Sense and Sensibility
By Kate Hamill, based on the novel by Jane Austen
Directed by Noah Racey
January 15 – February 12, 2022
“Perhaps the greatest stage adaptation of this novel in history.” ‒Huffington Post.
When reputation is everything, how do you follow your heart? This fresh, spirited update of Jane Austen’s beloved novel follows the fortunes (and misfortunes) of the Dashwood Sisters ‒ “sensible” Elinor and “sensitive” Marianne ‒ after their father’s sudden death leaves them financially destitute and socially vulnerable. Exploring what it is to be women traversing society, gossip and the opposing opinions of your heart and mind, Hamill’s adaptation explores the classic story with humor and bold theatricality, highlighted by original music and movement.
Playing at the Lincoln Center Magnolia Theatre
“…rowdy, exuberant…thoroughly modern yet not at all contemporized. Kate Hamill’s felicitous adaptation gives us ageless emotions, couched in the mores and locutions of the past, yet timeless in their arduously suppressed intensity.” —Time Out NY
When their father dies unexpectedly, the future seems bleak for the Dashwood sisters of Norland Park, as their older half-brother inherits the estate, and they are impoverished. Spineless brother John and his haughty, stingy wife, Fanny, establish themselves immediately after the funeral, leaving Mrs. Dashwood and her three daughters as unwelcome guests in their own home. A silver lining emerges when Fanny’s kind, mild-mannered brother, Edward Ferrars, comes for a visit, and develops a friendship with sensible eldest sister, Elinor… is it merely esteem and admiration, or something more? Sensitive, emotional middle sister Marianne is sure that Edward is passionately in love, but cautious Elinor takes nothing for granted.
The Dashwoods move to their new home, a cottage on the estate of cousin Sir John Middleton, before the romantic potential can be realized. Once established in rural Devonshire, Marianne acquires two suitors of her own - Colonel Brandon, whose age and quiet melancholy disposition leave her cold, and John Willoughby, a handsome, dashing man, passionately fond of poetry, who rescues her from a rainy ramble gone awry. Eagerly giving her heart to Willoughby, Marianne does not bother to hide her feelings, scorning the strictures of convention and the scoldings of her elder sister that she should modify her behavior or risk damaging her reputation. When Willoughby leaves without warning or promise, cutting off all contact, and is discovered to have married a wealthy heiress, Marianne’s heartbreak endangers her health and exposes her to the ridicule of society. And when Elinor discovers that Edward is secretly engaged to manipulative fortune-hunter Lucy Steele, her own hopes for happiness are dashed. Supported by their love for each other, the Dashwood sisters must navigate the delicate rules of Regency society, and question their own fixed characters and beliefs, before they can arrive at not-quite-fairytale happy endings.
The spectacular comedic characters, unforgettable relationships, and emotional truths of Jane Austen’s classic novel are brought to life in Kate Hamill’s brilliantly funny, fast-paced stage adaptation of Sense and Sensibility, which utilizes a chorus of lively Gossips to enhance the sense of a socially stifling world, and encourages inventive choreography, bold characterization, and creative doubling to produce a fresh take on a well-beloved story.
“…an unconditional delight…invigorating…a bouncy, jaunty take on Austen…remains remarkably true to the values and priorities of its source. The classic Austen preoccupations with real estate, income, class, reputation and equilibrium in life are all rendered brightly and legibly here.” —NY Times
OpenStage’s Essential Season features rich, fully imagined theatrical experiences to captivate your heart and mind.
About The Venue:
The Magnolia Theatre is a proscenium theatre with 226 seats, ample production and support space, and top-of-the-line audience amenities. Address: 417 West Magnolia Street,Fort Collins, CO 80521.
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Originally from the farms and fields of upstate New York, Kate Hamill is an award-winning NYC-based actor/playwright.
She is deeply passionate about creating new feminist, female-centered classics, both in new plays and in adaptation: stories that center around complicated women. Her work as a playwright celebrates theatricality, often features absurdity, and closely examines social and gender issues - as well as the timeless struggle to reconcile conscience / identity with social pressures. As an actor, she tends to play truth-tellers, oddballs, and misfits: complicated people who color outside the lines.
Kate was named 2017's Playwright of the Year by the Wall Street Journal. She has been one of the 10 most-produced playwrights in the country, 3 seasons running (2017-2020); in both 2017-2018 and 2018-2019, she wrote two of the top 10 most produced plays in the U.S., and many of her plays have been produced internationally.
She is currently working on an adaptation of The Odyssey (commissioned by A.R.T.) as well as several new original plays - including Love Poem, In The Mines (Sundance Semi-Finalist; now collaborating with The Bengsons on this piece), Em (Red Bull New Play finalist), the Prostitute Play (O'Neill Semi-Finalist), and The Piper (O’Neill Finalist, PlayPenn Haas Fellow play).
Additional acting credits include: Talley’s Folly (Syracuse Stage; WSJ Critic’s Pick; TheaterMania best productions of 2020) The Seagull (Bedlam; "best classical productions of 2014" - WSJ) Noises Off (Syracuse Stage), The General from America (HVSF), Cyrano (“Outstanding Performance by an Actress”- DFW Critics Awards, Amphibian Stage), Internet Famous (Youngblood), Dreams of A West Texas Marsupial Girl (PearlDamour), All That Fall (Cherry Lane), and more.
Kate is also a screenwriter and has a film in development at the moment… stay tuned. (Information gathered from: http://www.kate-hamill.com/about)