Theater Stages Playful ‘Pride and Prejudice’

Junior Cierra Denning plays Elizabeth Bennet (photography by Chris Orwig)

Junior Cierra Denning plays Elizabeth Bennet (photography by Chris Orwig)

Westmont Theatre Arts brings a contemporary energy and sense of humor to its staging of “Pride and Prejudice” on Oct. 19-20, 25, 27 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 28 at 2 p.m., all in Westmont’s Porter Theatre. Tickets to the play, which is based on the novel by Jane Austen and adapted by Kate Hamill in 2017, cost $15 for general admission, $10 for seniors and students, and may be purchased online at westmont.edu/boxoffice.

“I hope that lovers of Jane Austen will leave fully satisfied and delighted by the production,” says director Mitchell Thomas, professor of theatre arts, “and that audience members who’ve never read or seen “Pride and Prejudice” will walk away talking about how funny, beautiful and human these characters all are.”

Hamill’s adaptation holds fast to Austen’s rich and enduring work, while delivering a zany, playful, and boldly open-hearted exploration of the story for today. In one memorable scene, Mr. Darcy (Sean McElrath) for the first time professes his love for Elizabeth Bennet (Cierra Denning) and both characters are totally stunned by the admission. “The scene is so funny, lovely, true and shocking all at once,” Thomas says. “As we were rehearsing, I just had this overwhelming feeling of gratitude to be able to work with this wonderful material. What a story!”

Westmont alumna Lynne Martens ’08 is costume designer for the production which is set in the Regency era of England. “The costumes are fantastic,” Thomas says, “and Lynne just happens to be a huge Austen fan.”