October 22, 2012
Performing Arts presents Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice November 15-18, Students invited to participate in special Performing Arts Preview Weekend
Julia Dion and Anthony Marble in the World Premiere of Pride and Prejudice, Arizona Theatre Company, Tucson, Arizona (2005). Photo: Tim Fuller.

Lees-McRae College Performing Arts will present Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice Nov. 15-18 on the Broyhill Theatre stage in Hayes Auditorium.

Julia Dion and Anthony Marble in the World Premiere of Pride and Prejudice, Arizona Theatre Company, Tucson, Arizona (2005). Photo: Tim Fuller.

The Performing Arts department will also offer a special preview weekend for prospective students Nov. 16-17 that includes admission to Pride and Prejudice.

Austen's classic storyline with all of the wit and romance comes to life in a refreshingly fast-paced and engaging adaptation by Jon Jory and directed by Dr. Tessa Carr.

"The Jory adaptation is very true to the novel. The choices that he makes move the play along very quickly and capture the lively style of Austen's writing," said Carr.

Finding a husband is hardly Elizabeth Bennet's most urgent priority. But with four sisters, an overzealous match-making mother, and a string of unsuitable suitors, it's difficult to escape the subject. When the independent-minded Elizabeth meets the handsome but enigmatic Mr. Darcy, she is determined not to let her feelings triumph over her own good sense - but the truth turns out to be slipperier than it seems. In a society where subtle snubs and deceit proliferate, is it possible for Elizabeth and Darcy to look beyond his pride and her prejudice, and to make the best match of all?

Lees-McRae students will portray all the roles in the play, and Tony McClenny is serving as dramaturg and Ciddy Forkpah as stage manager and assistant director.

"Tony researches historical information important to the play and presents that information in rehearsal. He has discussed entailment, gender roles in the Regency, and the structure and function of the Anglican Church in Regency life to date," said Carr. "Tonight [during rehearsal] we are discussing the importance of dance as a social courting ritual. Students are working on finding ways to reveal character through their interactions in the dance sequences."

Danielle Baisden Curtis's set design will feature period detail but not in the realistic sense of showing a complete room or house. According to Carr, because the play moves around so many locations with such speed, realism is impossible.

"We will quickly establish new locations through a variety of furniture configurations and outdoor embellishments," said Carr. "Danielle's design includes fantastical cut-out projections such as carriages, silhouettes and text on the rear screen. Michael Hannah's costumes strongly ground the production in 1813 through an attention to period specific detail."

Show times are Nov. 15-17 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 18 at 2 p.m. The box office opens one hour prior to show time. Tickets are general admission and are sold at the door. Prices are $12 for adults and $5 for children and students.

Prospective students interested in Performing Arts at Lees-McRae can register for the Performing Arts Preview Weekend November 16-17. (A second weekend is scheduled for March 1-2, 2013.)

During the preview weekend, students will meet current students and faculty, participate in interactive theatre workshops, attend a showing of Pride and Prejudice, tour facilities and meet the technical staff. Students may also interview or audition for talent-based performing arts scholarships ranging from $1,500 to $5,000 annually. For more information or to register, visit

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Blaine Hansen  |  Vice President of Strategic Planning and Effectiveness
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