Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"Lizzy, Darcy and Jane"--An American Premiere

This Friday the characters of Jane Austen's literary world interweave with historical and fictional characters of her personal life when the play "Lizzy, Darcy and Jane " opens on Gordon's campus for an American premiere.

The show's director, Jeff Miller, professor of theatre arts, first discovered the script four years ago while traveling in England. Since that day, the Gordon professor--who has directed over 100 plays--has dreamed of bringing the production to the stage for audiences in the States. From meetings in London with the play's author, Joanna Norland, to countless auditions and rehearsals, Miller's direction of the play will delight Pride and Prejudice fans of all ages.

The play uncovers the fiery side of author Jane Austen, exploring the interplay between Austen's personal life and literary work, by probing a crackling relationship with the heroine of Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennett. Heady with her first taste of love, young Austen creates the feisty Elizabeth in an exuberant moment of inspiration. But when a real-life romance sours, Austen sentences her alter ego to marry the odious Mr. Collins, and sentences herself to a suitor no less ill-matched.

"This play reveals the dramatic traditions Austen is linked to despite the fact that she did not have the freedom to write for the stage," said Miller.

Lizzy, Darcy and Jane opens this Friday, October 21 in the Black Box Theatre of the Barrington Center for the Arts at Gordon College. Performances will run October 21-22 and 25-29. Show times are Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. $10 regular admission, $8 for students, seniors, and Gordon faculty/staff. Tuesday through Thursday show times are at 7:30 p.m. with a Saturday matinee at 4:30 p.m.

Photo: Miller (left) speaks with the actors during a recent rehearsal. Read coverage of this performance on Boston.com.

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