Marie Sykes (email@example.com)
The Ursinus acting community is now able to perform and they most certainly will. With their upcoming first full, live performance since 2020, anticipation is rising all across campus. Pride and Prejudice, a comedic adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel by Kate Hamill, premieres October 28, and is directed by Dr. Meghan Brodie.
Choosing a comedy for live theater’s return was fully intentional. Dr. Brodie hopes it will “help alleviate the stress of daily pandemic life” and that “laughter can offer us a short respite from the sobering demands of negotiating the pandemic and [helps] build and/or strengthen communities.” It was just the right fit, and her favorite part of directing the show is “the students’ enthusiastic endorsement,” which influenced her choosing the play for this semester. In addition to bringing laughter to the community, she wanted to include as many roles as she could, instead of casting the traditional eight actors playing multiple roles the production calls for. She predicts each character will “capture the attention of audience members” in their own unique ways.
Ben Little ‘24, who plays Mr. Collins, said his favorite part of the process was getting “to try so many new things with your character,” especially during blocking. Emily Bradigan ‘23, who plays Lizzy Bennet, explained that her favorite is the ending because when acting “there are so many things I’ve been able to pick up through the script.”
Others, such as freshmen Kiran Drew, who plays Mr. Darcy and Sadie Walker, who took on the role of Charlotte Lucas, express that they’re just happy to be here with people in person again, a feeling we can all relate to. Mercede Vilaysaeng ‘25, assistant stage manager, agrees. She has enjoyed “being around everyone and seeing everyone act.” Kate Foley ‘23 plays Mary Bennett and says she is excited to have a live performance again. Foley strongly believes “everyone is so hungry for live theater again.” Having an audience is a significant part to any performance and the cameras last year never gave the same effect.
Stage manager, Sarah Buck ‘22, said she’s most excited to see everything “come to life” and for her “god mic” with which she’ll use during each performance to make sure everything stays on track.
However, it isn’t as easy as it may appear. As reported previously in the semester, the Kaleidoscope’s mold and sinking issues added delays to the play’s production. Besides having to push back set-design and move spaces, the actors were impacted in rehearsal. Without being able to have a space to perform, Ali Wolf ‘23 and Emily Bradigan ‘23 told us that they spent their first three weeks of rehearsal just doing table readings rather than rehearsing on a stage. Wolf mentioned it was “hard to connect with your character when you’re just sitting in a room” but once they received access to the Black Box, “the world became more real.”
Pride and Prejudice premieres Thursday, October 28 in the Black Box Theater. Tickets are each $5 for students, faculty, and staff and $8 for the general public. Seating is limited so buy your tickets online at ursinus.edu/tickets.