In a production loaded with unexpected casting choices, Aquila Theatre brings one of western literature’s most beloved novels, Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility,” to the stage at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 13, at the Gertrude C. Ford Center at the University of Mississippi.
Born in late 18th-century England, Austen is one of the most popular novelists of all time, and “Sense and Sensibility” ranks as one of her best-known works. It tells the story of the two older Dashwood sisters—the level-headed Elinor and the hopelessly romantic Marianne. Born into an upper-crust family, they see their fortunes suddenly change for the worse when their father dies and their half-brother inherits the family estate. Living in a society that offers few choices to young women, the best they can hope for is to find a profitable marriage—and their search is packed with surprises and plenty of laughs.
Harriet Barrow plays the role of Marianne, while Lauren Drennan portrays Elinor. Lewis Brown, meanwhile, assumes the role of their younger sister, Margaret, in one of several female roles played by men in this production. Other notable female characters portrayed by male actors include the villainous sister-in-law Fanny (Gys de Villiers) and the inveterate gossip Mrs. Jennings (James Lavender).
The production is directed by Desiree Sanchez and incorporates her innovative use of space, movement, design and sound. NY Theater Review hailed her direction as “polished and laser-sharp,” adding, “She gets the maximum amount of potential out of every stage moment, has exceptional attention to detail and is a demiurge of action.”
Compiled by staff