Studio 88 Theatre
17th Annual John D. Yeck Production
Girl meets boy. Girl loathes boy. Girl and boy fall in love. It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen's most popular novel is also one of the greatest romances of all time. Pride and Prejudice returns to the stage in this new adaptation presented in an intimate setting. Upon first meeting the reticent Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth Bennet finds him cold and arrogant while he disapproves of her family and social standing. Is it his pride and her prejudice—or her pride, and his prejudice? Brought together by a series of events beyond their control, Elizabeth and Darcy must reconsider their first impressions.
History of the Production
The first popular play adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice was a Broadway play in 1935 adapted by Helen Jerome. This production would inspire the 1940 film version starring Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier. In 1959 George Weiss, Bo Goldman and Glenn Paxton wrote the music and lyrics for a Broadway musical titled First Impressions. This too was based on the Helen Jerome version from 1935. The show only lasted 84 performances and was beset by many problems among them a particularly dangerous set. In the years since there have been many other adaptations ranging from straight play versions to musical and operas. A particularly popular adaptation is the straight play version by Jon Jory of The Actors Theatre of Louisville.
The adaptation the Department of Theatre is performing was written by Melissa Leilani Larson. The work was commissioned from the playwright/screenwriter by her alma mater Brigham Young University in 2013. The production coincided with the 200th anniversary of the novel’s publication and was the winner of the 2014 Association for Mormon Letters Drama award, as well as a 2014 Salt Lake City Weekly Arty award.
About the Playwright
Originally from Hau‘ula, Hawai‘i, Melissa Leilani Larson is a writer presently based in Provo, Utah. The award-winning author of a number of plays and films, she holds an a BA in English from Brigham Young University and an MFA from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop.
Mel’s plays have been produced all over the country. Little Happy Secrets received the 2009 Association for Mormon Letters Drama award and was published in August 2010 as part of the anthology Out of the Mount: 19 from New Play Project; after the 2013 production, Mel was nominated as an Outstanding Community Production Member by the Utah Theatre Lovers. Her produced plays include Martyrs’ Crossing (IRAM Best New Play; KC/ACTF Meritorious Achievement; Best of Utah Valley 2006), which was published in the anthology Saints on Stage and received its international premiere at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe; A Flickering (Trustus Playwrights Festival Finalist); Hope Falls; Standing Still Standing (Mayhew Contest Winner); The Church of St. Pinky at Katy, Texas; and Lady in Waiting (KC/ACTF Region VIII New Play Fest participant; Lewis National Playwriting Contest for Women winner). Persuasion has enjoyed several productions and positive audience responses. Mel’s first commission, an adaptation celebrating the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice, recently enjoyed a sold-out run in Brigham Young University’s Pardoe Theatre. Mel has helped co-write the book for The Weaver of Raveloe, a new musical inspired by George Eliot’s Silas Marner, conceived and composed by award-winning composer Erica Glenn; Weaver premiered in May 2014 at ART’s Oberon. Mel’s newest original play, Pilot Program, will premiere in April 2015, directed by Jerry Rapier, as part of Plan-B Theatre Company’s upcoming season. Read more>>
Scenic Designer: Gion DeFrancesco
Costume Designer: Kaela Smith
Advised by Melanie Mortimore
Lighting Designer: Marciel Greene
Sound Designer: Jason Sebastian
Makeup Designer: Meredith Keister
Choreograher: Andrea Tutt
Mrs. Bennet: Clara Milligan
Mr. Bennet: Ben Comb
Jane Bennet: Natasia Reinhardt
Elizabeth Bennet: Theresa Liebhart
Mary Bennet: Rachel Brandenburg
Kitty Bennet: Trayli Monroe
Lydia Bennet: Cassidy Steele
Charlotte Lucas: Madison Ellis
Charles Bingley: Rylan Hixson
Caroline Bingley: Taylor Tinnin
Mr. Darcy: Adam Joesten
Mr. Collins: Jeremiah Plessinger
George Wickham: Hunter Doebereiner
Lady Catherine De Bourgh: Erika Wilhelm
Solider/Col. Fitzwilliam/Servant: Josh Stothfang
Anne De BourghServant: Katie Boissoneault
Gerogiana Darcy/Servant: Tiffany Turkovich
Hill/Soldier/Servant: Remy Willocks
Stage Manager: Sloan Kyler
Production Manager: Melanie Mortimore
Technical Director: Curtis Mortimore
Scene Shop Foreman: Tom Featherstone
Costume Shop Supervisor: Meggan Peters
Dialect Coach: Julia Guichard
Assistant Vocal Coach: Caleb Schirmer