SFA Theatre to present modernized adaptation of ‘Pride and Prejudice’

SFA School of Theatre is undergoing an ambitious rendition of the classic book “Pride and Prejudice.”

Adapted by Kate Hamill, SFA is contributing to an overdue movement to bring better gender equity into the American theater.

Based on the novel by Jane Austen, “Pride and Prejudice” the play is a “goofy adaptation” and an “irreverent, fresh and flocking” new take on Austen’s endowed 1813 novel, Scott Shattuck, professor of theatre at SFA and the play’s director, stated in a press release on the SFA College of Fine Arts website.

“With some of the actors playing more than one part and some crazy fast costume changes to go from one character to another, it is done in the style in which a theater company is throwing together the story to the best of their ability with limited resources,” Shattuck said.

The plot is similar to the one you would read in the novel. There are daughters who are being pressured into getting married from a “perennially stressed- out” mother, according to Shattuck.

“Who doesn’t like a good romance story that can make you laugh?” said Elora Rogers, a freshman theatre student from Bridgeport, who is part of the play’s load-in crew. “I think a lot of people will relate to the story because people are prideful and have prejudice in their own ways, too. However, when you come down to it, love is love. It can help overcome a lot of barriers and a lot of different challenges.”

The play relies heavily on strong female characters to carry the performance.

“It is a really good story because the female is the heroine,” Rogers said. “It is not just about going with destiny. She is writing her own story and paving her own way.”

With so many moving parts of the play, people behind the scenes are being presented with a different kind of challenge. Jordyn Averitte, senior theatre student from Highlands, was the costume designer for the play.

“Designing for quick changes has been the most challenging but fun hurdle,” Averitte said.

However, designing clothes that the actors wear on stage is a special opportunity, according to Averitte.

 “Because costume design is close involvement with the characters and actors, I feel that I am able to provide them with a different, outside element of characterization,” Averitte said.

Shattuck feels the play will provide many funny moments and empower women.

“The play is a celebration of smart, strong and independent women,” Shattuck said in a press release found on the SFA College of Fine Arts website. “It is a celebration of the fact [that] women never have to play second-fiddle to have a full and satisfying life, including having a family, if that is the path they choose.”

The play will be presented in the W.M. Turner Auditorium in the Griffith Fine Arts Building at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18, through Saturday, Feb. 22.

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